Saturday, April 18, 2009

The Perfect Burger

The truth is, some of you will not read this all the way to the bottom of the post.
Some of you will skim it and make a comment.
Some of you will scroll down to the recipe to see if you like it.
Some of you will actually read it word for word.

So....for you skimmers, and scrollers, I want to ask you this:

What do you put on your hamburger?
Do you even eat hamburgers?
Is there a special place from your youth....that made great hamburgers. Your "hang out" joint, if you will. The place that made the burgers of your dreams?
(you may comment on this OR write your own blog reminiscing about your favorite hamburger joint. If you write your own memory blog post, let me know )

When I was a teenager, my friends and I had a favorite hamburger joint....Zips, on Columbia Drive in Kennewick, WA.
Unbeknownst to me, my husband and his friends (who were much, much older than me and my friends) went to the Zips in Richland, WA. (across the river).
We argue to this day....just right now in fact....about which "Zips" was best.

YIKES! I win...the best and the FIRST Zips was in the town I grew up in. LOL
from their website:
Surprise! There really was a guy named “Zip.” Robert “Zip” Zuber built his first Zip’s Drive-in with the motto “Thrift and Swift” in Kennewick Washington in 1953, wisely figuring to serve the workers, scientists, and their families coming to the Tri-Cities to work in the new nuclear industry.

(okay, so we grew up in a government made, nuclear city. Richland...that's what it started out as in the 1940's..... our fathers "were" workers and scientists...really. But that's a story for another time )
Zips made the best hamburgers....the ones we dream about. Whenever we go home to visit our parents, we make it a point to stop at Zips and get a "papa joe" and some fries and fry sauce.
I searched the Internet, and I found a few reviews...
This is a really fun place to go out to eat when you are in a hurry. The food is great, the staff is nice, and the food is cooked quickly unlike a lot of other places I have eaten at.

I grew up with Zip's. They have the best burgers, fries and onion rings and oh yeah don't forget to ask for plenty of their Zip's sauce to dip them in. Been around for ages--nothings changed except the menu has gotten bigger.

But back to my friends..... we used to eat at Zips a couple times a week. We used to joke about growing up and getting married and bringing our children to eat once a week at Zips. We thought we'd never outgrow it! (and we didn't...we just moved away)
This was back before fast foods and play-yards, but we did have..... collectible glasses. Coke glasses. (or beverage glasses) and it was the thing to drive by everyday and get a coke....we had to collect the whole set of "Flintstones" or "Loony-Toone" glasses to put in our "hope chests". It was a cool thing to do.

On any given Saturday night, the parking lot was filled with cars full of teenagers....circa 1970's. My friend Sherry once, ran over to the car of a boy she liked (he must have been in the bathroom or somewhere ), leaned in and said to his girlfriend, "oh, I was just wondering if I lost my earrings in here."
We thought we were so funny!! So Cool, so..... hip.

from their website :
In the 1960’s Zip’s Drive-in was the quintessential American Graffiti-era drive-in, replete with cars encircling the buildings beneath colorful awnings, phones for calling in your order from your car or table, and carhops and waitresses to bring you your food. As charming as this might have been – and as much as it is missed by some – it was not quick enough to keep up with America’s fast paced lifestyle, and by the early 70’s drive-ins all over the country were closing. Minor and Kelly were savvy enough to see this trend and built some of the Northwest’s first drive-through lanes, allowing Zip’s Drive-in to remain one of the few local hamburger chains to continue to thrive, still keeping Robert “Zip” Zuber’s motto “Thrift and Swift” at the heart of our business today. Thank You for letting us serve the Northwest for the past 50 years

Every once in awhile, here in the Big backyard, we try to reproduce the Zips burger...the Papa Joe. It had ham on it. The Belly Buster? Ham AND bacon. And don't forget the fry sauce, the homemade tartar sauce, fish and chips---the best anywhere!!
I am usually a mustard and relish and onion hamburger person. Ketchup, nope, and Mayo--hell no!
Except when I'm trying to reproduce the Papa Joe from Zips.
It had a burger, ham, lettuce, cheese, a thinly, thinly sliced tomato and.....mayo? or some white Zips sauce. I can come close to a Zips burger, but not quite.

I will answer the questions I asked you earlier....

Yes I will eat a burger.
98% of the time I put mustard, relish or pickles and a slice of onion on it.
I like my cheese melted and my buns toasted.
My favorite hang-out joint was a local hamburger and fish drive-in (not a drive-thru, but a drive "in" )
It made the burger of my dreams.

and I tried to recreate tonight. (it never quite works out)

PS where are "hang out" joints today? do teenagers really have them anymore? Like we did?


teresa said...

What a great memory, and I've never even heard of Zips, but if I ever come across one, I'm going! My memories of hamburgers are the homemade ones that my parents grilled in our backyard, with all the perfect seasonings, nothing says summer like a good grilled burger!

Karen said...

I can't remember what happened last week and you're asking me to remember when I was a teenager?? LOL I do remember going to the bowling alley when I was a teen in the small town we lived in. We didn't go to bowl... we went to check out the guys ;)

Donna-FFW said...

Yes, I eat burgers, with melted cheese, ketchup, and when available fresh garden tomatoes.. my favorite way!! Favorite burger joint when I was younger, was a drive thru, rockets.. they delivered to you on Roller Skates!!

Terri said...

Don't you love memories like that? Thanks for jogging my memory. My answers are on my food blog.

The Blonde Duck said...

I LOVE burgers!

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