Who has the burgers and fries in Santa Ramona Valley? That question has debated often and in some cases loudly. The current class of burger serving places is:
-Wolfe's Tavern -Juan's 1 Stop Drive In -The Diner -Beach Burgers
In the spirit of professional journalism this reporter bit the burger and went to each.
The burger at Wolfe's arrived hot from the grill. It was thick and juicy despite being cooked beyond the medium rare requested. The fries however arrived so over salted they were almost inedible. I was told that the chef was having a bad day and the fries were replaced with good ones as the first mention of displeasure. Admittedly Wolfe's is a tavern first and foremost so salty food, which encourages patrons to drink more, makes sense. Overall rating: B
Juan's 1 Stop Drive In is one of two retro places on our burger tour. Located at Pacific and grand you can drive right up and eat in the car, or grab one of the tables under the awning. The burgers are very fast food in quality. It's fast, cheap and edible but nothing to write home about. One recommendation is to get a milk shake to dip your fries into. They tend to be crispy to the point of shattering when bitten so by dipping you soften them up and get a salty sweet combo that makes this place worth the gas. Overall rating: C
The Diner is located just north of Imperial Plaza Mall on Shady Street. They have what this reporter feels is the second best burger in town but the fries are far and away the best around. The 100% beef burgers are cooked well, seasoned properly and paired with double fried french fries. Each crispy on the outside potato treasure is a bit of heaven. Overall rating: A-
Beach Burgers is a hidden gem. It's tucked beside the lifeguard shack at Menice Beach. There is only seating for six but the beach is only steps away so get your food to go and take it down to the sand. The burgers are available as 100% beef or their special beef and pork mix which adds a depth of flavor found nowhere else in town. They carry sixteen burgers on the menu. The fries are cooked to order which means they are always delivered hot and crisp. Overall rating: A