Why is Braum’s so awesome?

posted in Food on Jul 20, 2010

Well, I admit it. I have a natural addiction to our local ice cream and dairy store. The fast food chain, the very one that specializes in tasty malts and shakes, has a latch into my wallet. It has such strong ties to my stomach I eat there at least three times a week, even though it would be a really good idea for me to, you know, not do that.

For those of you who are not from around the heart of the nation (good ol’ Oklahoma), you may not have ever heard of Braum’s. It is an interesting amalgam of burger joint, ice cream joint, and market, and for the most part excels at all three. The market is not a huge affair, but has the basics. If you absolutely need some juice or bread or milk (which is quite tasty), then a stop here after work is generally quicker than hitting Wal-Mart or Target during rush hour.

For me and my recent obsession, it doesn’t really help that there is one of these places right across the street from my place. When the thought “I want something quick” jumps into my mind, there is no quicker place – at least to get to – than whatever is across the street. It’s a blessing and a curse.

But from what I’ve written so far, you would assume that question posed by the title of this would have already been answered. What makes the place so awesome? All the tasty things inside. There has to be a “but,” though, right? Right. For as tasty the food, the drawbacks come with the service and cleanliness you will find. There are three Braum’s restaurants near my general route to and from work: one across the street, one on May Ave. just south of 63rd, and one on Penn just south of I-44. All three suffer from slow orders. Tonight, for example, when a number-one-with-no-onions-and-a-Sprite craving came over me, I waited behind two cars in the drive-through for about fifteen minutes. Unfortunately, such an experience is not rare nor limited to that one store. I will give the chain credit for making food that generally feels like it was made recently, not like McDonald’s where you assume a plastic mold assembled your meal, but there are often times where I pass the restaurant knowing that I can drive a little further but get food faster.

The other issue I generally have is that two of the three of these restaurants are generally dirty. It is a shame, but it’s true. When dealing with melty treats, one can see how there would be a higher percentage of spills than, say, a place with no melty treats. But when you have a hard time finding a place to sit down as a result, it is a little harder to let go. Also of some concern, are the flying beasties about.

I will let you guess which food chain that’s referencing. I remembered this tweet just the other day as I was sitting and waiting on some food. As I sat, staring blankly out of the window as people who are waiting are wont to do, I noticed three fly corpses resting peacefully on the windowsill, their drying bodies a testament to failed conquests. I am not one who necessarily gets all freaked out by a sight like that, but it is a sight I would rather not see as a customer.

I don’t enjoy saying negative things regarding local businesses (no matter what you’ve heard to the contrary). I feel like these things are fairly legitimate complaints, though. And the store near 63rd and May is generally quicker and cleaner than the other two I have referenced, so those problems are not wholly permeated throughout the chain.

But what’s your take? If you have had the tasty splendors that await within a Braum’s, are your experiences the same as mine? Or am I just a loon?