Arts & Entertainment

Restaurant Spotlight: Wiinkys

Looking for a speedy lunch on a break from work, affordable dinner with the family, or hit-the-spot late night munchies with friends? Wiinkys can cater to all of those needs and more. Here the laid-back atmosphere of a local spot mixes with the speed and ease of a fast-food eatery, minus every bit of the processed food we try so hard to avoid, to provide a dining experience that is leaps and bounds above average.

Upon first glance, the menu seems dominated by a unique assortment of gourmet burgers, but further exploring shows more American classics to be had. Newcomers may also find an additional intriguing surprise when first exposed to Wiinkys’ selection; a unique use of peanuts in a few of their dishes.

For starters, patrons can find the standard burger joint fare of crispy fries and onion rings ($3.49) though here they are health-consciously cooked in zero trans fat oil. Either is accompaniment enough for a main course, though special attention should be, and usually is, given to their slow-cooked chili. It’s crafted by the batch multiple times a day, and diners can order a cup of chili ($3.49) or enjoy it as a topping to an order of fries, a hot dog, or even one of the restaurant’s fresh burgers.

Meat lovers can rejoice because at Wiinkys, beef is where it’s at. Their hefty quarter-pound hot dogs and char-broiled burgers are made with certified angus beef. Burgers are typically cooked medium well, and flavor- and texture-wise leave little if no room for improvement. The gourmet dogs, offered in four varieties, feature toppings such as chili, bacon, and avocado in tantalizing combinations. The Maui Dog ($5.99) plays host to the unexpected combination of applewood bacon, pineapple, jalapenos, and teriyaki sauce.

All of the burgers at Wiinkys are served on melt-in-your-mouth brioche buns, and run the gamut from familiar flavors to fun gourmet creations, all at $5.99 – $7.99 for a single (six ounces) and $7.99 – $9.99 for a double (12 ounces). From the signature Wiink burger, topped with American cheese, peanut butter, applewood bacon, and sauteed onions to the Southwestern-style Ranchero burger, with American and provolone, jalapenos, a fried egg, and chipotle sauce, Wiinkys has reinvented some standards and created a few classics of their own. And for those adventurous eaters who can’t get enough, peanut butter is available as an additional topping on many of their menu items.

Other selections include an assortment of sub sandwiches ($7.99 – $8.49), among them the menu-designated customer favorite Teriyaki steak comprised of steak, onion, mushroom and teriyaki sauce, and the BLT which, much like the Wiink burger, takes the beloved dish beyond ordinary with the simple addition of peanut butter. A variety of salads are also available, all containing fresh ingredients. And for wing fanatics, Wiinkys’ offers a plethora of flavors, along with the choice between regular and boneless chicken served with a side of celery sticks and a cup of blue cheese.

No matter what time of day you venture in to Wiinkys, or who you bring with you, their wide selection of traditional fast foods, some with their own unique twists, won’t disappoint. Featuring affordable prices with most meals coming in at around $10, an $8.99 lunch combination that will leave customers anything but hungry ($7 for students with valid ID), and a small variety of kids combos including burgers and hot dogs all available for $5.99, Wiinkys is the perfect stop for almost any occasion.

Wiinkys is located at 3902 Wilson Blvd., Arlington. For more information, call 703-243-2400 or visit wiinkys.com. Restaurant hours are Sunday – Wednesday: 11 a.m. – 10 p.m. and Thursday – Saturday: 11 a.m. – 3 a.m.