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By JlWitfield

Looking for a new lunch hangout? Wanting to stay local and keep it cheap? The Malt House at the corner of Zarzamora and Buena Vista has everything a college student could ask for. This Westside restaurant has been around since 1949 and still makes malts the classic way and has a killer burger special for only $2.60.

The decor of the place suggests that it’s been around a while. It’s a little dated and looks more like a local family restaurant. There’s a jukebox in the back and mariachi groups come in on some nights. The restrooms are somewhat frightening, but all the grease and fat filling your stomach probably won’t catch up to you til you get home.

The menu has a little bit of everything, and if you’re in the mood for everything this is the perfect place because there’s actually an “everything” plate  filled to the brim with enough Tex-Mex to feed the whole table.

Mexican food, fried chicken, steaks, seafood, and sandwiches fill the menu so it’s a good place to go if you and your friends can’t agree on what to eat, unless someone is trying to stay on the light side. The $2.60 burger plate comes with a 1/4 lb patty, a side of fries, and a medium drink.

Now for the most important part: the malts. Since the place’s malts give the restaurant it’s name, they should be pretty good, right? Well, the Malthouse makes classic malts, not the Sonic drive-in style. The malt is essentially a styrofoam (yes, not a malt glass) filled with plain vanilla ice cream and topped with a flavored syrup. It’s so thick that a straw won’t do you any good.

Other notes on the restaurant: parking is quite decent and you can probably find a covered spot, the tables fill up pretty quickly during peak meal hours so it gets a little noisy, and…there’s a drive through that offers meal specials, like family-size chicken dinner boxes for $10.

Overall, it’s a nice local hangout with good, cheap eats. Most of the meals hang around the $5 mark and even the gut-busting “little bit of everything” plate only cost $8. It’s a decent alternative to the fast food joints popping up along Commerce. The burgers are better than McDonald’s and the whole meal costs less.

published on 4/13/2011

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