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HamStation Fresh Stuff
Every french fry or onion ring starts as fresh stuff ready to be cut by hand.
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Hamburger Station interior
One of the first fast food restaurants.
There was a time when you couldn't turn a corner in Greater Akron without running across a Hamburger Station restaurant. Founded by Jim Lowe and Art Michaels in the '60s, just as much of the tire industry started its decline, the first location in downtown Akron was a concept based on cheap eats produced from fresh, top-quality ingredients.
While only four locations remain today, and these are independently owned, at one time there were between 12 and 17 locations throughout Summit County. The remaining stores still feature the freshest of ingredients, and you'll find bags of onions and potatoes inside each one, waiting to be turned into hand-cut french fries and hand-battered onion rings. Truth is, I think Hamburger Station's onion rings are the best in the area...big, thick slices of sweet onions with crispy coating, cooked just the right length of time to keep the rings al dente.
The burgers are small, as the original concept was similar to that found in the White Castle chain...patties that could be quickly cooked all the way through in a short time period so that the service could be quick while-you-wait at the counter. Originally, burgers came on homemade toasted buns with mustard. They started grilling onions for addition when requested by customers, and today, this has morphed into a stack of fresh sliced onions, mustard and pickles. You add your own ketchup, but you may have to find you own bottle!
On other specialty of the house is the fresh-made lemonade. It's very similar to the stuff you get at county fairs and street festivals...just lemon juice, sugar, and water over ice. A true thirst quencher.
At least a few of the remaining stores are open for breakfast, as well and lunch and dinner hours.
If you are interested in a longer, though very unofficial, history of Hamburger Station, here's a link to a Wikipedia page: