Kevin and Chris used to work at an old dealer that I called on - Accent Sound - in Overland Park, KS. When the owner retired, no one stepped up to buy the business and the employees sort of scattered in the wind, ending up at other audio stores - or in Kevin and Chris' situation - they opened their own place, Soundbytes KC. One day when I was visiting earlier this year, Kevin came in with a cheeseburger. It smelled great. I asked, "Where did you get that, Kev?"
He said, "Shanghai Boy."
I said, "Shanghai Boy? That Chinese restaurant about a mile west of here?"
Kevin replied, "Yep! You wouldn't think a Chinese restaurant would make a good cheeseburger, but these guys do." I made a note to stop at Shanghai Boy at some point. Earlier this fall, I had the opportunity to do so.
The story I got from Kevin and Chris about the place was Shanghai Boy is housed in what was an old Dairy Sweet or something like that. It was a fast food restaurant with 10 letters in its name and they sold ice cream, hence the ice cream cone above the Shanghai Boy sign. The new owners bought letters to replace what was on the original sign and came up with the name of Shanghai Boy because, well, it had 10 letters in that name, too.
I took off down the street after leaving Soundbytes KC and headed west toward Shanghai Boy (see map). Actually, I accidentally passed Shanghai Boy - I passed the first entrance and when I realized I'd done that I tried to get into the second entrance, but that was blocked with a vehicle trying to get out onto busy SW 3rd St. Not wanting to hold up traffic, I went around the block and pulled into the parking lot.
The inside of Shanghai Boy is pretty non-descript. It looks like any fast food joint with cramped booths with two or four person tables. With the large windows letting in the sunshine and the fluorescent lighting, you could definitely say it was well lit.
The menu for Shanghai Boy is on a series of boards above the front counter. Interestingly enough, most of the prices of the food are either incomplete or missing on the menu. While most of the menu is Chinese food, there is board off to the side that had their burgers listed. A guy in front of me ordered Chinese, as did a couple directly behind me in line. But I followed Kevin's suggestion and got a double cheeseburger with everything. Everything is lettuce, tomato, onion, pickles, mustard and ketchup.
I got the burger and took it to the car. I found that I didn't have any water, so I drove down the street to a Quik Trip and got a bottle of water to have with the burger. I sat in the parking lot of the Quik Trip and unwrapped the burger.
It didn't look any different from most fast food burgers that are out there. It had a sesame seed bun that covered the two cheeseburger patties. The veggies and condiments were on the bottom bun under the patties. The taste of the burger was pretty good. The bun was woefully dry, however, and as I've said many times in the past, the mark of a great burger is the bun. You have a dried out or overly chewy bun and it really detracts from the overall taste of the burger.
But the smell of that burger is exactly what I remember from the one I smelled when Kevin brought it into his store - it had a that great, flat griddle smell to the burger and the patties were a wonderful taste. There was a little too much lettuce, but overall it was an above average burger. What kept it from being a truly outstanding burger is the bun. Too dry and that was too bad.
Shanghai Boy is a pretty good place to get a burger if you're not willing to patronize any of the fast food chains - like me. I don't know about their Chinese food, but the burger was better than you'd find at most fast food places. I'd rather give my money to a mom and pop operation than a big corporate chain any day. I just wish the buns at Shanghai Boy weren't so dry.
(Update - I was recently in Lee's Summit and drove past the Shanghai Boy location and found that it was no longer open.)