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Top 4 California fast food restaurants

Thursday, February 7th, 2008

HamburgerThere has been a lot written about American food and how much it leaves to be desired in terms of general healthiness. However, don’t overlook the fact that although some of it genuinely does count as junk food, there is much that is absolutely fantastic, and provided you don’t monumentally overindulge, it isn’t going to have to great an impact on your waistline or your arteries.

1. Tommy’s

Let’s start down south in Los Angeles, the home of Tommy’s. Tommy’s first started serving burgers in 1946 from a small lot on the corner of Beverly and Rampart Boulevards, and the original sight is still there and still serving today. There are no tables and chairs, no waiters or waitresses, just ledges around the walls where you can put your food while you eat it.

The location isn’t fancy, but the burgers are pretty much unsurpassable – huge chunks of beef, double-thick slices of cheese, all topped off with Tommy’s deservedly famous chili. Eat it slowly, its a mountain of good food. Many of the 29 branches of Tommy’s dotted around California are open 24 hours, so it’s the perfect place to go for a late night snack, or to set you up before a long journey.

2. In-N-Out

Another great burger joint is In-N-Out, famous both for the freshness of their burgers, which never use frozen meat and are always cooked to order, and their not-so-secret secret menus. The basic menus are very simple, there are only three burgers, the ordinary hamburger, the cheeseburger, and the “double double”, which is basically a huge double cheeseburger.

The “secret” menus allow you to take advantage of the fact that all of the burgers are freshly made to order by adapting them to your own taste. For example, you can ask for a 3×3 or a 4×4, with, you guessed it, 3 or 4 meat patties respectively, wedged into an enormous bun. Just try not to dislocate your jaw when you are getting one of those bad boys into your mouth. Another favourite is Animal Style, with a mustard cooked beef patty as well as assorted other treats. For those of you on a low carb diet ( although I can’t imagine what you would be doing in a place like this if you are) you can also order a burger Protein Style, wrapped in lettuce leaves instead of in a bun.

3. Jack in the Box

Started in San Diego, but now to be found all over the states, Jack in the Box is another good value for money burger chain. They have a whole range of different foods with an often changing array of specials, but the absolute best is the Sourdough Jack, as the name suggests, made with mouthwatering sourdough bread.

4. Denny’s Diner

The absolute apex for serious eaters though is Denny’s Diner. This is a huge chain, with over 2500 branches throughout North America, and equally huge servings of food for pretty tiny prices. Especially worthy of note are the breakfasts. A good example is the Grand Slam Slugger which consists of sweet creamy buttermilk pancakes, two eggs, two slices of bacon, two sausages, plus hash browns or grits or toast, accompanied by a glass of juice and unlimited refills of coffee. This, my friends, is how to begin a day. Get one of these inside you and you will be ready for anything.

Photo originally posted by Christian Razukas

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About the author

Venere Travel Blog writer andy carlsson

Andy Carlsson is a freelance writer and travel blogger based in China.

7 responses to “Top 4 California fast food restaurants”

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  1. Beth Wonson says:
    February 17th, 2008 at 6:34 pm

    El Pollo Loco …I think is one of the best fast foods…and one of the only I go too. I love a good chicken. And when traveling between San Luis Obispo and San Jose or San Fran…this is a good stop. I wish they’d put one in San Luis!

    http://www.elpolloloco.com

  2. AL says:
    June 19th, 2008 at 11:14 am

    TGIF RESTAURANT OR WHAT I REFER TO AS TGIO (THANK GOD IT’S OVER)

    THE SERVICE WAS HORRIBLE, THE FOOD MEDIOCRE & TO TOP IT OFF THE SERVER TRIED TO STEAL THE CASH LEFT FOR THE PAYMENT OF THE CHECK.

    1. WE WAITED 30 MIN FOR A TABLE.
    2. AFTER SEATING WE WAITED 20-30 MIN FOR OUR APPETIZERS.
    3. AFTER APPETIZERS WE WAITED 20-30 MIN FOR OUR FOOD.
    4. DURING THIS EXTREMELY LONG WAIT, THE SERVER FORGOT 1 OF OUR ORDERS, A CHILD’S PIZZA.
    4A. WHILE WAITING FOR OUR MEAL I WATCHED HOST JIM ON SEVERAL OCCASIONS BRING PARTIES TO BE SEATED AT A TABLE THAT WASN’T BUSSED. YES, THIS IS SADLY TRUE & HE STOOD IN THE MIDST OF PAYING CUSTOMERS & SPOKE LOUDLY INTO A COMMUNICATION DEVICE REQUESTING IMMEDIATE BUS SERVICE. OH, YES IT GETS WORSE.
    5. I ORDERED A TOP SHELF MOJITO…IT WAS SYRUPY SWEET AND OF VERY POOR QUALITY.
    6. WE ASKED FOR RANCH DRESSING & TABASCO 2-3 TIMES BEFORE IT WAS BROUGHT.
    7. I SENT THE MOJITO BACK, BUT THE CHARGE WASN’T REMOVED FROM THE CHECK.
    8. MY DAUGHTER ACTUALLY HAD TO GET UP FROM THE TABLE TO DISCUSS THE MOJITO CHARGE WITH HOST JIM & SHE GAVE HIM THE CHECK FOLDER & CASH TO CORRECT THE CHARGES.
    9. WE FINISHED OUR DESSERT & LEFT RESTAURANT.
    10. SERVER DANA LITERALLY RAN PAST ME SAYING THAT WE HADN’T PAID THE BILL. I ASSUME HE WAS TRYING TO STOP MY FAMILY FROM LEAVING THE RESTAURANT. I TOLD HIM HE WAS PAID IN FULL & MY HUSBAND STATED THE SAME. HE INSISTED THAT WASN’T TRUE. NOW, THIS ALL TOOK PLACE IN THE MIDDLE OF THE WAITING AREA OF YOUR VERY BUSY RESTAURANT. WHAT A SCENE!
    11. I WENT TO HOST JIM TO ASK HIM TO EXPLAIN TO SERVER DANA ABOUT RECEIVING THE CHECK HE STATED THAT HE DIDN’T RECEIVE THE MONEY.
    12. I WENT OUTSIDE TO GET MY DAUGHTER WHO PAID THE CHECK & BROUGHT HER BACK. SHE WALKED TO THE TABLE WITH SERVER DANA & HOST JIM WHO SAID THAT HE RETURNED THE CHECK WITH THE CASH TO MY DAUGHTER. YES, YET ANOTHER VERSION OF THE STORY. THEN, HOST JIM SAID THAT HE LEFT THE CHECK AT TABLE 16 OR 17. THEN, LOW AND BEHOLD SERVER DANA HAD THE CHECK IN HIS APRON POCKET THE ENTIRE TIME. WHAT A MESS!
    13. MY FAMILY LEFT & I RETURNED TO REPORT THIS SITUATION TO A MANAGER & WAS TOLD BY MANAGER DANIELLE THAT THESE TYPES OF THINGS HAPPEN. SHE APOLOGIZED IN A HALF HEARTED MANNER & RESTATED THAT THESE THINGS DO HAPPEN IN RESTAURANTS. I ASKED FOR THE CORPORATE OFFICE’S NUMBER SHE OFFERED HER DAYTIME MANAGER’S NAME GINA MAESE, BUT SAID THAT SHE WOULDN’T BE AVAILABLE UNTIL LATER THIS WEEK.

    THE SITUATION IS SO RIDICULOUSLY DISTURBING & UNPROFESSIONAL THAT I CAN’T BELIEVE IT HAPPENED. WE SPENT $121.08 THAT INCLUDED A $17.00 GRATUITY. I WANT MY MONEY RETURNED! THERE WASN’T ANYTHING ENJOYABLE ABOUT THIS DINING FIASCO. CONSIDERING THE LACK SERVICE, QUALITY OF FOOD & HUMILIATING CHECK DEBACLE. IT IS ONLY REASONABLE FOR YOUR COMPANY TO RETURN OUR MONEY. WE DIDN’T GET WHAT WE PAID FOR, THAT WAS SUPPOSE TO BE A PLEASANT DINING EXPERIENCE.

    I WON’T PUT MY FAMILY THROUGH THAT EXPERIENCE AGAIN. BUT, CONSIDERING THAT YOU ARE IN A CUSTOMER SERVICE INDUSTRY, YOU MAY WANT TO BECOME MORE CUSTOMER FOCUSED & FIND A PROFESSIONAL WAY TO APPROACH & RESOLVE THESE TYPES OF ISSUES. FOR THE SAKE OF YOUR OTHER CUSTOMERS YOU MAY WANT TO CONSIDER THE IMPACT OF THE ACTIONS OF YOUR EMPLOYEES ON YOUR CUSTOMERS. THIS MAYBE A CUSTOMER SERVICE TRAINING ISSUE. REALLY, I AM AT A LOSS.

    I AM NOT A FRIDAY’S FAN, BUT MY CHILDREN ARE. NOW, I REMEMBER WHY FRIDAY’S IS ONE OF MY LEAST FAVORITE RESTAURANTS.

    SIGNED,

    A CONCERNED CONSUMER

  3. Jackspar says:
    July 30th, 2008 at 3:33 pm

    Delicious information. I have enjoyed my dinner in all these four restaurants. And I can realise the taste offered in those restaurants.
    ________
    jackspar.

  4. juan veliz says:
    August 4th, 2009 at 2:08 am

    hey i dont agree with dennys being #4 because dennys is a dine-in restaurant.. its not fast food… fast food you walk up to the cashier (wait in line maybe) place an order, pay, a few mins later u get ur food.. eat.. leave.. dennys u walk in, u are greeted and taken to a table, given a menu, u order, 20 mins later u get ur food, u eat, then when ur done u leave a tip, and u pay, and then u make ur exit… thats not fast food BUT I LOVE DENNYS! just shouldnt be on this list… maybe Wendys… Pollo Loco… Taco Bell.. should be #4

  5. Ivo Stoichev says:
    August 13th, 2010 at 11:47 am

    You say no tables and chairs, just ledges on the wall. Perhaps that’s its charm, since you can’t find something like that anyway, it’s unique and the food is so good it can cover for that :)

  6. Fbf System says:
    September 16th, 2010 at 1:46 pm

    Fast foods are great, but they sometimes contains too much calories, got to keep a look out on that… lol.

  7. unanonymous says:
    October 23rd, 2010 at 8:29 pm

    i love in-n-out burger and agree it should be there :)


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