Getting a first experience at a Utah County classic — Apollo Burger
The Mushroom Swiss burger, left, the Apollo Burger and zucchini fries with ranch sauce from Apollo Burger in Orem.
The Mushroom Swiss burger and sweet potato fries from Apollo Burger in Orem, pictured on Feb. 17, 2020.
The Mushroom Swiss burger from Apollo Burger in Orem is pictured on Feb. 17, 2020.
The zucchini fries, left, and sweet potato fries, right, with creamy ranch dipping sauce from Apollo Burger in Orem.
The signature Apollo Burger from Apollo Burger in Orem.
It was a dark and snowy night.
The wind was howling, the snow was falling fast and the roads were slushy and chaotic when my friends and I braved the weather to visit Apollo Burger in Orem.
I know the burger joint has been an essential part of Utah communities since first opening in 1984, but I’d never eaten there until that week.
First thing I noticed when walking inside the location is how warm it was. Not surprising considering it was early February and everywhere was cold. The second thing I noticed was the breakfast menu.
What? A breakfast menu? Why on earth didn’t I come here in the morning to review the breakfast options? Breakfast is the best meal of the day! Everyone loves breakfast! But alas, Apollo Burger only serves breakfast items until 11 a.m. so we settled for burgers.
Each one of my friends and I tried a different burger: the Double Cheeseburger, the Mushroom Swiss burger, the Tangy Bleu burger and of course, the Apollo Burger.
The Apollo Burger has a beef patty with thinly slice smoked pastrami and American cheese, tomatoes, lettuce, onions and Apollo Sauce, according to the online menu.
I’ll be honest, this isn’t my favorite burger. The “thinly” sliced pastrami looked and tasted delicious but definitely overpowered the rest of the burger. The two pieces of onion were also too much for my taste.
But my girlfriend loved the fresh ingredients and moderate sauce on her Double Cheeseburger. Again, a little heavy on the onions but she complimented the staff on cleaning the soda machine because her water actually tasted like water, not like the shared lemonade juice.
Another friend also complained about the onion on her Mushroom Swiss burger. However, she and her girlfriend loved the sweet potato fries and enjoyed the copious amounts of lettuce on their burgers.
Speaking of the Tangy Bleu burger, that friend said she enjoyed how much bleu cheese came with the burger even though her burger fell apart. Most likely a user error, but still.
During our visit, we chatted about how pale the fry sauce seems and why restaurants around the country avoid introducing fry sauce to their menus. No one has copyrighted the phrase “fry sauce,” right? So why create monstrosities like Mayochup? Just give us simple fry sauce, and that’s what Apollo Burger did.
Hands down my favorite part about Apollo Burger was the zucchini fries. Freshly fried, crispy outside and the perfect amount of batter (and my girlfriend would know working for years in fast food), the fries were absolutely amazing with ranch dressing.
Apollo Burger also serves a variety of sandwiches including chicken, turkey, BLT, ham and cheese, steak, Reuben and halibut. Grilled and crispy chicken salads along with Greek, classic Cobb and chef salads are also available.
The restaurant also has a kid’s menu, corn dogs, chicken tenders, fried mushrooms, mozzarella sticks and onion rings for appetizers.
And locations are found across Utah, from Orem to West Jordan to Salt Lake City to Tooele to St. George.
Although eating at Apollo Burger didn’t diminish my love for Five Guys or In-N-Out, the burgers were still scrumptious enough to warrant another visit someday.
Where: 452 N. State St., Orem
Hours: Monday to Thursday: 7 a.m. to 11 p.m.; Friday to Saturday: 7 a.m. to midnight; Sunday: 8 a.m. to 11 p.m.
Info: (801) 226-4000, apolloburgers.com