While going to grad school in New Haven, CT, my dad would talk about a White & Black Checkered roof-topped burger place he would frequent on the way back home from class called "The Big Top". The place was a mini-chain in CT with a huge gas fired char-broiler that would send huge plumes of grilled meat fumes into the air, and they had the greates burger ever known in my house. I think they had one in Riverside Greenwich (now a Firestone tire place) and one in Westport somewhere.
The meat patties were excellent quality beef and were placed on the grill while still frozen and then they wound up on a soft and lushious bun somewhere at the fine line between Med-rare and Medium. They were so juicy, that my dad would order 3 burgers with nothing on them and perform a complicted dissection:
He would put two of the patties between one bun and eat them over the open top bun of the third burger, which would capture the juices (not grease!)
Then he would eat the third burger with those juice-soaked burger buns over the un-used bun which would in turn soak up those juices. Then he would eat just the bun that was leftover from the first process which soaked up all of those yummy juices. Very difficult to explain, and moreso to watch! But delish just the same.
I would add ketchup to the second burger myself (I would only have two), and I want one right now! But they all closed their doors by sometime in the late 80's or early 90's.
Does anyone out there remember Big Top?