I am conquering the burger joints of Hayward…slowly. A girl can only eat so many patties, shakes, and fries at a time. You can find out what I think makes a great burger by reading the first post in this series, right here. The second joint I’ve hit is…
251 A Street
An adept, multitasking staff and a nondescript exterior with plenty of seating are housed inside this restaurant about a mile from downtown Hayward. The standard greasy spoon options are available as well as teriyaki and spicy pork platters. Burger types are many, including Hawaiian burgers with grilled pineapple and the popular Best Burger itself, topped off with pastrami.
I don’t like pastrami, so I ordered a simple cheeseburger.
Patty: It was a giant disc, bigger than the bun! The patty was thin—1/3 lb. only flattens so far—and after an initial hit of salt, it didn’t serve up much by way of juice or seasoning.
Bun: Warm sesame bun. As you can see in that picture, the bottom was definitely smaller than the top. Thus, I diagnose it with Disappearing Bottom Bun disease and recommend flipping about 2/3rds of the way through.
Cheese: American, acceptably melted.
Toppings: Pay the 30 cents for grilled onions. PAY IT! The thick slices retained their flavor while getting a good char at the tips—perfect! Shredded iceberg for lettuce, thinly sliced hothouse tomatoes, an adequate mayo layer, and several dill pickle slices rounded out the toppings.
Shake: A medium was gigantic! I don’t know why anyone would order a large. How would you eat it?! Minimal cheek hollowing was required to suck it up a straw, and the strawberry flavor was bright, though it was run-of-the-mill ice cream.
Fries: Medium-to-thick cut but with enough thinner slices and end bits to offer a range of textures and crunch. They were almost too fried, meaning just the right amount for me. Lightly salted.
Price: $12 for all of the above. Feels a little steep. But maybe I’m dreaming of older days…
The Verdict: Best Burger? Naw, but it’s a solid one. The grilled onions made the burger. I’d have been disappointed without them.
Reviewed 9 July 14.