Sunday, August 9, 2009

Beefy King: An Orlando Treasure

I love Beefy King. I love the old, sixties-era sign out front with the snorting steer. I love the well-worn, paneled interior. I love the old-school-fast-food swivel chairs. I love the fast pace of the restaurant. I love the way you can tell it’s a family-run business. I love the fact that it’s the only Beefy King left in the world. I love that it’s in Orlando. But most of all, I love the sandwiches.

Beefy King has stood the test of time and the temptation to modernize. That’s a good thing. I’ll bet the sandwiches taste exactly the same as they did in the sixties, and I bet the place didn’t look much different. Some things must change. Some things must never change.

Beefy King’s standard, the Roast Beef Sandwich (X-Large, $5.00), is one of the best in the city. It’s huge. The roast beef is real. It’s served steaming hot. It’s piled on a toasted Kaiser bun that’s got just a little bit of pull when you bite into it. You can add cheese or veggies, but why mess with perfection.

For a side, and a little bit of fun, it’s tater tots (small, $1.59) instead of French fries. Beefy King calls them “Beefy Spuds.” Whatever you call them, you’ll probably find them fried to crispy perfection.

If you’re not into roast beef, try a ham, turkey, pastrami, barbecue or corned beef sandwich. There’s also a chicken sandwich and a fantastic Reuben. Too old for tater tots? Try the onion rings. But, really, you’re never too old for tater tots.

It’s fun to eat at Beefy King during a noontime lunch rush. It’s packed, first of all. You might have to wait for a table. The pumps might run out of horseradish sauce. The fryers will be working double time. The line’s out the door. But while you’re waiting, view the owner, who stands in the middle of the kitchen coordinating the chaos like a symphony conductor. It’s quite a sight. The Beefy King family has served the Mozart of roast beef sandwiches for a long time, obviously.

There’s a drive thru, if you don’t want to come inside, with extended hours (3 to 5:30, Monday through Friday). The dining room is open Monday through Friday, 10 to 3, and Saturday, 11 to 3. Closed Sundays.

Yes, I love Beefy King. It’s not just some old, nearly-forgotten-relic of a failed fast food chain. To me, it’s truly an Orlando treasure.

5 Orlando Treasures out of 5

Beefy King
424 N. Bumby Ave.
Downtown Orlando
407-894-2241

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1 comment:

tine said...

How inspiring!
I will definitely go get a reuben for lunch from there, and STAT!
Too long have I passed by and ditched the idea because it looked like a dive XD

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