Gas Station Gourmet
KING OF THE ROAD
A Route 66 retailer capitalizes on nostalgia and a burger-eating challenge to lure customers.
BY AL HEBERT
It would be a missed opportunity for any convenience store located on the iconic Route 66 to not incorporate its nostalgia-inducing energy into the store. And Tony Sherrer, owner of Cookin’ From Scratch, a convenience store and restaurant found right off of the famed American highway outside
of Doolittle, Missouri, is no dummy.
But Sherrer also believes in offering custom-
ers something they won’t find anywhere else.
“My good friend Mark and I had had an evening
of brainstorming. We came up with something
unique: the Route 66 King of the Road Burger
Challenge,” explained Sherrer. “We scratched it
all out on a legal pad.”
Named after the highway, the meal includes a
66-ounce burger with bun, nine pieces of American
cheese, one-and-a-half pounds of fries, pickles
lettuce, tomatoes and onion. The meat is hand-
pressed and the bun is baked in a nine-inch cake
pan — and it draws customers from far and wide.
The Burger Challenge
Sherrer put a lot of thought into the Route 66 King
of the Road Burger Challenge, and like any great
competition, there are rules. A fee of $36.99 is paid
before the event begins. Once the challenger sits in
the designated area, there is no standing or leaving.
Naturally, spectators cannot touch the food. There
is always a “road crew” (staff ) member standing by
to monitor the event.
“It’s about seven pounds of food,” Sherrer said, “If
you make it too hard, no one ever wins. If everyone
wins, it’s not appealing.” That’s not to say that the
rules can’t be bent. “If someone doesn’t like onions or
tomatoes, we take them off — but add the weight back
in fries,” he explained.
Sherrer made sure the Burger Challenge would
be a memorable event for spectators and diners. “If
you feature something, you have a challenge; it’s a
Cookin From Scratch owners Tony and Melissa
Sherrer with the massive King of the Road Burger.