Hogan’s Diner

Cheeseburger Deluxe

Hogan’s Diner (sometimes referred to as Hogan’s Cafe Deluxe or Hogan’s Hamburgers) is a South Hill diner in the classic 1950s style, complete with period decorations and oldies tunes.

It’s a popular spot, and when I visited during the lunch hour on a weekday, the place was packed. In fact, I sat at the only available table. That kind of popularity means they must be doing something right, but having eaten at popular restaurants with lousy burgers before, I remained cautious.

The menu has a lot of breakfast choices, which are served all day, and which were popular with the other patrons during my visit. Sitting at my table, I could smell pancakes, and they smelled amazing. Unfortunately, there was also an odd, off putting smell in the dining room I never could identify.

The menu has a half-dozen burger options, and each comes with a 1/3 pound beef patty and fries. The options range from a simple hamburger to a bacon and bleu cheese burger.

There’s also something called a Blazin’ Burger that comes with two different kinds of hot peppers and jalapeño mustard. That sounds right up my alley, and I’ll definitely go back to give it a try, but I have to follow my own rules for these reviews. With that in mind, the only burger I could pick was the Cheeseburger Deluxe.

The Burger

The Cheeseburger Deluxe at Hogan’s Diner comes topped with cheddar cheese, lettuce, tomato, pickles, and mayonnaise.  You can also add grilled or fresh onions. I ordered with fresh onions and no pickles.

Being such a busy place, it took about 10 minutes for my burger to arrive at my table from the time I ordered it. At first glance, it wasn’t much to look at. Little care was taken to make the burger appear appetizing, and to make matters worse, I could see pickle slices.

Upon further inspection, not only were there five pickle slices (five! I asked for none!), but the burger was conspicuously devoid of onions. This wasn’t a good first impression.

Luckily, everything improved from there. The other ingredients all appeared to be fresh, and the burger patty was cooked through. Not only was there no pink, but the meat was moist.

I’m not sure what kind of bun it was (maybe some kind of potato roll?), but it was fresh, soft, and pleasantly dense. I didn’t notice whether it was toasted or not, but looking back at my photos, it doesn’t look like it. If it was toasted, it was very light.

The burger had fantastic flavor, with the beef coming through loud and clear. There was a tad more mayo on there than I’d like, but it tasted good and paired well with the other ingredients. I would have liked a little more salt and black pepper on the patty, and obviously the residual pickle taste detracted from the overall experience.

The Fries

Every burger at Hogan’s Diner comes with a healthy pile of thick cut fries. Mine were not the least bit greasy, and had a wonderful potato flavor. They were also a good temperature when they arrived.

They needed salt, however, and they weren’t really crispy. That’s not to say they were soft and limp, far from it, but I didn’t get a good “bite” when eating the fries.

The Price

The Cheeseburger Deluxe at Hogan’s Diner is $9 before tax. Considering how tasty the burger was, that I received a pile of fries I would describe as being “just right” in size, and considering after the meal I was satisfied without feeling stuffed, I’d say it’s a good value.

The Restaurant

Hogan’s Diner is a snapshot in time, with plenty of 1950s style. Nostalgia is on every wall, and although there’s plenty to see, I never felt like the walls were cluttered.

The walls were a bit dirty, however, with dust on the picture frames, and what appeared to be food stains in some places. At least the tables and seats were clean.

The place was packed with people, which made for a lively atmosphere. I could barely hear the oldies music playing above the general din of the restaurant. The cook was making plenty of noise at the flat top, the shake machine ran nearly non-stop, and people were engaged in conversation at every table.

The service could certainly have been better. No one was rude, but I felt like I was “just another customer.” Maybe it’s just me, but I feel like a ’50s diner experience should include a more folksy, personable wait staff.

My water was refilled during the meal before I had run out completely, and I appreciated the attention to something so easily overlooked.

The bathroom wasn’t especially dirty and didn’t smell.

Honestly, I wasn’t expecting to find such a good burger and fries here, and they would have been even better had my food come the way I ordered it. A few small tweaks would improve this place, taking it from really good to truly great.

All told, Hogan’s Diner is a family-friendly restaurant with plenty of 1950s charm. It’s a fun place to come for a burger and fries—and probably a shake too. I’ll have to try those when I come back for my Blazin’ Burger.

Hogan’s Diner
2977 E 29th Ave. Spokane, WA 99223
(509) 535-7567

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