Hand formed burgers hot off the grill, fresh cut fries, and old-fashioned hand dipped milkshakes are served up in style at Nutty’s Junkyard Grill in Arlington. Modeled after an old-school service station, this counter-serve burger joint delivers tasty food with a side of nostalgia.

Enter through the door plastered with street signs and you’ll be transported to a wonderland of vintage garage decor inside—license plates, hubcaps, gas station signs, trucker hats, antique bicycles, a Route 66 sign, a telephone booth, and gas pumps.

In the corner near the door, a pallet is loaded with sacks of russet potatoes from Oregon’s Elk Horn River Farms, soon to be thick cut and fried and served in paper baskets befitting a diner. An old Ford truck is loaded down with boxes of ginger beer and root beer. The truck bed is topped with stainless steel and surrounded with retro diner stools, making it a community table of sorts around which customers enjoy their burgers and fries served up on cafeteria trays lined with blue and white checked paper.

Even on the dreariest day, daylight pours in through a wall of three glass garage doors and customers form a line in front of the counter to place their orders.  Written in chalk above the counter, the burger menu features ⅓-pound beef patties with ten burger specials. Other entrees include fish and chips, a reuben sandwich, a chicken burger, and chicken club. Above the chalkboard, a neon sign glows in orange and green tubing formed into Nutty’s Junkyard Grill’s logo. Above a clock at the center of the sign declares it “Burger Time.”

When I visited, I ordered the Big Block burger, onion rings, and a strawberry milkshake with whipped cream. When my name was called, I picked up my tray and headed back to my seat. The burger was tasty with hickory bacon cooked just right (not too crispy, not too chewy), the classic taste of cheddar, a kick of red onions, pickles, and a flavorful housemade special sauce. The onion rings were fried and crispy, but strangely light to the taste. The housemade dipping sauce was slightly smoky and seemed to be a mayonnaise base with barbecue sauce. The strawberry shake was thick, creamy, and the strawberry flavor was fresh not cloyingly sweet.

While the menu is heavy on fried and grilled items, this is a burger joint that knows its sweet spot and delivers. The proof is in the parking lot, where it can be tough to find a spot. Bottom line: if you’re hankering for a burger and fries, Nutty’s Junkyard Grill is sure to satisfy.


Nutty’s Junkyard Grill

6717 204th St. NE, Arlington