Where do you want to eat during the spookiest month of the year? The Haunted Hamburger in Jerome. Even after the restaurant received a facelift a couple of years ago, it still has an unsettling vibe, and that’s not just because of the giant spider climbing its façade. (Visit the restaurant’s website for tales of the ghost who liked to steal hammers.) There’s the fireplace with the Victorian mantle, the flickering wall sconces and ornate mirrors. There’s also the loaded bookcase recessed into the ceiling and bat decals on the windows. Those windows, by the way, offer sweeping views that extend all the way to Sedona and the San Francisco Peaks.
If you’re starting with a cocktail, you should try the Hauntarita. This riff on the margarita is topped with a 7-ounce bottle of Corona beer. Your Instagram followers will love it. As you’ve probably already guessed, the star of the menu is the hamburger, of which you’ll find several options. We say go for the Haunted Burger. It’s topped with bacon, cheddar and Swiss cheeses, mushrooms, green chilies, grilled onions and guacamole. The burger is served on a homemade bun and with your choice of steak fries, twice-baked potato, spring greens or spicy jalapeno coleslaw (we love this one). The burger is not nearly as daunting as it sounds, and it checks all the boxes when it comes to our favorite toppings. If you’re not a burger fan, we recommend the Baja Fish Sandwich, which features the same yummy bun cradling beer-battered cod, shredded cabbage, pepper jack cheese and homemade Baja sauce. Fish-and-chips fiends, this one’s for you, though fish and chips are also on the menu.
Prior to The Haunted Hamburger’s remodel, diners used to be confronted by the dessert case when they entered the restaurant. The case is still there, even if it’s tucked away, and it still elicits drooling. The house specialties are the larger-than-life slices of cake. The four-layer carrot cake arrives on a plate that is appropriately decorated with a caramel-sauce spider web. The dessert is oh-so moist and could probably feed a party of 10. Never fear: Hilly Jerome offers plenty of options for walking off your meal. – Erika Ayn Finch. Photo by Deb Weinkauff.
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