The hamburger, America’s national meal, has always been served during Independence Day cookouts and the competitive-eating portion of presidential debates. Dine patriotically with today’s Groupon: for $6, you get Hamburger Steak Jr. sandwiches with all toppings and orders of French fries for two at Char-Grill (a $12.86 value). Choose from the following locations: Hillsborough Street, Edwards Mill Road, Atlantic Avenue, or Strickland Road in Raleigh; Durham; Cary; Garner; Highpoint; or Davidson.
With a charming ’50s ambiance to match its classic menu, Char-Grill prepares its mouth-watering hamburger steaks atop a charcoal grill. Each Hamburger Steak Jr. sandwich weighs in at a quarter-pound, satisfying eaters as well as unambitious weightlifters who only bench-press sandwiches. Diners can avail themselves of up to eight toppings, including mayonnaise, cheese, lettuce, tomato, bacon, slaw, pickle, and onion. An order of golden fries complements each burger, just as clutch purses complement evening gowns and lucha libre masks complement doctors’ scrubs.
It's been more than a half-century since the first Char-Grill opened its doors on Hillsborough Street in Raleigh, but not much has changed at this beloved local chain. Whether in the original cinderblock building or one of the 10 locations that have been added since, people still approach the counter to jot down orders, pass them through the window, and then look on as cooks grill half- and quarter-pound steak patties over charcoal flames.
In addition to the signature smoky-flavored burgers, Char-Grill also fires up grilled chicken, chili dogs, and pulled-pork sandwiches. Milkshakes and fries add to the eatery's classic feel, helping land it on USA Today's list of 51 Great Burgers and reminding guests of simpler times when hamburgers were used as currency.