If humankind never learned to play with its food, it would never have learned to play with its ingredients, and the world would be one bereft bowl of gruel. For $15, today's deal gets you $30 worth of classic bar fare and drinks with a creative, gourmet twist at Hank's Tavern & Eats in Hyattsville. Hank's proximity to a movie theater allows for ample parking so that you won't have to dress up your car and pretend it's your old college roommate, Honky.
Any tour of Chef Geoff Tracy's lunch or dinner menus should end with a signature burger such as the 8-inch towering Hank Burger ($9.99), a ginormous half-pound slab of Angus beef on a brioche bun topped with lettuce, tomato, cheddar cheese, bacon, and an onion ring, with a side of steak sauce for dipping. Doughtier diners might want to try their stomach at the Impossible Double Hank Burger, which is a Hank Burger times two in every way ($16.99). It earns its impossible status by floating ethereally in the air and warping several feet of space-time continuum around it.
But working your way up to a burger through starters such as "12 napkin" tater skins with bacon and queso ($8.99) or popcorn shrimp in sambal aioli ($9.99) is half the fun. For an entree that isn't bookended by bread, try the crispy cornmeal-pecan catfish with corn pudding, collard greens, and maple butter ($18.99). Hank's also serves up big salads that could send the most gourmand rabbit into a blissful food coma, such as a green salad tossed with yellowfin tuna, carrot, and wasabi peas ($15.99). Diners can pair burgers with big onion rings ($3.99) and very gouda grits ($3.99), and each bite of salad justifies gooey desserts such as triple-chocolate brownie sundaes ($6.99) and banana-caramel wontons ($5.99).
While waiting for a patio table to open up or thaw out, belly up to the bar and knock back one of the beers on tap, which include the homegrown Hank's Amber ($4.95), Pyramid Hefeweizen ($4.95), or Old Chub Scottish ($4.95). Hank's can also slide a respectable selection of red and white wines, frozen margaritas ($7.95), or no-booze bevs such as mango lemonade ($3.95) down the length of its 50-foot bar. Otherwise, savor the giddy thrill of watching 20 TVs at once and enjoy the attention of a wait staff so friendly they'll insist on helping you catalogue your filmstrip collection by year, location, and mood.
- The only way to manhandle the monstrosity into one's mouth is to employ what one of my companions called the "compress and cut" method: mashing the bun into the burger and cutting it in half. The patty is cooked perfectly to order and sweetened by a dose of steak sauce on the side. – Julia Beizer, Washington Post
- Prince George’s residents, who have wanted more good dining options, will find more than just a terrific burger. Standouts among the starters are crispy shrimp dumplings, vibrant with hits of ginger and scallion, and popcorn shrimp with a spicy aïoli dip. The fish burrito is elevated by beans that are clearly not from a can and by fresh fried-fish chunks. – Rina Rapuano, Washingtonian
Hank's Tavern & Eats
If comfort food is supposed to evoke a sense of ease and familiarity, the Impossible Double Hank burger breaks rather severely with tradition. With its intimidating name and heaps of lettuce, tomatoes, onions, bacon, and cheddar, the burger forces the brave patrons of Hank’s Tavern & Eats to confront their most delicious fears. Though less overwhelming than the double-portioned hamburgers, the tavern’s shrimp po’ boys, baby back ribs, and fish burritos are made with similarly fresh ingredients and prove just as tasty. While digging into these and other hearty eats, patrons can follow local sports on 20 TV screens and guesstimate their height by lying facedown on the 50-foot bar.