Best Old American Burger - 2005
Jim's Burger Haven
Sometimes you just want a burger. Not a buffalo burger, not some coddled Kobe-beef monstrosity with butter lettuce, aioli and heirloom tomatoes. Just a burger: dead cow on bread. That's when you head right for Jim's Burger Haven, a car-cult joint whose origins can be traced to the glory days of ten-cent milkshakes and miniskirted carhops. The burgers date from that era, too. The kitchen makes big, thin patties of loose-packed meat, cooks them to order on the flat grill until they're well-done and crispy around the edges, then serves them on big, squishy buns totally inadequate for maintaining the structural integrity of anything larger than a small single, the cheapskate burger that costs 89 cents. All burgers come loaded unless you ask for them otherwise, the meat becoming just another stratum of flavor and texture as the bun, burger, gooey cheese, mustard, ketchup, bright onion, sweet tomato, lettuce and pickle brine merge into a single, over-arching burger gestalt. In other words, this is a classic, old-fashioned burger.