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Hamburger Express

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Does any other c'hound from the boomer generation remember the hamburger place on 73rd avenue in Bayside that served burgers and fries at a counter ringed by a model railroad track? They sent your order via train with whistle and lights. I was too young to care much about the food but I did love the gimmick.

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  1. There was one in Parkchester that did the same thing. I only went a couple of times and I remember the burger as being OK. The train delivery part was very cool when you're 10 years old.

    2 Replies
    1. re: Bob Martinez

      I agree, Bob, I don't think there are many of us who were foodies at ten.

      1. re: Bob Martinez

        My Dad worked in the pharmacy in Parkchester, I would sometimes take the Q44 bus from Flushing, to meet him in the Bronx for lunch, We almost always went the Hamburger Express! This must've been in the early sixties. Thanks for taking me back!

      2. There was also a Hamburger Express in Jackson Heights - same concept. Better burgers were across the street at The Toddle House -- a miniature luncheonette -- i think a counter with about ten short stools.

        1. i do remember that place in bayside. not sure though that it was called hamburger express. do you remember kiddy city on northern boulevard. those two places really date me.

          5 Replies
          1. re: biga290

            Yup, ate there as a kid (I'm 60 now). No memory about the quality either but anticipating the arrival of your food was almost too much to handle. I was reminded of it many years ago when I visited a really cool seafood place in Bar Harbor, Maine that had a model railroad track that circled the place up near the ceiling.

            1. re: pds8232

              There was one in Rego Park too. The experience was much better that the burgers, which were irrelevant as a child. I felt like I was revisiting that experience the first time I went to a sushi joint that sent the sushi plates arount a track, sans the locomotive.

              1. re: SuzyP

                Wasn't the one in Rego Park called Burger Train, or was that just what my family called it?

            2. re: biga290

              I'm in that creaky rocking chair of memory right beside you, biga, my friends and I walked from 73rd ave. to Kiddie City and by the time we got there we still had energy to have fun!

              1. re: lucyis

                Kiddie City?
                Was the place to eat there called Treasure Island--- where they had the best hot dogs too?

            3. There was one on Middle Neck Rd. in Great Neck. My favorite place when I was a kid too.

              1. If NJ is an outerborough, there was also one in East Orange.

                1. I was born in 1950 and grew up in Bayside until 1960, and I remember The Hamburger Express, but I remember it being on Springfield Blvd, right by Horace Harding Blvd (before it became the LIE) I remember the burgers as ordinary, but the train delivering it was sooo cool! And yes, Treasure Island was the food concession at Kiddie City on Northern Blvd, just east of the bridge over Northern Blvd

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: nabfifty

                    There was a hamburger express in Freeport in the 50's and 60's. I thought it was the only one until my wife happened to mention the one in Orange and then a friend of hers mentioned there was one in Queens. Looks like they were all over. Quality? Who knew about quality then, and I wouldn't have cared anyway. It was just the funnest place. I'd go back in a heartbeat for a burger and fries coming around the bend. Time to open up a real retro burger place....

                  2. Whoa - deliver the meal on a train?! Are there places that still do this now, because will need to take my train-obsessed 5 year old there. Thanks in advance.

                    1. wow I was just talking about the Hamburger Express today with some people from work. I loved that place.

                      1. Yes, I remember Hamburger Express like it was yesterday. I lived on 75th Avenue, and Hamburger Express was on 73rd. Yes, a model train carried orders to diners at the counter. This was half a century ago, but I specifically recall lovng their relish.

                        1 Reply
                        1. re: solarvegan

                          Had the same name and concept on 170th Street in the Bronx in the 1960s

                        2. I remember it well. Had my own set of trains. Think about this place all the time. Lived near there from 1954-1965.

                          Peter