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PLATED: Betty’s In Gear

REASONS TO EAT INN With a surprisingly grand vista looking straight down Walnut Avenue, the front “garage” porch of the new downtown Betty’s Eat Inn offers visually clever décor for the whole family. Sasquatch watches over an Airstream trailer on one front wall, while a giant map of the U.S. of A. papers the opposite. Curio shop tapestries of Elvis, Jesus and JFK upholster the booths, and the brass-studded bar stools would have made Frank Sinatra smile. It’s very Hard Rock Café-meets-early-Howard Johnson’s at this large sibling of the popular Seabright burger joint, which also has a 41st Avenue location.

The management has poured loads of labor and theme eye candy into this lofty makeover of the former Vida, and a very large staff of friendly young women makes sure that every giant Coca-Cola glass is kept full. Expanding on the familiar Betty’s menu—a line-up of burgers in all shades of meat and faux meat—the new store offers a few more dinner options, including fried chicken, chile and pulled pork on a mound of greens. It’s really a deconstructed burger without the bun. In fact, all of the house burgers are available without the bun (called “bareback style”) in a nice concession to the growing trend away from mega-carbs. A full bar with comfy turquoise bar stools beckons.

I visited last week for a taste. And here’s the deal: Still in its infancy, Betty’s has a ways to go. French fries concocted without any trans fats—awesome. But “no trans fat” shouldn’t have to mean lackluster flavor. And, sadly, my overcooked cheeseburger ($6.70) was missing the robust attitude I was hoping for in what should have been a destination burger. That’s what Betty’s is all about, isn’t it? That said, people will no doubt love this place.

Author: ZheJiang QiangSheng Furniture Co., Ltd.
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