Road Tripping in Search of the Perfect Californian Burger
American novelist Jack Kerouac once said: “I suddenly realized I was in California. Warm, palmy air – the air you can kiss – and palms.” There are countless reasons for embarking on a road trip to California but none quite as exciting as travelling across the state in search of the perfect hamburger – which is perfect considering Americans value few things more than road trips and burgers. At present, California has more than 6,000 burger restaurants, more than any other state in the USA. If you had to eat at a different burger joint every day it would still take you more than 16 years to tick them all off your list. With some effective planning, you will, however, be able to indulge in quite a few burgers while journeying across the Golden State.
Preparing for your trip
California is by no means the ‘great unknown’ but it doesn’t mean you don’t have to prepare for your road trip. Before you set off, make sure your vehicle is ready for a long trip, checking everything from windows and tires to brakes, oil and water. It is probably best to have your car serviced by a professional, especially if you are unsure of what to look out for. Decide on your route before you leave, clearly marking it out on a map. The last things you want to do while on a road trip is get lost or break down by the side of the road, so rather take the time beforehand to ensure that you will reach your destinations safely and in good time.
Must-visit burger joints
Having to navigate your way to more than 6,000 burger joints in a single road trip (or lifetime) is, unfortunately, virtually impossible. When planning your Californian road trip you are going to have to make some very difficult choices, only picking those eateries that pique your interest the most. To make your decision-making process somewhat easier, here are two names to add to your list of must-visit burger joints.
Hodad’s – San Diego
Being around for nearly 50 years, Hodad’s might very well have become the most sought-after burger joint in San Diego. In fact, the retro surfer hangout is so popular that it was featured on an instalment of Food Network’s Diners, Drive-Ins, and Dives with host Guy Fieri declaring that it was, “in my opinion, what a local burger joint oughta be.” Hodad’s have a number of mouthwatering burgers on their menu and even offers a cheeseburger without meat for patrons that might be that way inclined. If you pay Hodad’s a visit you might as well go big or go home. Their double bacon cheeseburger consists of two patties, mustard, mayo, ketchup, onions, pickles, tomato, lettuce, cheese and, of course, bacon. It’s not any old bacon strips you will find on your burger either. – they boil the entire pork belly until it falls apart before frying it up and adding it to the burger. Served with a portion of giant battered fries and onion rings you are not bound to find a better burger anytime soon.
Grill ‘Em All – Los Angeles
What do you get when you combine a passion for heavy metal music with a love for scrumptious food? Grill ‘Em All’ initial came to fame came from winning the first ever The Great Food Truck Race on Food Network. Although the original truck is still in operation, the crew has since decided to open a full-sized restaurant which boasts a menu so creative and tantalizing that you will have a very hard time deciding what to pick. Seeing that you are on a road trip across California looking for the best burger in the state, you will have to try at least one of the special offerings. If you are after something spicy then Napalm Death might be right up your alley as it features a spectacular array of toppings including pepper jack, cream cheese, jalapeno poppers, pickled jalapeno and habanero aioli. If you aren’t looking to fire up your insides, you can always opt for the Metallica which consists of Swiss cheese, bacon, avocado, lettuce, tomato, red onion and ranch dressing.
If you haven’t yet started planning your road trip to search for the best burger in California, what are you waiting for? Regardless of where you reside in the USA and how far you have to travel to reach California, if you are a self-proclaimed burger fan, you will not waste any time to plan what could possibly be the most exhilarating experience of your life.