DeKalb home of the good burger

By Danny Ciamprone

DeKALB | Those searching for a good burger do not need to look far in DeKalb.

Mark Megallanes, manager of Applebee’s, 2411 Sycamore Road, said it is the different variations of burgers that keep customers coming back, including the Cowboy and Philly burger.

“For about a year and a half we haven’t used frozen patties,” Megallanes said. “They are fresh to order, good sized and we have great lunch specials for them at $4.99.”

Gavin and Mary Wilson have owned Hillside Restaurant, 121 N. Second St., since 1988. Gavin said the restaurant has been in DeKalb since before McDonalds was around, starting in 1955. Their famous burger, the Big Bertha, was named after a customer who ordered the burger six days a week. Since then, the burger has been made the same way every day.

“The burger is made with no preservatives and we use grade-A meat,” Wilson said.

Wilson said Hillside Restaurant strives to use only the best, healthiest ingredients.

Pete Matarangas, owner of Lukulos, 1101 W. Lincoln Highway, said their burgers are the most popular item on the menu. With all the choices for burgers, Matarangas said he uses the freshest ingredients in every burger.

Mel Witmer, owner of O’Leary’s Irish Pub & Grill, 260 E. Lincoln Highway, said his restaurant has 14 different cheeseburger options.

“We provide a fresh, never frozen black Angus half-pound patty with fresh crisp lettuce and fresh baked buns,” Witmer said.

He also said it is the process of cooking the burgers which makes them so good. O’Leary’s cooks their burgers on a flat top grill, which retains the juices to make a favorable burger.

Tom and Jerry’s, 215 W. Lincoln Highway, has four different kinds of cheeseburgers ranging from quarter to half-pound size.

“We have a lot of different ways to make them,” said Manager Erica Grimes. “People get the burger the way they want it.”

Kelsey Wiora, a waitress at Lincoln Inn Restaurant, 240 E. Lincoln Highway, said while most people come for breakfast items, the burgers are still very popular on the menu. When asked why people choose their burgers, Wiroa simply said, “They’re delicious.”