Monday, March 24, 2008

Oh the Irony: Best Restaurant Burger Yet!

Good Burgers are hard to find, even in California, where our culinary exploits are the stuff of legend. Lobster Tacos? Yep. Subtle, distinctive wines? Yep. Blending the ingredients and traditions of our diverse cultures to create something both familiar and wholly new? Yep.

Burgers...a slab of meat on a tasteless bun? Yep. Even in the area I hail from, where you can easily pay $10 for a "diner" burger with bacon, avocado, swiss cheese, and fancy mustard (fries and drink extra), they all taste the same. No one does anything special to the meat. No spices, no treatment, just a slab of meat. Sure, the bacon and avocado help a little, but usually they are cheap and tasteless.

Well, last week we were looking for a quick, cheap place to get a summery meal and some googling turned up favorable reviews for a place called Fat Mo's. Hmmm, we thought, where have we heard that name before? Turns out, we drive by one every day. As you can see from the picture, not much too look at. It isn't even a drive through, it's a drive-by. There isn't much outside to pull you in and places like this just don't exist in California.

Flo called in the order, and I was the wheelman. Pulling up, I must say I was nervous. Not too clean outside, no one in line or in the parking lot, no clear menu or prices posted until you get up to the order window. I was skeptical and I had no idea what I would find in my bag.

It turns out what I would find in the bag is the best damn prepared meal I've ever had for less than $20. For a whopping $11.54 American Dollars we got two burgers, two sides of fries and chicken nuggets. Feeding the family at a fast food joint costs more than this, and the burgers were great. Better than anything I ever had the illustrious Firestone Grill back in San Luis Obispo.

In-n-Out Notwithstanding

Please note, I am excluding In-n-Out Burger from this discussion because they are "Quick Food." That is, somewhere between restaurant food and fast food. In-n-Out rules, but it isn't a restaurant burger.


Science said...

Sad, something akin to Stockholm Syndrome is already kicking in. Praising the cuisine of the alien culture you are exiled in is just the first sign. Soon you will be responding with "Yeeha!" whenever you hear someone say "The South will rise again." Hopefully your loved ones will have the nerve to put you down before it gets that serious, though.

Science said...

PS As a mere curiosity, being a student of anthropology, and not at all a validation of this strange culture you are report back to us about, but--what is the story with this meat and three? I am dying to find out... hopefully it wont turn out to be a Klan meeting.

Josh (the oak) said...

I haven't been to a Meat and Three yet, I want a native southerner to take me so I get the complete, and authentic experience.

Josh (the oak) said...

We just had Mo's again tonight.


onefinemess said...


What is life without a good burger joint? We've found at least one place with *really* good simple burgers out here and several with average ones.

Of course, I only eat like one burger a month, but this is intentional.

Damn you for bringing up In'N'Out and making me miss Cali again!! Every time we go back that's usually the first food stop.

I don't think I've found any specifically PacNW foods yet, although they are really into microbrews and cheese here.

Josh (the oak) said...

Nothing at all wrong with Microbrews and Cheese. You have some of the finest of both right there.

Deschutes and Tillamook.

Christina said...

Ummm, THAT is considered a "restaurant"? I don't think so.

Jen Smith said...

Josh, if you ever find yourself in Houston, TX in need of the BEST buffalo burger ever, head on over to Bubba's Texas Burger Shack. It's slightly larger than Fat Mo's but a bit more ramshackle-ly. The roof leaks, the floor has holes, and don't look for the health inspection certificate. And don't let the biker's scare ya. They're friendly folks.

Be sure to order the "fortified" OJ with Sunday brunch.

Josh (the oak) said...

@ christina, clearly it IS a restaurant and it's awesome.

@jen, I don't have any plans to be in houston soon, so I'll have to settle for my own fortified OJ

jenny moon said...

you HAD to mention in-n-out, didn't i need to go back to cali to have a double double, even though beef has not touched my lips in almost two years...and those eyes are rolling back in my head from the joyous memory of those sweet sweet fries

Nate said...

Clearly the South is rotting your brain if you think that qualifies as a restaurant. Where would you sit if it was raining?