Best '50s Burger Joint: Where's the Fonz when you need him?
Great American Hamburger & Pie Company
Great American Hamburger & Pie Company 35 East Richmond Ave., Richmond, 510-233-2223
Long as you're in the neighborhood, you might stop here. There's something to love about a tattooed and toothless burger flipper. It's even better when she's approaching sixty and has long bleach-blonde hair framing her décolletage. If the faux '50s are your thing, avoid this place like the plague; Mel's is waiting for you. But if you want the real deal -- '50s-style burgers served up by real folks who were there then and have the heartbreak to show for it -- this here is your spot. It's a joint where you can mingle with filthy refinery workers, neatly dressed Chamber of Commerce types, raggedy boat bums, splattered working artists, and Ralph Lauren-attired yachting sorts while enjoying breakfast or a burger, fries, and a shake, just like they did back in the day. And it's almost as clean as your mother's kitchen.