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Wimpy’s Grill

Posted by MEZ 22 Aug 2012 4 Comments

Carpe Durham poster CDB first reviewed Wimpy’s Grill back in 2008 and raved over the quality meat, high stack, and affordability. We’ve decided that it’s worth revisiting restaurants after that much time has passed to see if anything’s changed, and I’ve always wanted to try Wimpy’s famed hamburgers. They’ve been awarded best burger and takeout in a number of publications over the years, and they were featured on Man Vs. Food in 2009 for their Garbage Burger that piles pretty much any topping available onto a double cheeseburger.

Wimpy’s Grill is barely wide enough for two people to stand side by side at the counter, but there is plenty of room for their customers to line the walls, waiting for their fast-cooked orders to go. A wallpaper border of Coca Cola advertisements is the only decoration beyond clippings of those previously mentioned awards. It’s cash only, and the staff is very welcoming and greets their regulars by name, remembering their usual orders. In addition to burgers and hotdogs, Wimpy’s serves up giant biscuits available for sandwiches with steak, country ham, fat back, red hots, bacon, or sausage. Onion rings, fries, hash browns, grits, and chili are the available sides. I was surprised they don’t offer shakes, but they do have three desserts daily: a changing cake, a cobbler, and banana pudding. The daily specials featured a few options touting pinto beans. I was there for the burgers, and I went for a single cheeseburger with lettuce, tomato, coleslaw, grilled onions, and mayonnaise.

Now this burger is the type you need the wrapper for, because those juices are going to drip out everywhere. The patty was good and plenty large enough without needing to make it a double. It seemed between 1/4 and 1/3 of a pound’s worth of beef. I wouldn’t say its flavor stood out, but it wasn’t dry either, so I was happy. The bun stood up to those juices, which is a must for me, and I especially appreciated the thick tomato slice and nice melt of American cheese. Iceberg is perfectly fine with me, but crispier cuts of it would have been better. The coleslaw had almost no presence, so I’ll leave that off on future orders. Now I’ll wax poetic about the grilled onions. They were wide-cut and grilled to the point of caramelization with lots of deep brown color and sweet onion flavor. With them, the burger was pushed just over that average line.

I also tried dessert, opting for the peach cobbler.

It’s closer to a slice of peach pie crammed into a cup than a cobbler—no streusel or crumble here, but two layers of crust. The top layer had an ideal crunch with a shake of baked sugar sprinkles, but the lower layer, unfortunately, was doughy and unappealing. The fruit itself was delicious, and the texture of the filling was like the standard type you’d get out of a can. I tried it cold and warm, and I recommend it cold. The banana pudding CDB loved in 2008 is probably the better dessert option.

I found Wimpy’s Grill a solid choice for a hamburger that will hit the spot, although I had no revelations of burger bliss. However, for the price and the neighborliness of the workers, it really is a great lunch option. Anybody had their biscuits? I think I’ll have to get one next time I’m there during operating hours.

Wimpy’s Grill

617 Hicks Street
Hours: M–F, 7 am–2 pm


  • cr said:

    yes. we get the sausage biscuit but it is more like a sausage burger for its size. yum


  • Tom from Raleigh said:

    I’ve had the biscuits, too, but it’s been a few years. I recall that they were tasty. As good as Bojangles or Biscuitville, not as good as Sunrise or Neal’s Deli.


  • Jim said:

    Try the onion rings! They are delicious!


  • DrDaddy said:

    No seating there but Oval Park is but a few blocks away. Fun to eat while watching the moms, dads, and little kids having fun. Oakland and Club. Super juicy burgers and crunchy real onion rings.


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