Friday, December 12, 2008


Hamburgers convey American cooking. Who doesn't enjoy a good hamburger now and then? With all of the different ingredients for fixings, cheese and meats, there are ample ways to never get bored with a patty of meat between two pieces of bread. Even the vegetarians have tofu burgers to eat. The hamburger places listed below are not fast food chains; you cannot drive up to the window and order food and never get out of the car. These establishments have food to go, but also accommodate tables and chairs for customers to seat while eating.

Nation's Giant Hamburgers are messy, juicy and big in flavor and portion size. These hamburgers are more of a gourmet burger compared to Tillie's down the street as well as other fast food chains in the area. The best burger is the Ole Hamburger since the special ingredient is a pepper. The pepper is not hot or spicy, but gives an interesting texture and added dimension to the taste. The milk shakes are also good here since they use real ice cream. The fruit pies are simple and refreshing during the summer months. The pudding pies can be a bit dull to the taste buds with the layer of whipped cream on top. Nation's is a great spot for a big burger for lunch or a late afternoon meal.

Alameda Grill on Park Street is a hamburger joint. The burgers are grilled to order, so it does take time to cook the meat. Hamburgers taste good and fresh. The meat is juicy and flavorful. The french fries are decent, but not the best. Tables and chairs are located outside in the parking lot of the bicycle store next door. This place is great on a warm, sunny day. On rainy days, one would have to pick up the food and go. The hamburgers are simple and not as varied compared to Nation's, but the service is intimate since it is a small, locally owned business.

McGee's Bar and Grill is a popular spot on game days. The place is packed with customers cheering for their favorite teams. It's definitely fun and festive, watching a game with a room full of total strangers all screaming and rooting at the same time. The food while watching a good game does not disappoint. Hamburgers are made fresh and grilled to order. There are about ten different burgers to choose from. The meat taste fresh and the ingredients are in peak condition. When I tried the Philly Cheese steak sandwich, the meat was supposed to be thinly sliced beef, it turned out to be loose ground beef. The meat combined with the cheese, grilled onions and green bell peppers tasted good, but the meat should have been sliced beef. I should have returned the sandwich, but I didn't.

Burgermeister on Central Avenue is the fairly new gourmet burger joint. Their menu has a good selection of 1/4, 1/2 or 1 pound burgers. I would recommend a 1/4 or 1/2 pound burger, anything bigger would be too excessive. Their California Burger with guacamole and swiss cheese was good, but not great. There wasn't enough flavor when I bit into the burger. Sometimes when the meat is too lean, there is not enough fat in the meat to really taste it. The meat the restaurant uses is Niman Ranch organic beef which is a great company for meat products. A better tasting burger was the Western Burger. It had fried onion rings, bacon strips, cheese and BBQ sauce all inside the burger. The flavors were tangy and sweet with the saltiness of the onion rings. The result was a better tasting product compared to the California Burger. My recommendation would be to ask the wait staff for suggestions on the menu.

Tillie's, Jim's Place and Ole's Waffle House all serve hamburgers. Their burgers are a step above a hamburger from a McDonald's or Burger King, but below in taste and quality from Nation's, McGee's and Alameda Grill.

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