For the last 10 years, on and off, I've worked in Pasadena. On many occasions I've driven by the intersection of Walnut and El Molino and noted to self to one day eat at the very popular burger place on the southeast corner. Well, I never got there and the note to self faded into the netherworld.
But one day I read that Rick's Drive-in was closing. Mon Dieu! That's the burger place that I always wanted to go to in Pasadena. As it happened, My Doppelganger and I were starting a Great Burger Challenge series and we made the decision to get to Rick's tres vites before it closed.
Is it fair to compare a Rick's Drive-in burger to one from Father's Office? Perhaps not. I realized after eating at Rick's and speaking with my fellow foodies that there is definitely a burger hierarchy in Los Angeles: you have your fast food/drive thru burgers (Tommy's, In N Out, Rick's, etc.); your well known restaurant burgers (Dish, Pete's, Village Idiot, etc.); and then your "elite" burgers (Father's Office, 25 Degrees, Lucky Devils, etc.). Is a burger that's not made with kobe style beef and served with a posh cheese and chipotle aioli worthy of a foodie's accolades? Even though the elite burger might always win out, due to the quality of ingredients and level of skill that goes into the preparation, I think that a fast food burger could easily have a place on a top ten list.
Check out Mr. Taste of Thai's thoughts on his double cheeseburger:
Actually, off camera he admitted that he thought that a Rick's Drive-in burger was better than In N Out. I have to agree: I thought that the burger was really tasty.
LAgourmet ordered one of the special french bread burgers and was quite disappointed:
The big hit, with me at least, was "The Spuderito." While we were standing in line, and then waiting for our burgers, nearly everyone who went to Rick's said, "What's a Spuderito?" Here, find out:
See my passionate reaction to "The Spuderito":
One of the other retro items that we ordered was the Taco on a Bun. It was essentially an americanized taco (seasoned meat, lettuce, tomato, and cheese) on a burger bun with mustard. Check it out:
Pursuant to MaxMillion's request, I've mixed it up a bit. My homage to French New Wave Cinema:
As an added bonus, here is a photo of my Crema di Limone gelato from Bulgarini Gelato Artigianale in Alta Dena. One spoonful of this stuff and I was transported to my favorite sea side resort in Sicilia.
680 E. Walnut Street
Pasadena, CA 91101
Bulgarini Gelato Artigianale
749 E. Altadena Drive
Altadena, CA 91001
Labels: Bulgarini Gelato, burgers, Pasadena, Rick's Drive-in, The Spuderito