Friday, March 12, 2010

Original Tommy's: Elizabeth's First Tommy's Burger

I have been eating at Tommy's since high school; a year ago I documented my history with the place. But Elizabeth had never been. We'd talked about going before, but every time we ended up at Pie 'n Burger or Philly's Best. Last night we hit up the South Pas farmers market - a relatively modest haul of cotton candy, flowers, strawberries and sourdough bread - and were intending to go to Philly's Best, but at the last minute I suggested chili burgers. Elizabeth agreed.

Tommy's was pretty empty when we got there. In fact, I've never seen a Tommy's with so few customers. Now, this Pasadena location, near Walnut and Hill, is by far my least favorite of the half-dozen locations I have been to. (And nothing beats the original on Beverly and Rampart.) But it's still pretty damn good. We stood in front of the counter for a minute while I explained the options to Elizabeth. The guy working the counter stepped up and asked if we were ready to order. 

"Just a second," I said. "This is her first Tommy's experience."

"Oh, okay," he said, and backed off, giving the proper amount of reverence to the occasion.

I ordered the #3 combo, my standard order, with extra pickles and extra mustard. Elizabeth ordered the #2 - a chili cheeseburger. 

Our food was, not surprisingly, ready in only five minutes. The bun on my burger was a little stale, but other than that it was the same delicious burger I have enjoyed many, many times. (But again, there is no comparison between this Pasadena Tommy's and the older locations.) Elizabeth enjoyed her burger, too, although I could tell this wasn't going to replace Pie 'n Burger or Hutch's in our regular burger rotation. But she usually doesn't get chili burgers, and she liked this one, and is planning to get some chili cheese fries next time.

As usual, I did not order chili fries but rather ate my burger over the fries, which provided enough spillage to sufficiently top them. 


TJ said...

You have a regular burger rotation?! This pleases me very much to hear.

I would like to be included in your next visit to Hutch's. I ate there the other night after quickly abandoning a 90 minute wait at the nearby CPK's. Hutch's was empty and delicious. I had forgotten how good their BBQ sauce was/is.

JustinM said...

A 90 minute wait at CPK? People f**king baffle me. Of course Hutch's was empty.

That reminds me of the days when my friends and I would walk by Cheesecake Factory on a Friday night - while there was at least a two hour wait - on our way to Kuala Lumpur, which was usually only a quarter-full.

Anonymous said...

How does it compare to Wolf Burgers?

JustinM said...

I like Wolfe Burgers' chili a lot more.

Anonymous said...

Wolfe Burgers' chili is awesome, and even better when ordered "spicy" over fries.

But then, we can only do that if we're ready for two hours on the treadmill afterwards!

JustinM said...

You know, Two Guys, I only ordered the chili fries once and was disappointed. I love their fries (when cooked long enough; sometimes they're limp) and I love their chili (I always get it spicy) but the two together disappointed me. The whole was less than the sum of its parts.

Cafe Pasadena said...

A nice post on this healthy meal.

julia said...

extra pickles and extra mustard? that sounds sufficiently weird to others, and right up my alley.
good choice.

JustinM said...

Well, although I like their chili, it is on the bland side. The vinegar of those two things gives it a little bite. By the way, have you ever made mustard using mustard powder and pickle vinegar? It's the way to go.