Originally written on August 17, 2009.
Sadly, Stumpy's has since gone out of business, which is really too bad since I only had one punch left on my Stumpy card.
I am a sucker for good hamburgers with good fries, and soda that I can refill myself. This is why I have put several Burgers Supreme employees through college. The fries are essential. I don't care how awesome the burger is, if the fries are wilty, too skinny, too curly (Hellooo, Arby’s, I'm looking at YOU!), then that’s a deal breaker, ladies.
Two words: Stumpy Burger
On Center Street in Provo (255 West Center to be exact), you'll find a quaint little establishment that not only meets all of my expectations, but gets quite a few bonus points as well. I have only tried their basic "Bandit" burger, which consists of a toasted bun, high quality beef patty with cheese, red onions which can be grilled or raw (grilled in my case - it's worth the extra .25), crispy pickles, and a special sauce. Strangely, tomatoes and lettuce are not an option, but that matters to me not at all. The "Bandit Combo" includes the aforementioned burger, medium sized soda, and fries.
Now, let’s talk about the dining room. On every table you will find a basketful of peanuts, and another basket for the shells. No throwing the shells on the floor, though. That makes Stumpy a little cranky (and it’s not a good idea to make fictional restaurant names cranky). Some of the tables have computer consoles that will allow you to play video games, which is cool if you’re into that sort of thing (I’m not, but I won’t judge you if you are. Geek).
Stumpy’s has this whole raccoon theme going on. They sell stuffed raccoons (the toy kind, not road kill), and the employees all wear raccoon tails (the real kind, which may or may not have been obtained from road kill). These aren’t Davy Crocket hats, either. The Stumpy team proudly wears their tails right where you’d expect a tail to go. Is that weird? Yes, very. But so far it doesn’t seem to have affected the quality of food or service, so you won’t hear me complain.
Now, onto the fries. Stumpy fries are the perfect thickness, which is about the same as my index finger. And my fingers are averagely man-sized, so shut it. If my continued patronage to Stumpy Burger changes the girth of my fingers, then I’ll just start saying about half an inch. The thing that really makes the fries, though, is the sauce. You’ll get a bottle of your regular Utah-style fry sauce (mayo and ketchup and various secret ingredients. Pickle by-product?). But you’re missing out if you don’t try the special Stumpy sauce, which consists of mayo, horse radish, and cayenne pepper. Somehow this combo adds the perfect touch to spuds dunked in boiling fat.
The soda fountain is located on the customer side of the counter, which means I don’t have to sheepishly ask a worker every time I want a refill and wonder if they’re keeping track. They offer Pepsi products, which means that I can have Mountain Dew if I want. But their fountain has this nifty little contraption that will add flavor shots to your soda. These include vanilla, lime, cherry, and something else that doesn’t matter because vanilla is the only one I use anyway. If you have never had a Dr. Pepper with three shots of vanilla flavoring, well then, you simply don’t like to enjoy life. Either that or you don’t want to drink caffeine, which I totally respect, or you don’t want to ingest that much sugar, which I suppose I can also respect. Oh, Stumpy’s also serves water, which I am told consists of the perfect ratio of hydrogen and oxygen atoms.
There are a number of desserts on the menu as well. From the words written on the big wall behind the counter, I assume that they are all very scrumptious. Their shake machine arrived last week, which means you can’t get a shake if you go last week. But maybe you can this week.
So the next time you find yourself near Center Street in Provo, don’t just complain about having to find yourself in Provo. Stop in to Stumpy’s and introduce yourself to a Bandit Combo. And if the employees look at you funny for introducing yourself to food, just remind them that they have a raccoon tail where their upper bum should be.