If you have not heard the chitchat around campus or seen it while driving through town, Searcy is home to a new restaurant. HWY 55 opened on Monday, Sept. 14, and is located directly behind Burger King off of Beebe-Capps Expressway.
Black and white-checkered tile floors, coupled with a pink and blue color scheme, truly transport you back to a classic 1950s diner. Customers order from their table where a waiter or waitress takes their order. The dining area, where booths and tables sport classic chrome accents, opens to the kitchen area so that diners sitting at the bar area can watch as their meal is prepared.
The restaurant has more than 100 locations across the United States and is known for it’s burgers, shakes and fries. HWY 55 offers a wide variety of burger options. A customer would be hard pressed to find a burger that does not satisfy taste buds. Shrimp Po’ Boys, salads and cheesesteaks are a few of the other items offered on the menu.
The burgers can be ordered in two different sizes — regular or Andy’s. The Andy’s size burger is promoted as “twice the size.” You also have the option of a double or triple patty.
One of the staples of HWY 55 is the frozen custard. Described on the menu as “made fresh daily (and) smoother and creamier than ordinary ice cream,” it’s offered in vanilla or the flavor of the day. If you want a classic ice cream experience, you can get the custard by the scoop in a cup or waffle cone. If you are craving a more unique experience, you might order a concrete, sundae, shake or float customizable with 17 different toppings.
After reviewing the menu and taking in the surroundings, I decided on the Pimento Cheeseburger with fries and a Snickers concrete. Assistant photographer senior Emily Eason, who visited HWY 55 with me, had the John Boy and Billy BBQ Bacon Cheeseburger with fries and a chocolate shake. In an effort to give a well-rounded review, or perhaps just because we werehungry, we also split a chicken tender basket.
While we were both pleased with our burger choices, it was a consensus that burgers did not meet our expectations size-wise. For a restaurant that specializes in burgers, we expected a larger burger. We quickly realized that if you are looking for decent sized burger, you might consider upgrading to the Andy’s size.
Expectant of french fries that might become a new favorite food of ours in Searcy, we were again surprised with good, but average fries, especially from a restaurant that specializes in burgers, shakes and fries. I might also add for the dipping sauce connoisseur, that the honey mustard we ordered with our chicken tenders, which were crispy, juicy and golden brown, was not made in-house. The sauce came in a pre-packaged, plastic cup that, while adequate for our chicken, was a disappointment to a so-called sauce aficionado like myself.
As for the price, one can expect to spend $6 to $9 depending on what you order, plus an extra $2 to $4 if you decide on a frozen treat. If you order a signature Lemonade or Orangeade, be prepared to pay for each refill. For $7.69, the Original Special, which is advertised as the “award-winning daily special,” can get you a cheeseburger with fries and a soda.
Overall, I would give HWY 55 3.5 out of 5 Snickers concretes and recommend the 50s themed diner to anyone looking for a good meal and fun experience.
HWY 55 is open from 10:30 a.m. to 10 p.m. Sunday through Thursday and 10:30 a.m. to 11:00 p.m. Friday and Saturday.