Beef ‘n Buns is a slice of paradise proper in Frederick


At age 42, Crystal McClure will not be outdated by any modern commonplace, save for these in Hollywood and Olympic gymnastics. However she’s sufficiently old to recollect what Frederick seemed like many years in the past. She remembers her elementary faculty, close to the intersection of East Patrick Road and Monocacy Boulevard, the place a Sheetz and Burger King now sit. She remembers Freez King, the beloved unique, not the second-generation stand, which, by the way in which, can also be historical past. She remembers stopping for a chocolate sundae with cherries on high at Cheeseburger in Paradise, situated simply blocks from her childhood dwelling.

Cheeseburger in Paradise is now Beef ‘n Buns ‘n Paradise as a result of, it appears, Jimmy Buffett can’t abide others cashing in on his tropical fantasies. Nowadays, McClure lives even nearer to this drive-through vacation spot for burgers, canines, shakes and a quick respite from the economic lifetime of East Frederick. She, in truth, lives subsequent door. About two years in the past, she purchased the enterprise and its adjoining rental properties from the earlier house owners, Rod and Vicki Sipes, who determined to make their very own paradise in Florida with or with out cheeseburgers.

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McClure runs the enterprise with respect for Beef ‘n Buns’ place in Frederick’s eating ecosystem, delicate to the group’s desires and economics. She has barely touched the menu since taking up operations. She hasn’t added birria tacos, butter boards, ramen lasagna or another dish that has had a second on TikTok earlier than crawling into the curio cupboard of Twenty first-century cooking. No, she understands why locals come to Beef ‘n Buns, and it’s not for the development du jour. It’s for the consolation. It’s for a way of continuity in a world largely absent of it. It’s for bubble gum Parrot-Ice after a Little League recreation.

Beef ‘n Buns is the type of small-town burger joint that doesn’t normally survive the march of time, actually not in an period when Shake Shack, 5 Guys and In-N-Out appear hellbent on muscling out any competitor with native coloration. However McClure isn’t the kind to again down from a battle. She possesses the correct mix of heat, good humor and the lack to undergo fools. There’s an indication above the order window at Beef ‘n Buns, not removed from the pretend palm-frond fan and the surfboards propped within the nook. It just about sums up the McClure ethos: “ATTENTION: Do you wish to converse to the MAN in cost or to the WOMAN who is aware of what’s happening?”

McClure learn the room appropriately when the Sipeses first thought of promoting the store: If not for her intervention, the enterprise would have in all probability gone the way in which of Freez King. Different consumers, McClure advised me, “simply wished the land, and so they didn’t need the enterprise. Or in the event that they wished the enterprise, they didn’t wish to preserve it the identical. They wished to place one thing else in right here. And I simply received to speaking with Rod and Vicki, and I’m like, ‘Look, what do I received to do?’”

Can a enterprise one that helps protect native tradition ever be thought of a hero, or no less than hero-adjacent? Most likely not, due to the monetary rewards they’ll reap. I imply, this isn’t philanthropy. However regardless, McClure grades excessive on my inside Charge-a-Restaurateur scorecard. (Wager you didn’t even know that exists, proper?) The decision: First-time restaurateur buys an area establishment, throughout a pandemic no much less, and units apart her ego to keep up the continuity of a spot that’s been serving Frederick since 1995. 4 stars.

The meals is fairly wonderful, too. Begin with — what else? — the burgers. The Cape Maye burger is a distillation of the whole lot I like about Beef ‘n Buns: the reliance on native beef, sourced from Wagner’s Meats and Mount Airy Meat Locker. The Maryland pleasure, manifested within the type of a crab cake that’s perched atop the burger. And the devil-may-care angle of a 3rd animal protein (sliced ham) as a result of, on this paradise, you’ll be able to have no matter you would like for, form of like Seth Rogen and Jay Baruchel within the final scene of “This Is the Finish.” The Cajun Bleu burger (a patty dipped in sizzling sauce, then topped with sliced ham, fries, lettuce, tomato, onion and a remaining drizzle of blue cheese dressing) is simply as depraved because the Cape Maye — and simply as depraved good.

The recent canines are the all-beef selection, fats and snappy. You’ll be able to tuck certainly one of these jumbo hyperlinks right into a toasted bun, together with your selection of toppings, together with a housemade chili. I dig the canines. The chili tilts towards the candy finish of the spectrum, nearer to sloppy Joes than to the cayenne-infused Texas stew I want. Must you strive the chili canine, I’d counsel ordering the model with a streak of nacho cheese, which cuts the treacly meat sauce. Except, after all, you occur to love the candy tomato shimmer of sloppy Joes; then, by all means, go along with the usual chili canine. That is paradise, in any case. All of your needs needs to be glad.

Beef ‘n Buns presents a prolonged checklist of sandwiches and subs. I want the meat-heavy preparations to the salads blended with tuna or hen, which might profit from a pinch extra salt and pepper. However let me let you know concerning the pulled pork sandwich: It blew away my (admittedly low) expectations. McClure and crew sometimes trot out a smoker to slow-cook pork butts, that are pulled, sauced and tucked right into a toasted kaiser roll. Smoky, tangy and a contact spicy, this pulled pork outperforms numerous variations I’ve sampled at precise barbecue joints. The corned beef for the Reuben will not be ready in-house, however you gained’t care as soon as it’s piled excessive inside griddled slices of rye. The steak and cheese, with its neat row of tomatoes and squares of American cheese, would preserve a Philadelphian up at evening, however it’s a tasty jawn all its personal.

A cease at Beef ‘n Buns is mainly a license to indulge. What I imply is that when you make the choice to go, all moderation and dietary guidelines needs to be briefly suspended. Which doesn’t imply it is best to order no matter random temptations seem earlier than your eyes on the dizzyingly lengthy menu. You’ll be able to safely skip the fried seafood, pre-battered and frozen, and save your guilt for actual indulgences, just like the malted shakes; floats; snow cones (referred to as Parrot-Ice); parfaits; or the aptly named Peanut Butter Overdose, during which vanilla ice cream is layered right into a waffle bowl and accessorized with housemade peanut butter sauce, crushed peanuts, whipped cream and crumbled Reese’s cups.

I ought to observe that Beef ‘n Buns will not be a conventional drive-through. You don’t pull your automobile as much as the window, place an order and peel off together with your bag. You need to name forward and decide up; Beef ‘n Buns doesn’t do on-line ordering. For those who’re not in a rush, I’d counsel strolling contained in the store’s enclosed porch, the place you would possibly meet McClure or her daughter, Ashley, and even her mom, Terry Fox. Any certainly one of them may be working the entrance window. You’ll be able to thank them for preserving native tradition after which convey your order to the patio, the place you’ll be able to sit close to a gator holding a soft-serve cone and stare on the Sheetz throughout the road. You’ll be able to mirror on what was — and what nonetheless is — in Frederick.

Beef ‘n Buns ‘n Paradise

1201 E. Patrick St., Frederick, Md., 301-631-0188;

Hours: 11 a.m. to six p.m. Wednesday via Friday, 11 a.m. to eight p.m. Saturday and midday to eight p.m. Sunday.

Costs: $2.99 to $15.99 for all gadgets on the menu.

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