I first heard of this place when I was dating my wife back in 2006 but had never eaten there. The story is told in similar fashion by people in New York saying they’ve never visited the Statue of Liberty. Hires is somewhat of a landmark in its own, and not just in Northern Utah, as it has garnered a couple national recognitions. You can find their fry sauce and root beer flavoring in local super markets. Don Hale started Hires back in 1959 and was a grocer by trade. I secretly think he started Hires so that his grocery store could be have exclusive selling rights to Hires products. My business savvy ensures me that this was his original plan, but successful hamburgers always win out in the end.
I showed up thinking I was going to have to eat in my car, but soon realized people were streaming inside to eat. The inside is nice, clean, and old. If you have objections to low ceilings (for me low ceilings = nursing homes) or if your over 7’ tall, this place might be difficult for you. The menu has a huge assortment of hamburgers – I counted 3 different kinds of bacon – and sandwiches and other standard offerings for diner style hamburger joints.
I had the Roquefort Bacon H, with onion rings, and a mug of their frosty, proprietary root beer. The burger had a great flavor with the Roquefort dressing on it. The hamburger patties are square shaped and delicious (they grind their own chuck daily) but a little on the thin side. The grilled country bacon though on the burger is excellent and makes up for the lacking meat flavor. The veggies on the burger could have been better, lettuce wasn’t as crisp as could be, but I will bet it would be in the summer time, Hires claims to buy local produce. The bun is phenomenal. There was enough flour dust on the tip that made we start to wonder if I‘d be able to get back through security on the return to work. The bun is seriously amazing.
The onion rings as well were think, well breaded, and well flavored. I would have to say that they are the best onion rings I’ve had. The rootbeer I’ve had before and is good. The frosty mug makes it better.
Overall this is a great place to have a hamburger, but was a little pricey. I still don’t understand why onion rings or sweet potato fries cost more than fries. I also didn’t notice that a frosty mug was more expensive than regular cup. I dropped $11 here with a slight pang of cognitive dissonance. As mentioned above, it is a nationaly recognized burger as Zagat rated it at one point one of the top 25 burgers in the country. I personally can’t vouch for that but would definitely say it’s easily one of the top 25 in Utah, probably top 10-15 at this point. I can’t wait to go back again.