» By CONOR SCRUTON – cscruton@my.apsu.edu

“You should totally eat there, but you have to go at 2 a.m.”

Readers who have seen my column before are probably familiar with the fact my All State coworkers have a tendency of pushing me towards certain destinations in my travels. When we were discussing possibilities last week, our photo editor suddenly became very excited.

“Have you been to Kelly’s Big Burger yet?” she asked me as her face lit up. I hadn’t — and I’m always up for a good burger — but I was unsure why she insisted on making me go in the middle of the night. In any case, she made a point to come along and personally make sure I got the full Kelly’s experience.

Kelly’s Big Burger, while out of the way, is almost as much of an iconic restaurant among students as Johnny’s. It’s located at 405 N Riverside Dr., only a few blocks from campus and is a great example of a classic diner.

Like any good diner in the South, Kelly’s has a menu filled with deep-fried appetizers, big burgers and milkshakes.

I wasn’t too hungry at the time, so I unfortunately skipped an actual burger on this trip. What I did try, though, were fried mushrooms and chicken fries, which totally hit the spot as a late-night snack. I also got a milkshake, which was made fresh and definitely one of the best I’ve ever had.

These are some pretty solid choices if you make your way to Kelly’s, but you may also want to ask around. What I realized when I mentioned the restaurant to some friends is they all had different suggestions for Kelly’s food, and it’s probably because it’s all just that good. In other words, the diner has a whole lot more to offer than I could eat in one night.

Kelly’s is definitely great for a college student’s budget, as they have plenty of menu items under $4.

It’s also a nice place to grab a booth and hang out with friends for a cheap dinner trip.

They’re open seven days a week for almost 24 hours, but I would recommend checking out the Kelly’s Big Burger Facebook page, as some days have odd gaps in operating hours.

I can understand why my photo editor wanted me to eat so late. Kelly’s has the diner atmosphere of being “frozen” a few decades back, in the best way possible. Most college students have been on a midnight diner run at some point, and that’s the sort of time when you get a real feel for Kelly’s.

I really do have to thank The All State, because I think I have a new favorite late-night food option. TAS