Burger Delight definitely has a specialty, but it's not just burgers--it's fast, hot, inexpensive, good food.
Start with breakfast. The menu has a nice selection of egg sandwiches for only $1.75 each. And the staff is great with customers trying to make early shifts--they'll open the doors at 5:20 a.m. and you're likely to be in and out of there in 10 minutes.
Our bologna and egg sandwich was perfectly cooked (no runny eggs here), served on lightly toasted bread and piping hot (in fact so hot, that we had to let it cool for a minute before we could bite into it). Egg and bacon, egg and sausage or egg and ham are $1.75 options as well, but my boyfriend was sad that there was no egg and scrapple.
If you are in the mood for an egg-only sandwich ($1.15) or maybe a bacon-only sandwich ($2.50), Burger Delight has them as well. Pick your favorite, shake on a little hot sauce, and you are good to go.
The menu, posted above the cash register, includes daily specials. For our lunch visit, we tried a regular's favorite--the Philly steak and cheese sub ($4.69). The fresh roll was stuffed with thinly sliced steak, grilled onions, provolone cheese, lettuce, tomato and mayonnaise. It's a wonderful meal all by itself.
We also tried the whiting fish fillet sandwich ($4.75), which was good but so huge I had to cut it into quarters before I could get it into my mouth. The fish was thick and flaky, lightly breaded and fried (but not greasy), served hot on a warm fresh roll with lettuce, tomato and mayonnaise. And there was not a bone in sight!
The barbecue sandwich ($2.75) is North Carolina style--minced pork with red hot pepper flakes and that distinctive vinegar tang. We tried it with the fresh cole slaw and it was definitely a winner. In this case the sandwich wasn't big enough for me; I suggest ordering the larger, sub-size version.
Surprisingly, given the name of the establishment, the cheeseburger royal ($2.15) was probably the least distinctive sandwich we tried. It was hot and well prepared on a fresh lightly toasted roll with lettuce, tomato and mayonnaise, but compared with the rest of our sandwiches it didn't inspire a following at our table.
Other menu options include hot dogs, chili dogs, half-smokes, two kinds of soup daily (our choices were bean or vegetable), roast turkey breast, chicken salad, tuna salad, chicken wings and BLTs, to name a few.
At breakfast and lunch we saw a steady stream of customers. But despite the size of the line, I was amazed at how quickly the food was ready. There is plenty of room to sit--seven booths--but they were mostly empty since most of Burger Delight's customers seem to grab their sandwiches and run.
Owner Theo Hackney has five other restaurants in the area. Three of them are in Prince George's County, though one goes by another name (see below for addresses). The menus at the Temple Hills and Hyattsville Burger Delights have more items (pork chops, roast beef, assorted vegetables . . . ). And the other Beltsville restaurant--Tommy's Sandwich Shop--promises the same fast, hot, cheap, good food.
Burger Delight, 10401 Ewing Rd., Beltsville, Md. 20705; call 301-937-9753. Monday-Friday, 5:30 a.m.-5 p.m.; Closed Saturday and Sunday.
Other locations: Burger Delight, 3301 Kenilworth Ave., Hyattsville, Md.; call 301-699-9811. Monday-Friday, 6 a.m.-6 p.m.; Saturday, 6 a.m.-3 p.m. Closed Sunday. Burger Delight, 4306 St. Barnabas Rd., Temple Hills, Md.; call 301-423-9120. Monday-Friday, 5:30 a.m.-5 p.m.; Saturday. 5:30 a.m.-4 p.m. Closed Sunday. Tommy's Sandwich Shop, 11303 Old Baltimore Pike, Beltsville, Md.; call 301-937-8505. Monday- Friday, 5:30 a.m.-4 p.m. Closed Saturday and Sunday.
CAPTION: Steak and cheese sub with fries from Burger Delight in Beltsville.