For our first official dive visit, we chose one of Cincinnati’s quintessential burger holes: Quatman Cafe. Located on an unassuming corner in a working class Norwood neighborhood, Quatmans is the kind of place that reminds you of eating a burger at Grandma’s.
What to order at Quatman Cafe?
Ordering at Quatman Cafe is simple as a big concession stand menu spells out the basics. To be honest, there is only one option on a Monday night you should be choosing… $7 for a burger, fries, and an ice cold Hudy beer makes Quatmans the best deal going. Old chairs and plastic table covers just seem to fit in the dimly lit restaurant not much bigger than a good sized living room.
When you walk in, you expect to see a table of guys having burgers and beers after a long day of work. I guess today we qualified as those guys, but the place quickly filled up with other groups and even a little league team ready to have a good burger.
America has a serious love for the cheeseburger, and almost every single medium priced restaurant claims to have the best burger in town. Within fifteen miles of my house I can get a burger done in several ways: with an egg on top, with a banana and peanut butter, with an onion ring on top, with a sausage on top, with pizza sauce and pepperoni, and I’m just getting started. Most restaurants have at least six burgers on their menu. No need for this nonsense at Quatmans. Everyone at our table ordered the exact same thing: a cheeseburger. Sure, one asked for no cheese and two people asked for fancier cheese than regular American, but still… A round of burgers. Simple as that.
I’m reminded of the “Parks and Recreation,” episode where Chris Traeger (Rob Lowe) and Ron Swanson (Nick Offerman) square off on who can make the better burger… Chris presents some fancy creation that took hours while Ron simply made a burger and said, “garnish with ketchup if you’d like.” Ron won. Quatmans is the Ron Swanson style of cheeseburgers. Simple, tasty, and a testament to the desires of hungry fellas everywhere.
The burger is served one way: Cooked. It comes with a big hunk of onion and a pile of pickles. The fries are piled high and nice & crispy. What else can you say? It’s just good.
The lowdown on Quatman Cafe:
While we’re still setting up our official Dives without Wives ranking system, Quatman Cafe gets big points for multiple things:
1. The food is served on a paper plate. No fancy crap here. I don’t remember if our table even had silverware on it.
2. The décor reminds you more of your Grandpa’s basement than a restaurant. Old beer signs and sports memorabilia just make you feel like you’re in a basement pub where your crazy uncle lets you have a beer every now and then.
3. The beer is cheap and the special is Hudy- local love.
4. Our server was friendly but wasn’t afraid to poke fun at us and have a good time. When she rang us out she asked if we were new there and told us to come back soon.
Overall, Quatman Cafe did not disappoint. Simple and good. Our kind of place. (By the way you order at the table but pay up front at the register, just so you don’t look like a pretentious jerk sitting at your table waiting for the check)
For more information visit their website and even better just visit them in person.