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Best in Wichita Metro Burger Challenge 2022: How does Calvin's Hamburger Haven rate?

Calvin's Hamburger Haven
2417 S Seneca St, Wichita, KS 67213

By Mike Thayer

I'm traveling around the Wichita Metro, sampling the burger offerings from any joint that has burgers on the menu, local, regional, national chain, it doesn't matter. In order to determine a true champion of burgers in the metro, I'll have to sample them all in the name of "burger science" (cough).  For the burger criteria, click here.

Calvin's Hamburger Haven
What I thought was a Double Bacon Cheeseburger...

Today's lunch travels took me to Calvin's Hamburger Haven.  Calvin's opens at 10am which my stomach appreciates since I've been skipping breakfast with an often two burgers with bacon a day regimen.   I arrived at about 10:15am and with only one other customer in the place and already seated, I was able to order right away.  This was my first visit to Calvin's, so in literally reading from the menu as I ordered, a Double Bacon Cheeseburger, a combo for $8.64, I commented to the lady taking my order how inexpensive it was. 

Calvin's Double Cheeseburger
What? No bacon!?

After receiving a cup and pouring myself a soda at the self serve fountain, I found a seat to wait for my burger and fries.  It was about a 10 minute wait with the tray brought to my table.  There was NO BACON on the burger I was served!   I don't think this was a miss by the lady taking my order either because I paid for bacon.  It could be what was in her head ringing up the transaction and what she sent to the kitchen are two different things.  It could be all on the kitchen, I don't know, either way it's unfortunate.  This is a Burger Challenge, I didn't take it back because what I get served is what is evaluated.

Calvin's Hamburger Haven
Not the best crust on the meat, grease laden bun

Calvin's serves up their burgers in the classic mustard, onion and pickles style and when it's done right, it really lets the meat sing.  But I didn't get the music I was hoping for with this burger.  I found the crust on the burger patties to be a bit whimpy, it lacked a depth of flavor.  I got more flavor out of the mustard than I got from the beef, beef that was NOT complimented by the flavor of bacon.  The onion didn't get enough time on the grill, lacking that softened texture and slightly sweet bite.  What I got was tough onion, a stringy chew.  I guess it's a good thing it wasn't a generous portion of onions.  The burger was also light on the pickles and the bottom bun was saturated with grease.  This was flat out a poorly executed burger.

Calvin's Double Cheeseburger, missing bacon
Grilled onions were chewy, stringy

Side Note: The french fries were pretty good, ha, the execution in preparing those fries was better than for the burger!  It's important to properly season fries right after they come out of the fryer so the seasoning will adhere to the potato exterior and Calvin's nailed it.   Fried nicely, they provided that light crisp exterior and soft 'pillowy' potato interior bite that you look for in a good fry. 

Costing me $9.28 with tax, the Calvin's Hamburger Haven 'Bacon' Double Cheeseburger scored 48 points out of a possible 63 earning it 3 out of 5 Bachelor on the Cheap stars.  The overall poor execution in putting the burger together was a missed burgerlicious opportunity.  Calvin's is very reasonably priced but the 3 star burger I was served is not a repeat buy.

3 stars

Located at 2417 S Seneca St, Wichita, KS 67213, the restaurant was clean and the service was polite.  Kind of tucked away in a building it shares with Domino's Pizza, Calvin's is at the corner of Pawnee & Seneca, they're easy to miss if you're not familiar with the area.

$pend Wisely My Friends...

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