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Wise Guys, reviewed

 Wise Guys know their burgers. Plus they make a familiar macaroni and cheese. Try both if you can handle it.
Visit the Photo Place
Date published: 11/8/2012


There's a new, independently owned, fast-casual burger joint in town. Well, in the town of Orange, to be exact, in a high-ceilinged historic building next to the train station. With its mid-level pricing and single-counter pickup and ordering, Wise Guys will remind you of another group of guys--Five Guys--only with a more extensive menu.

You don't have to like Martin Scorsese or gangster flicks to love Wise Guys. We're talking wise guys as in comedians. Adorning the walls are black-and-white stills from classic comedy movies--from "Ghostbusters" to "Annie Hall"--along with printed snippets of their dialogue.

The owners of Wise Guys will be laughing all the way to the bank if, as is their plan, they end up franchising. They might really be onto something with that zany concept of theirs. I mean, isn't there something kind of comical about burgers--starting with that character Wimpy in the old Popeye cartoons? ("I'll gladly pay you Tuesday for a hamburger today.") Of course, growing up I had a hard time finding the humor in ground beef. Fact is, we'd have gladly paid our mom to simply forget about patty-making altogether. A true trailblazer, she "blackened" her burgers years before Cajun cuisine came into vogue.

That's not a problem at Wise Guys, where the juicy, delicious burgers ($4.25) are grilled to perfection. My wife paired hers with nicely done shoestring fries. Meanwhile, I couldn't resist the allure of a scrumptious steak-and-cheese sub, with provolone ($6.75).

I must have suffered a brain cramp, though, when I ordered a side of mac-and-cheese ($2.50). When the cashier said, "It's good; we use Kraft," I thought he meant they used Kraft cheddar or perhaps its poor relation, Velveeta. Either would have been fine. What he meant was they prepared it using actual Kraft Macaroni & Cheese Dinner. Hey, I don't have to leave home to get that!

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What: Wise Guys Burgers and More

Address: 118 East Main St., in the town of Orange, next to the railroad station

Info: 540/308-7074; face book.com/wiseguysburgers andmore

Hours: 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday; 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Tuesday, Wednesday and Sunday Prices:

Burgers: $4.25-$6.25

Dogs/Sandwiches/Subs: $2.50-$6.75

Drinks/Sides: $1.50-$2.50

Desserts: $1-$3

The Scoop: Family-friendly, service with a smile, good food, great value, seating, on-street parking

Payment: Major credit cards accepted