Shady Glen, where you can get unique cheeseburger called "Bernice Original."

"Shady Glen" is one of the hamburger places I longed for trying.
It's mentioned in several editions of "Hamburger America" and they have a unique cheeseburger.

I think the gospel singers on the roof can be seen only in winter.
When I first heard it's located in Manchester, I thought of England but it's in Connecticut, USA.

The official name is "Shady Glen Dairy Stores" and it's established in 1948 by Josh and Bernice Rieg.

"Bernice Original" is the famous cheeseburger.
Even though it's a type of cheeseburger, it's something you've never seen anywhere else.

It's a cute diner with a lot of tables and long counters with good old wall paintings and menu board.

Makes me think of the panels outside of movie theaters.

This painting was behind the counter and covering the whole wall.

This is on the right part and it still goes further than the window.

This is the counter in front of the wall painting.
You can see a waitress's uniform a little bit here.
Actually people who work there wear classic uniforms; cooks wear paper hat with white shirt and black pants, and waitresses wear dark green maid-ish one-piece with puff sleeves and white little apron on the skirt.

She brought us water in tiny paper cups when we're seated with menu. 
You can see it on the right corner of the photo below.

We both ordered Bernice Original.
She didn't ask us how we would like the patty, which is a little bit unusual for me as they use 100% beef.
I asked her no coleslaw as it uses mayo and she offered me extra onion rings.
My fiance had coleslaw with french fries, which is I think a most common sides.

I didn't order a drink and asked a glass of water, but she was still happy to serve it to me with a little coaster used for shakes and other soft drinks.
Soon after, she brought us a sauce rack of 4 types with covers on.
Diced onions, cut pickles, yellow mustard, and ketchup.
It was my first time to see this and it's such a smart idea to carry 4 bins at once.

Here it comes, Bernice Original burger!

As you can see, I literally got "extra" onion rings.

From the other side.

Close look.
Cheese looks so crispy... (drool)

Another close look from the other side.

Took off the bun to put ketchup and saw melting cheese on the beef patty.

Slightly different look from the photo above.
The way to eat this is to fold the crispy cheese onto the patty and bind with the bun on the top.
I followed the way and it was surely a never-had-before texture.
I'd never had any cheeseburger which gives two different texture; melty and crispy.

The bun was about the same size of McDonald's one, so it didn't take that long to finish this, besides it was just so good.

I asked if I could take a photo of the kitchen and a waitress said, "Sure, you can take photos fine." 
I kind of ran to a vacant table seat and extended my arm with camera to take a photo when Bernice Original is cooked.

It's hard to see clearly but they start toasting bread and also cooking the patty, then when patty is almost ready, they take out 4 slices of cheese.
Then, they put them on the meat.
Cheese covering the meat starts melting, but the rest of the cheese has flown to the barbecue pan and soon it gets crispy.

Now I kind of see why they didn't ask how we wanted the meat.
My guess is that they prepare this special cheeseburger with such a unique way, they can't promise how the meat comes out.

I also liked the onion rings, which seemed more than a whole onion they had fried.
The batter was thin and light and onion inside wasn't greasy, so definitely they're delicious.
When I said to our waitress, she said it's from frozen package and cooks were good at frying them properly.
Such an honest and funny reply, but I was a little bit curious if she had meant it's bought or they prepare in the diner and freeze them, yet I didn't ask this.
Needless to say, the fries were also good and the cooks fry things perfectly.

We ordered a scoop of butter crunch ice cream.
It came in a classic silver cup.

From another angle.

With paper napkin holder and also salt and pepper.
It had decent sweetness which could be loved by anybody and was good to have something sweet after eating salty food :)

As their official name contain dairy stores, they had many kinds of ice creams and shakes.
Right next to the cash counter, they sell ice cream bucket and I saw some people came in and only bought one or two without eating the burger.

Not only the burger is interesting, but the layout is really smart and well designed.
Tables and counters are surrounding little spaces where waitresses walk through to the customers, to the kitchen, and even to the cash counter freely and easily.
To put the explanation in another way, it's like a tree; trunk is the kitchen and cash counter, branches are the walk-through, and leaves are the tables and counters.

This rough layout of the right side of the restaurant I created might help you see what it looks like.
Orange parts are tables and counters and blue dots are chairs.
White small paths not connect to the bold outline are where waitresses walk through.
If the drawing didn't help you picture the layout either, you've got another reason to go there.
Try "Bernice Original" and to see the interesting layout.

Shady Glen Dairy Stores
840 Middle Tpke E
Manchester, CT 06040

Open year around (according to some websites).
Cash only.

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