As the above title suggests, we decided that a low cost, fast (it was a school night after all), and kid-friendly option would be to hop over to Nifty Fifty’s in nearby Turnersville. No, it’s not fine dining, but there is one thing that drew us to this very local chain (5 locations in the eastern PA and southwestern Jersey area): they claim everything is homemade.
It may be yet another ’50s-themed burger joint, but we have to say we were reasonably impressed. Though they had a few interesting items on the menu (Maryland Crabcake and Filet Mignon Sandwiches), we were really in a burger and fries mood. First came our orders of “Pistol Pete’s Spicy Fries” and Onion Rings. Well, they are honest about being “homemade”-nothing came close to tasting processed or frozen. Yes, the onion rings were really good-crispy with a tasty breading that didn’t fall off when you bit into them-but the fries! Though the spice mix sprinkled on them was just fine, we regretted not ordering them just plain naked. These babies were fresh-cut julienned potatoes that were golden and crisp on the outside, fluffy moist on the inside, and they were just as addictive when they cooled off as straight from the fryer. Looking up, I noticed a sign hanging over our table that cheerfully stated, “today’s fresh-cut fries were grown in Kalamazoo”. A lot of love in those fries.
Our burgers and Julian’s chicken nuggets arrived next, with only a slight letdown: the burgers were fresh, yes, but tiny and thin-clearly only vehicles for the toppings with a hint of beef flavor. The chili on John’s burger was a respectable con carne (not that bland and canned “Cincinnati style” stuff you sometimes find) and I found that the tomato on my “Whole Shebang”burger (cheese, lettuce, pickles, onions, tomato, and relish) was of the local Jersey, juicy variety, a nice touch. The chicken nuggets looked and tasted like larger chunks of the chicken cutlets I bread and fry at home, only crispier. In a piggy mood, we all split dessert- a sundae (3 scoops of ice cream, hot fudge, whipped cream, sprinkles, and a cherry) and a chocolate malt so thick that it could not be sucked through a straw (we ate it with a spoon). They only have 3 flavors of ice cream (the classics: vanilla, chocolate, and strawberry), but-you guessed it-even their ice cream is homemade.
There was one thing I didn’t get, however. This location had a miniature golf course, a separate Chuck-E-Cheese-like arcade area (“Book your child’s birthday party now!”), and offered complimentary jars of baby food for forgetful parents; it screamed “bring your kids!” So why is there no children’s menu?
Our overall impression? If you’re in the mood for a big, juicy burger, this isn’t the place-but make sure you get a double order on those-oh,baby!- fries.
Nifty Fifty’s – 4670 Route 42, Turnersville. 856.875.1950. Also located at: 1310 Blackwood & Clementon Rd, Clementon. 856.346.1950.