Review – Harmon’s Hamburgers

I just got back in from lunch with Paul Weldner and Kyle Poissonnier at Harmon’s Hamburgers on the Gray Road in Falmouth. Here’s the skinny.

Harmons Hamburgers, Falmouth Maine

I had heard of Harmon’s only recently, even though it’s been in business for over 40 years. Murdaa and I actually tried to go a few weekends ago, but they close on Sundays. I actually felt kind of bad leaving Murdaa out on today’s trip, but he’ll get over it. Besides we hit up the opening night of Five Guys and afterwards he claimed he was “done with burgers for a while”, ANYWAY-

Walking in felt like entering  a time machine. The decor reminded me of the ski lodge at Mt. Jefferson ski area in Lee, Maine – In other words, straight outta 1978. There were endless old-timey milk bottles filled with a white granular substance on the walls, which I thought was pretty cool, as well as newspaper clippings from press the joint had received over the decades.

The next thing I noticed was the extremely limited menu. This isn’t a new concept in the burger world – places like In-N-Out Burger and Five Guys Burgers and Fries push limited menus of almost just burgers and fries, the idea being that they “do one thing, and do it well”. However, I had never seen this concept used in a locally owned establishment. There was signage in multiple spots on the wall and menu that generally stated that A) They operate cash-only B) Patrons are unable to “get it their way” and if they desire this they should head to Burger King, and C) If you leave the lid on the ice bucket open, the ice will melt, dumbass.

I’m on the fence about the no-cards thing. I never carry cash (Weldner had to pay for all three of our meals, which was ironic considering that today is his birthday and I was intent on treating him to lunch) so it’s an inconvenience to me, and it doesn’t seem like it can be good for business in this day and age, but it definitely makes a statement. Harmon’s is effectively running the business the exact same way it did 40 years ago, and that kind of resistance to change attracts a following. As I watched people coming and going, eating in and picking up take-out orders, I got the feeling that many of them were regular customers.

Delish!

The food: The burgers are small and cheap. (2 bucks for regular, 4 for doubles) This is not for people who dig on giant “gourmet” burgers that you have to eat with a knife, this is comfort food. Weldner got two doubles, which in retrospect was a good choice, since my two regular cheeseburgers left me wanting more after the meal. (Still hungry an hour later as I write this, and my mouth is watering as I recollect the patties) They were delicious. Fried onions are a favorite topping at Harmon’s, and they didn’t disappoint. Their other calling card is “red relish”, which tasted to me like a thai-style dipping sauce and was JUST AWESOME.

Harmon’s is worth checking out – Grab a quick bite and read the articles on the walls and get a little sense of the place’s history. From what I saw, nothing much has changed, and that seems to be the way they like it.

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About Peter Jensen Bissell

Commercial Photographer and aspiring brewer. Documenting interesting clients, Observations on Portland life, and marketing/biz ideas for photographers,
This entry was posted in Food, Personal Life and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Review – Harmon’s Hamburgers

  1. Joe Dunbar says:

    I got introduced to Harmon’s for the first time last year by a co-worker. The burgers are good, but always leave you wanting more. ☺ Love the photos!!

  2. catherine frost says:

    When I lived in Falmouth, Harmon’s was on my commute into Portland and every morning I could smell the onions they were chopping for their burgers – somedays it made my eyes water. Always thought the place looked fascinating, I never went in because I don’t eat red meat. Should have…sounds like a trip in time.

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