Today I had the brilliant idea of visiting one of the local Tommy's Hamburger shacks to pick up a Tommy Burger T-shirt for my brother-in-law [CB: you can't read this until a week after it has posted]. I have never had a Tommy Burger in the many times I've visited LA (as an East Coaster) nor as a CA resident.
I did my research and found out that these burgers were famous for being a drippy (but tasty) mess of a burger than comes slathered with chili and as many as three beef patties (I can feel my arteries seizing up as I write this). Yelp.com had some humorous reviews but among the hundreds of review out there, the common themes were:
- don't eat here if you're not into grease and a hamburger hangover
- the more sober you are, the less appealing the food is (and along the same vein, Tommy Burgers make great "drunk food")
- many loyal fans can only stomach a Tommy Burger about one every other month
- if you don't like messy food, ask for the chili on the side (I made sure I remembered that!)
- eating the burger is only half the experience; the other half is experiencing the environment one has to endure in order to get a Tommy Burger (read on for further explanation)
After my internet search, it turned out that the closest Tommy Burger shacks were located in Santa Monica and Long Beach. After reading the Yelp reviews, Air Boss and I thought it best not to drag the kids to the questionable area of Santa Monica where Tommy Burger was located and decided instead to mosey on over to the "better part" of Long Beach.
Haha. So. Not. True.
We found the shack in LB no problem. We dined al fresco to the roars of loud motor bikes in the parking lot, to the shuffling of homeless folks, to the incessant pigeon cooings as they waited for crumbs to fall, and to the excitement of an arrest happening about 100 yards away. Luckily the kids were sitting with their backs to the police cruiser and the suspect spread eagle on the hood of the police car. I had called Air Boss' attention to the "situation" just as another police car arrived at the scene (thank goodness for back-up). We saw cop #2 exit his vehicle only to return seconds later to retrieve his billy club.
Needless to say, 'Shroom and Lolli were getting a lot of flak from me for not eating fast enough.
Air Boss knew I was just itching to blog about our Tommy Burger experience. He told me to take a photo of our exciting environment as a way of documenting the moment. I thought better of it.
Instead, I'll post an image of the anatomy of a Tommy Burger so you don't have to risk your health (or life) to benefit from our burger experience:
P.S. Oh yeah. Mission accomplished: we got the T-shirt!