There are a lot of dairy bars and drive-ins out there that could be interchangeable. That’s not to say the burgers from such a place aren’t any good -- they usually are. Those sort of burgers are marked by good quality meat, a nicely seasoned grill, a smashed patty, fresh toppings and a traditional bun wrapped in wax paper.
Wink’s only does walk-up service, the sort that comes with a number on a small tab of paper. If you stand at the front of the building after you order, others are likely going to think you are in line. In fact, I was the only person who sat outside my car waiting on my order. The day was too pretty to waste in my opinion. That lead me to stare directly at a coconut meringue pie set exactly at eye level on the other side of the glass. Until this point in time I was unaware that Wink’s did pie; I knew only of the legendary malts, and thanks to my current diet that wasn’t on my menu for the day.
My order took about 15 minutes to prepare. My number was called, I picked up my white paper bag and headed for the car -- where I pulled out my burger and fries and photographed them before dumping half of said fries all over the passenger side seat. Well, there you go.
I could have gone with tator tots, onion rings, fried okra, slaw, bean, spicy corn nuggets or fried green beans instead. The fries are crinkle-cut and golden brown. I have a soft spot for crinkle-cut fries, even though I know they come frozen. Something about the extra surface area gives them the perfect blend of crisp and soft, and these were good examples. They came with four ketchup packets and a packet of salt, the latter of which was completely unnecessary.
It looked like a burger that could have been conjured elsewhere -- but it was not. There was a flavor to the patties, a nicely varied but not overdone spice heavy on the onion powder and reminiscent of Cavender’s Greek Seasoning -- but still not Cavender’s. I suspect, being a 44 year old dining establishment, that Wink’s has its own proprietary spice blend. It was marvelous.
You’ll find Wink’s at 2900 East Washington in North Little Rock. It’s open 9 a.m.-6 p.m. Monday through Friday and 10:30am to 5:30 p.m. on Saturday. (501) 945-9025.