Since 1950, Irv’s Burgers – a stand, essentially – with aluminum tables under canvas umbrellas, has been serving up delicious, mouthwatering burgers. I stumbled upon it by first spotting the neon lights of Mary’s across the street. However, I wanted to dine at the unassuming, seedy-looking, makeshift burger factory as opposed to the casual sit-down restaurant.
The double cheeseburger ($4.55) was ordered with lettuce, tomato, pickle, onion, ketchup. No mustard, mayo. Ohhhhhh myyyyyy gooooooodness, it is such an incredible thing to behold. Heaven between two buns.
In a move that was either an isolated instance of suggestive gang-related innuendo or an interesting show of customer appreciation, the words “just for you” appeared on my plate – written in magic marker – beside a scribbled vato. I loved it!
Irv’s has super polite staff. They even made lunch for an eccentric, young homeless man, who appreciated their gesture immensely.
Hamburger Mary’s is touted as a bar for open-minded people. Well, when they feature the likes of burlesque and drag shows, I can see why grandma isn’t coming here to celebrate her 80th. It smells like a raunchy bar with beer-stained floors and sticky tabletops. Crusty things – attracting hair and other fibers – can be found atop the condiment bottles.
A sign hangs on the wall, advising guests that “due to the high number of walk-outs, we now require a credit card to sit on the patio.” The question I pondered was, “why so many walk-outs?” How about bad service? It took nearly ten minutes before the patio server visited my table with a menu. I didn’t leave – even though I saw many happy people eating at Irv’s across the street – because I was determined to give Hamburger Mary’s a fair shot and wanted to compare the two.
Mary’s has a three-step process to order a freakin’ burger: 1) Pick your meat. 2) Pick your style. 3) Pick your side. My choices: Ground chuck ($9.99); “Mary Burger” with 1000 island dressing, lettuce, tomato, pickles, and I added cheddar ($1.25); french fries. It was just a half-pound of ground sirloin that didn’t do much for me. Nothing special. Overpriced. Soggy fries with seasoning.
I envied the folks at Irv’s Burgers and wished I left Hamburger Mary’s when I had the chance.