There are times when all you need is a good burger and fries. And Hutch’s on the Beach satisfies that need.
While many other food bloggers in the Toronto and surrounding areas are currently entranced with any food establishment offering gourmet burgers, I’d like to take a moment to talk about the good old-fashioned diners of days gone by that still produce tasty, filling meals (without the over-pricey extra fixings). The experience and atmosphere is what you enjoy at these types of places.
Frank recently introduced me to Hutch’s on the Beach, a 1950s style restaurant along the lake shore at Van Wagners Beach in Hamilton, Ontario.
On the day of our visit, we were dealing with a fairly good rain storm. Puddles everywhere. Despite the soggy weather, the parking lot at Hutch’s, as well as the restaurant, was fairly packed.
As you step inside Hutch’s, which has been in business since 1946, you are greeted by the sight of a long counter, with a huge black sign showcasing everything in large lettering (great for those aging eyes), that can be ordered. Burgers of various kinds (banquet burgers, cheese burgers, regular burgers…), fish and chips, hot dogs… Everything that you’d want after a few hours spent on the beach.
Once you order, you wait patiently for your number and take it to your table. Seating is available in the main room with the counter, or in banquettes with a view to the outside boardwalk and beach area.
We chose cheeseburgers – me with fries, and Frank his beloved onion rings. The portion size is perfect – not too small, not too big. Just enough to satisfy. We saw large orders for fish and chips and were surprised by the huge portions (a huge heap of french fries and two platter-sized pieces of battered fish). They looked tempting for a future visit.
The burgers tasted like they were home-made – real patties, not too big but with enough meat, fresh vegetables, a cheese slice and the simple flavours of mustard, ketchup and relish. Nothing fancy, but filling. The fries were fresh-chopped and not overly greasy. What we both loved was the onion rings – crispy on the outside and cooked well on the inside.
Sitting at a banquette, we liked checking out the old-time songs on the mini-jukebox. The look and feel is of an old-school diner. I was expecting to see a waitress in a poodle skirt popping out from behind the counter. Sports memorabilia covers the walls of Hutch’s offering cool things to look at, if you are lost for words during your meal.
For those who don’t wish a full meal, you can enjoy ice cream sundaes and other desserts as well (found in the area where the banquettes are, by the beach).
Would I visit Hutch’s again? Yes. Is it a place for a casual date after a walk along the beach? Definitely yes. Food quality? Good burgers – nothing fancy, but they will satisfy your hunger. Price: Approx. $10/person or less, depending on what you get.
Hutch’s on the Beach
280 Van Wagners Beach Rd