PENNELLVILLE — What’s very big, very good, made in Pennellville, and is the best in the state? That’s right, it’s Monirae’s Mighty Declan Burger.
A Big Mac is half-a-pound of burger. The Mighty Declan laughs at any comparison to the puny Big Mac. The Mighty Declan is one pound of beef, half burger, half NY strip steak, ground together, doused with A-1, char-broiled, and smothered with three strips of bacon, sauteed mushrooms and a mountain of homemade onion frizzles, all topped with cheese sauce and a good bun skewered with slices of truly great pickles. There’s also a side of very nice steak fries that sits alongside the burger in case you’re still hungry.
It’s actually quite a burger, and Monirae’s is quite a restaurant. Unassuming from the outside, it’s huge on the inside. And there couldn’t be two nicer people in the restaurant business than owners Paul and Kathy Meyers. They’ve been in business at this location since 2007, but they’ve been in the restaurant business since 2000.
“The burger’s named after our grandson. We have three grandkids, and we have something named after each one of them,” said Paul. “The Mighty Declan. He’s a mighty little six-year-old kid too.”
“Yeah,” said Kathy, “Declan’s so excited ‘cause he thinks he’s a movie star now.”
Somehow, the incredible improbability of all this came about beginning with a seemingly anonymous nomination. Next thing the Meyers knew, they were in the top 10.
“Each one of the 10 got videoed and streamed live online,” said Paul. “We literally had to build it (the burger) for them on video.”
With that, they jumped into the top four and from there were voted number one in online voting.
“They notified us May 1,” Paul said. “When this all clears up, they’re going to give us a plaque and do another big thing for it.”
It seems everything is big here. The King Cameron, named after their oldest grandson is “a huge Delmonico with a mushroom red wine sauce,” said Kathy. And The Carsonator Club, named after their youngest grandson is “a huge turkey club.”
There’s obviously a lot about the family in Monirae’s. Even the name is the combination of their two daughters’ names, Monica and Chelsea Rae, and family photos are printed right on the menu.
With the advent of COVID-19 and its business restrictions, all restaurants in the state are only takeout for now. That doesn’t seem to have hurt Monirae’s.
“We’re always busy,” said Kathy.
“Our to-go business has been doing really well,” Paul said.
And of course, The Mighty Declan just might have something to do with that. Prior to being named the best burger in NY state, Monirae’s sold its share of Mighty Declans. But since the award?
They’re serving “way more now,” said Paul. Previously, it was “nowhere near what we are now,” said Kathy.
Obviously, awards can make a difference.
“It was pretty exciting getting that phone call,” Kathy said. “I never expected it.”
But now, after reading this, you can expect the best burger in the state may very well also be the biggest you’ve ever tackled.
That, and everything else on Monirae’s menu is available for takeout. They’re at 688 County Route 10 in Pennellville. Their phone number is 315-668-1248.