While riding is most certainly about satisfying my adrenaline addiction, it’s also about the drinks, local eats, and good company. I typically pick rides that are off the beaten path, but to keep the wife interested on the road I typically throw in local pubs, mom & pop cafes, and if I’m lucky, a street stand with hot dogs, soul food, or fried Americana. So much so, that these are often the best parts of the trip, or at least a good excuse to wonder 3 hours south to the Ohio border for lunch (more on that later).
So… it’s still January in Ohio, less than ideal riding weather, but that doesn’t mean I can’t stop in at my local burger joint. Not just any burger joint, but a local, polarizing, cult favorite “The Hamburger Wagon”.
The story goes that during the great flood of 1913 a local Miamisburg resident volunteered to help serve food for flood victims and relief workers. Using a favorite family recipe, he served up hamburgers to everyone in the local relief camp. The burgers were extremely popular, even after the flood, so much so he began selling his secret recipe burgers on Saturdays. Eventually this endeavor moved up to 7 days a week, and is now a “historic” stop in downtown Miamisburg.
If you show up around lunch time, be prepared to wait in line, but the wait is worth it. I have no idea what the “secret” is, but they’re delicious. Old-school, like grandma used to make; hand pattied ground chuck, pan fried in an iron skillet, served on slider buns. Salt, pepper, thickly sliced onion, and a sandwich pickle. Don’t waste your time asking for cheese, because there is none. Grab a coke and some salt and vinegar chips and that’s lunch. These sliders are $1.25 each, typically sold by the bag-load. I will warn you… the before mentioned onion is pretty heavy; if you’re not a fan, I recommend skipping the onion. Along with that, try one; I’m warning you now, they’re addictive, but every now an then, I do meet folks that just won’t have it. That’s why I said “polarizing”, they seem to be “love it” or “hate it” from what I can tell; I’m most certainly in the former.
Beyond a delicious snack, the Hamburger Wagon is a great stop at the beginning or end of a local ride. The Miami River is directly across the street, which serves as a good corridor for local twisty roads if you’re just looking for a short local ride; even better if you’re headed out to south eastern Indiana where the real twisties are hiding. Hopefully I’ll find a few photos of Indiana 229 this spring and some local broasted chicken for another edition of street eats.