Charlie Riedel (and now his son Jeff, who apparently owns the place now that Charlie has retired), have been in the hamburger and hot dog business for a long, long time, and this finely-tuned operation reflects their depth of experience. In the highly-competitive market for this kind of menu in the Rochester area, Charlie's does it as well, if not better, than anyone else. Very good burgers; their signature "Charlieburger" is a very good provolone cheeseburger on a poppy-seed bun, with lettuce and tomatoes. There is a "char" grill, on which they'll cook your burger or dog for the asking, instead of on a traditional griddle. Charlie's hot sauce (and you can't be in this business in Rochester without having a hot sauce among the condiments) is very good as well. Self-serve dill or sweet pickle chips.
Behind the counter: seeming chaos during the dinner hour crush on Friday nights, but it's a well-oiled chaos. Some of Charlie's wait staff have been working there for decades, which implies good things about how they treat their employees. Sadly, like many restaurants of this type (all of whom know how to make a good burger), Charlie's fails to differentiate its side dishes of French fries and onion rings from the competition's. Its use of frozen fries and rings taste means they're interchangeable with the sides at dozens of other places. It's a lost opportunity. Similarly, the use of little pre-packaged packets of tartar sauce and butter take the shine off an otherwise very good fish fry. Fast service; plenty of parking; restrooms could use updating. Good value, but don't drift away on the menu too far from the burgers and dogs.
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