Pierce Pioneer

Deluxe delivers

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Valerie Ettenhofer
Staff Writer

A small, square building on the corner of Steilacoom Boulevard and Bridgeport Way would be easy to pass by during a busy commute home from classes. Luckily, DeLoDelongs Burgersngs DeLuxe sports a candy-cane striped exterior and a simple “BURGERS, SHAKES, FRIES” sign that begs for a pit stop.

The sign’s no-nonsense sensibility continues inside—or rather, outside, as the family-owned restaurant offers only a walk-up window and picnic seating reminiscent of fair burger stands.

The menu, largely burgers and hot dogs, includes meals sure to please any carnivore’s palette. Burgers topped with everything from bleu cheese to onion rings or chili offer the succulent variety of a nice restaurant at a fast-food price.

DeLongs, which has hosted long lines, rain or shine, since its opening last month, may be the working man’s protein-based heaven and the busy student’s guilty pleasure. Hearty but unhealthy food choices abound on a deep-fried menu as well as three vegetarian options.

Though DeLong’s may not be easy on the arteries, its food is undeniably tasty. A special sauce, fresh ground beef and delicious Tillamook cheese elevate its burgers above microwave-using, rubber-cheese competitors.

Adding to the atmosphere of a fine fairgrounds meal are the staff, who are friendly and efficient, jotting down orders on white paper bags through an open window.

In the spirit of a similar beloved eatery, Frugals, DeLong’s biggest appeal lies in the second and third items advertised on their succinct sign. Crispy, filling french fries have none of the limp greasiness those hungry customers settle for elsewhere.

Finally, DeLong’s offers thick but creamy milkshakes in every flavor imaginable. Unlike Frugals, they don’t play with a flavor of the month system, instead allowing a 24/7 sugar rush from flavors like marshmallow, cherry, creamsicle and hot fudge.

These share the menu with eight other intriguing and in some cases uncommon flavors, many of which are available as ice cream sundaes as well.

The next time a craving for a good old-fashioned meal strikes during class, remember that happiness is only seven minutes away by car.

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