By the time we arrived in Missoula we were getting hungry again. We headed straight to the house-party where we were to be playing and where we were told there would be food waiting for us. We arrived to a fantastic and enormous food spread – there weren’t any burgers, but there were some great sausages being pulled off the grill right when we got there.
The sausages were homemade and made out of elk or antelope or some other Montana game animal - can’t remember. They were plenty of grilled onions and peppers, relish, kraut and a variety of mustards to top ‘em. Damn tasty!
The next day, midway through our long haul to Salt Lake City, we stopped in Idaho Falls in search of a place to relax and grab lunch. We decided on a bar called the Sports Castle so we could watch a little football while we ate. It was a pretty non-descript generic sports bar that smelled of bleach and grease. There was a couch and a couple of lounge chairs situated in front of the widescreen which were occupied by some large Idahoan folks. The menu was real cheap – I ordered a patty melt with tater tots for $5.
It wasn’t bad, but not good either – in fact it kinda tasted like nothing. But it served its purpose and was within my meager budget. Also, the side of ranch was complimentary and I didn’t even have to ask for it.
Spent the next couple of days burgerless, but by the time we were approaching Albuquerque I was ready. We headed straight to the club and parked the van and some local punk kid recommended a place called Lindy’s Diner right up the street. It’s a classic diner, probably around since the 20’s or 30’s, and there were photos of visiting famous people up all over the walls. If this place was good enough for Christian Slater then it was good enough for us! There was a film or TV shoot going on right outside and we figured that at any moment Jeff Goldbloom or Queen Latifah might walk in the place, but no such luck. Since this was New Mexico I figured I had to go with a burger topped with green chiles. We were the only folks in the place so the food came real quick.
The green chiles weren’t as flavorful as I hoped, but this was a great burger with a nice fluffy bun. The shredded lettuce, chiles, and pickles kept falling over the place, but it was nice to be able to grab a handful from the basket and make sure I had a proper amount of veggies with each bite. Jake went for a bacon mushroom burger I think. We were both real happy.
Spent a few more days sans hamburgers which was good for our systems and the van smelled a little less like ass for a little while. After waking up in the afternoon following a great show and late night in San Diego, our friend Thaddeus took us to Tobey’s 19th Hole – a quaint little greasy-spoon that’s on the grounds of a public golf course. We’d been here during our last visit to San Diego and knew we were in for a treat. There’s a great view of the San Diego skyline and golf course, the service is friendly and the food is cheap and fantastic. Most of us were in a breakfast mood and Burgermeister and I had the homemade corned beef hash and eggs (awesome!), but Jake was in a lunch mood and ordered the patty melt.
Jake devoured it quickly and I barely had time to snap this picture before it was all gone. It seemed there was too much bread as there were plenty of rye scraps left over when he was done, but Jake was pleased and his appetite well-sated.
EDITORIAL NOTE: The Burgermeister apparently showed up for this one.
We found ourselves in San Francisco several days later and decided to spend our afternoon at the wonderful Zeitgeist. A great bar with one of the largest and liveliest patios you’ll ever experience. The burgers are awesome here, but take a famously long time to get to you. Luckily we ran into our friend Alistair who is a regular and he made sure our burgers got to us relatively quick and for a discount. These were by far the best burgers of the trip and I was so busy scarfing mine down when it finally arrived I completely forgot to snap a picture, but I googled and found this pic (courtesy of leblog.exuberance.com).
The burgers are big and the huge slab of greasy cheddar dripped from the sides. They don’t do fries here – instead the burgers are served with a generous helping of crispy mashed up home fries. Highly recommended!
We played the last night of our tour at the Alibi in Arcata, CA. Their menu offers an extensive list of burgers and has long been one of my favorite burger spots, but on this night we were both in the mood for lighter fare.
That was it - a couple crappy ones and a few great ones. We're gonna hit the road again in the spring and we'll again report on our burger adventures.