I ran across this article on Digital City titled “Best Burgers Of The United States 2009”. My mind started racing thinking of burger places I’ve been to over the years which I have good memories about. Here’s the list I came up with. I do want to state for the record, it’s been years since I’ve eaten at most of these places (some are closed now) . So here you go:
1) Jay’s Jayburger, Los Angeles, CA: It’s been closed since 2007, but I have fond memories of eating their burgers in my youth. I also ate at Tommy’s (also located in Los Angeles) and remember liking Jay’s Chili Burger better. Tommy’s is still around so go figure how much I must know.
2) Bob’s Big Boy, Los Angeles, CA: It just goes by Big Boy in most areas but I recall how much I liked eating here. I think there may have been a few factors at work though. The Bob’s Big Boy marketing team were in full effect and I was eating it all up as a kid. I remember having a Big Boy replica bank which I saved my money in, till my sister got angry at me one day and wrote all over his face, damn little sisters. She messed up my childhood, just kidding.
Also, there was a movie in the late 70’s called Midnight Madness which featured a Bob’s Big Boy type location ( known as Johnie’s Fat Boy Burgers). To this day I still love Midnight MAadness. I went back to Big Boy in the late 90’s and it certainly did not live up to my expectations which was a shame. While looking around for some Big Boy info I did discover that there is a Big Boy in Florida, it’s located in Sanford. It’s definitely close enough to consider checking it out.
3) Gabe’s, Miami, FL: If you’ve read most of the reviews on the site, I’m sure you’ve come across a couple of mentions of this fabled place (closed circa 1994). Its set-up was similar to a Checkers (or a Rally’s if you’re old school), outdoor seating and drive-thru on either side. The main difference was the food tasted good (you had to see that one coming). Just recently I found out Gabe’s was an acronym for Great American Burger Emporium.The closest burger and fries that resemble Gabe’s are Fatburger‘s Hamburger Patties and Five Guys’ Regular Fries. Now if I could only reproduce the logo.
4) Rudy’s Sirloin SteakBurgers, Miami, FL: Who remembers this place? The location I used to go to was located on US1 across from the Tony Roma’s. The owners of Rudy’s owned the first Wendy’s locations in Florida, turned around, sold them, and then used the profits to create his own burger restaurant. This was the mid-80s and I remember Fuddruckers was also around, and not too far from there. It was cafeteria-like. You grabbed your tray to get things like fries and other side orders, and at the end you placed your burger order. Dare I compare the set-up to a Piccadilly. You sat down and waited for your food to be ready and then you would go pick it up. I liked Rudy’s better than Fuddruckers back then. The last time I remember eating at Rudy’s was around the middle of 1991 (it closed sometime in the early 90’s). How do I know that? I remember going to the Peaches Records that was across the street right before and buying Jetboy’s Damned Nation. I can’t believe I admitted that.
and last but not least…
5) Rio Cristal, Miami, FL: I know what you’re saying (maybe you’re not saying anything because you have no idea what this place is), this is a Cuban Restaurant. Let me plead my case first before you write me off. As a bratty kid, all I would eat was cheeseburgers. I’m still bratty by the way, just not a kid anymore (I had to get this comment in before my wife takes a pot shot at me). I eventually gave in and started eating other items on the menu like Bistec (el steako) but when I would go to Rio Cristal, I had to have the “Supercheeseburger“. It’s not really the type of thing you would find at a Cuban restaurant (since they already had the inferior Cheeseburger). It was large, had lots of over processed neon American Cheese melted on top of it and it tasted really good. Right now while thinking of it, my mouth started watering which means only one thing. Time for a visit!