Bill Thomas’ Halo Burger
800 South Saginaw St
Flint, MI 48502
Visiting Santa Claus, decorating the Christmas Tree, Christmas dinner with the family, gift giving, opening presents…common Christmas traditions that many people associate with the holiday. We do these in my family but we have another one that’s not so common. I grew up loving Hamburgers, not a real shocker there but so did my Mom. We would always go out for Burgers for special occasions and most of the time they were sliders or some form of flat top griddled Hamburger. Now that I moved to NYC from Detroit, I don’t get to see my Mom as often so when we get a Burger, it’s extra special. That’s why when I go home for the holidays, we try to go out for a Burger.
Michigan has a rich history of Burgers, many of which are still serving today.
Miller’s, Bray’s, Halo Burger, Hunter House, Motz Restaurant, Krazy Jim’s Blimpy Burger, Red Coat Tavern, Loose Meat sandwiches at your choice of Coney Island diners and even White Castle still command a demand audience of Burger lovers. While visiting home for the holidays, my wife and I joined my Mom on pursuit for a Burger we haven’t had in a long, long time.
Back in 1923, the Kewpee Hotel Hamburgs restaurant opened in Flint, MI by Samuel V. Blair. The business exploded and eventually around 400 Kewpee’s existed. As of today there are only 5 left, 2 in Michigan and 3 in Ohio. 10 years later William “Bill” V. Thomas started working at a Kewpee in Flint, MI. He eventually took over the license and until 1967 he operated as such. It was then that Bill re-opened as Bill Thomas’ Halo Burger. The full story and some amazing historical pictures can be found on their website. Halo Burger has since expanded to 10 locations all in the Flint, MI area.
The Halo Burger menu keeps it simple offering Hamburgers, Chicken Sandwiches, Strips & Nuggets as well as Fries / Tots & Coney Dogs. All their Burgers are made fresh to order from 100% fresh ground Beer and served on white squishy Bun. Their most popular Burger, the Q.P., a 1/4 LB Burger, photogenically spelled like it’s predecessor. The one thing Halo does that is not like the others, an Olive Burger which comes topped with it’s namesake & Mayo.
I fondly remember eating Q.P.’s when we would stop at Halo Burger on the way up North and couldn’t wait to return.
We hopped in the car and drove up to the original Halo, still located in downtown Flint. My order, very simple; a Q.P. Burger, Cheese & Lettuce only, French Fries and an order of their Chicken Nuggets, which are shaped like dinosaurs. The Burger was just as I remembered it, fresh, hot & tasty. The small handful brought back all kinds of great memories of childhood road trips that were made even more special by pulling off the road and eating a Q.P. Burger. The Burger isn’t just good, it’s a piece of American history.
Bronners Christmas Wonderland
1515 S Main St
Frankenmuth, MI 48734
After our Burgers, we hopped back into the car and drove about 27 miles North to experience another piece of American history, Bronner’s Christmas Wonderland. Bronner’s is the world’s LARGEST Christmas store. It’s located in Frannkenmuth, MI, a Bavarian style vacation village most famous for Bronner’s and the Chicken served at it’s various restaurants. Every day is Christmas in Frankenmuth and it’s all centered around the mega sized complex known as Bronner’s.
Wally Bronner originally opened the store in 1945 and is now open 361 days a year, hosting nearly 2,000,000 visitors annually. The entire store is the size of 5.5 football fields and offers almost ANYTHING you can imagine in the form of Christmas decorations. Whether it’s Trees, Ornaments, Snowmen, Mangers, you name it, Bronner’s probably carries it. After coming the store looking for 1 item in particular I found ornaments shaped like Pizza, Space Aliens, Hawaiian Shirts and even round ones emblazoned with the words “I Love My Gerbil.” The diversity in offerings is absolutely stunning and almost unending.
But leave it to me, I want the one thing they didn’t have, a Hamburger Ornament. Kudos to Bronner’s though, after I tweeted about my experience, they hit me back with:
“@yeahman So sorry you missed our hamburger ornament bit.ly/wuWRts Stock is getting low but will be reordered.” Now you know what to get me for Christmas next year!
THE BURGER COUNTQUEST
Dec, 30 2011 – 3:11 pm
The Rev Meter for Social Community
“The Rev Meter” is a social community meter for assessing how optimized a bar or restaurant is with social networking. By taking what I consider to be the 10 most important social networks and creating a point system, I can accurately asses how well your business is using social networking as a tool. My goal here is to educate and assist great business to better effectively use these tools.
4 points or less You’ve missed the 5 basics and are less than optimized
5 points You’ve covered the basics, which is better than most but far from optimized.
6 to 9 points You’re doing better than most and on your way to becoming a well respected social community whiz.
10 points Congrats on a perfect score! Are you hiring?