Sunday, April 23, 2006

Fatburger - Irvine



As much ire as the McDonald's corporation has drawn from anti-globalization crusaders, litigious customers, and a filmmaker named Morgan Spurlock, burgers will always remain a staple of the American diet, for better or for worse.

But if you're going to stuff your face with a hamburger while also cramming greasy french fried potatoes down your gullet, only to wash it all down with a chocolate milkshake chaser, then you might as well make it good one. Why eat something that's bad for you that's also bad-tasting?

When I need a good, cheap, fast-food burger, I go to either In-N-Out or Fatburger, two chains that beat the Golden Arches by a mile and a half. And they make no apologies that they peddle burgers; fast food burgers which are fatty, luscious, grease bombs, dripping in shiny coat of melted American cheese -- not Fruit and Walnut Salad.

In-N-Out had the right idea when they recruited the ample-figured actor, John Goodman as their spokesman. His gravelly, baritone voice-over crooned about a perfect In-N-Out lunch on L.A. radio drive time -- the kind of meal that only a fat man could credibly endorse. But they stopped short of showing Mr. Goodman on television with a Double-Double in hand. In-N-Out marketers may be direct, but they aren't stupid.

My favorite fast-food chain burger is found at Fatburger. This is the kind of place that harkens back to a time when a burger was good wholesome food for good wholesome people. Red, shiny soda fountain bar stools, chrome accents, and a jukebox pleasantly distract from the fact that the word "fat" is actually in their name.

But more ballsy than that is the option they offer of putting a whole fried egg in their sandwiches. This tasty addition amps up the cholesterol and saturated fat count to...well, I don't wanna know. Point is, it's such a perfect combination that I wonder why other joints don't follow suit. The egg complements the ground beef patty, not masking but enhancing the beefiness in a way cheese never could.

Ordering the "Baby Fat" is the usual way I mitigate eating a burger with an egg. Slightly bigger than a White Castle slider and also a lot heftier and thicker, the "Baby Fat" is still the smallest of the brood at Fatburger -- but it's enough of a meal for me when accompanied with a mound of crispy Skinny Fries and those delectably crumbly Homemade Onion Rings.

Bigger eaters can order the name sake Fatburger or the regal-sounding but gut-busting Kingburger, which will put anyone on a fast track to look like the Man himself, John Goodman.

Fatburger
(949) 262-1451
14151 Jeffrey Rd
Irvine, CA 92620

Fatburger
(949) 474-5060
3021 Michelson Dr
Irvine, CA 92612

26 Comments:

At 1:54 PM, Blogger MEalCentric said...

Elmo, love the Goodman analysis. A good friend of mine is infamous for putting down kingburgers with egg and chili like he was eating skittles. Well, probably doesnt hurt that he's 6'4'' and built like a professional athlete.

 
At 2:59 PM, Anonymous c.g. said...

never went into Fatburger even though i passed by it numerous times in brea downtown (precisely because of its name...)until my friend dd brought me to the one in irvine last year. the burgers there clearly stand apart from those in mickey d's and the like. but i have to say that my favorite place for burgers is still FUDDRUCKERS. fell in love with it when i was living in NJ and now i found out that there's one in Buena Park! i just went on www.fuddruckers.com and found that there are two in lake forest too. so go check it out! i'm a big fan of in-n-out but fuddruckers is the king. try their 1/3 pounder and add your own condiments at the bar--you'll have a feast! ;)

 
At 6:30 PM, Blogger Daily Gluttony said...

damn you elmo! damn you because i'm stuck at the office and i'm starving and i come across...

...your post with the photo of the big juicy fatburger.

and all i have here at my desk is trail mix. which ain't gonna cut it.

 
At 7:35 PM, Blogger Mark said...

Long live Fatburger! Anybody know any management there? We need one in Temecula.

 
At 10:12 PM, Anonymous Kirk said...

King Fatburger on the Char, No Mayo, no relish......totally delici-yoso!!! We used to go to the Brea location all the time! Oh, and one order of fat fries, one order of skinny fries - you had to give equal time. Bad thing is, that Fatburger here in San Diego, isn't as good, as strange as that sounds.

 
At 10:38 PM, Anonymous Seth Chadwick said...

Now your killing cows, elmo? Does your treachery know no bounds?

:o)

Great review and I adore Fatburger. A regular burger with everything (including an egg), hold the tomato, and a batch of their onion rings and I am a happy Seth. Yummy.

Glad you posted about them. I think Fatburger often gets overlooked and it is one of my favorites.

Best wishes, moo killer.

 
At 10:41 PM, Blogger rick james said...

elmo...

the ole' babyfat it, so you don't feel guilty trick! i use that one at F.B. all the time!!

 
At 11:12 PM, Blogger rick james said...

hey elmo,

4 of my fav pizza places in the O.C.... Me N Eds, Pizza Haus, Roma Ditalia, and Numero Uno

have you tried any of em lately?

 
At 4:52 PM, Blogger elmomonster said...

Mealcentric,

Egg and chili? On a Kingburger? That's so insane, it's genius!

c.g.,

Never been to Fuddruckers, but have heard impressive things about it. Definitely on my list.

DG,

Happy to illicit envy! Even though the patty isn't visible in that photo, it lurks and waits, using the egg as bait.

Mark,

Hopefully someone's listening and is planning to open up a franchise near you. Because there's two in Irvine! We'll lend the people of Temecula one of ours. What do you got to trade? ;-)

Kirk,

You know what? I thought it was just me. I ate at the Fatburger in Horton Plaza in SD once, thought it wasn't good, but chalked it up to bad timing...I guess quality does vary by location.

Seth,

Chicken ovums and cattle were harmed in the process of this review. AND MAN were they GOOD!

DCCF,

Was close to trying Roma Di Italia last Saturday. I have to check out Me N Eds and Pizza Haus...the name sounds intriguing already.

 
At 6:30 PM, Blogger rick james said...

sorry elmo,

i'm dyslexic, its Haus of Pizza

Doria's Haus of Pizza. 1500 Adams Ave, Costa Mesa, CA 92626

if you liked old school shakeys thin crust pizza, you should try Me N Eds in Costa Mesa

 
At 12:17 AM, Blogger Passionate Eater said...

Ha ha, they need to have Roseanne as their spokeswoman, and I'll be there in a heartbeat! (Or the stop of a heartbeat, since I'll be having a heart attack.)

I like the bacon and avocado they add on Farmer Brothers hamburgers. ... Every type of cholesterol under one bun... Now that's what I call a burger!

Also, in AZ, they used to have this place called Whataburger. Great stuff.

 
At 2:15 PM, Blogger Tokyoastrogirl said...

Nothing beats the hamburger/cheese/egg combo. Nothing!

 
At 10:35 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Oh... Elmo,

I miss Irvine even more now after seeing the picture of Fatburger :(
:( Wish they have a Fatburger and Carl's here.

Wan

 
At 10:58 PM, Blogger Kathy said...

Hi Elmo,
I've been reading your blog a while (and enjoying it very much!), off links from Reid. We've got tons of In-N-Out here in Claremont, but you tempt me to make a drive out for a midnight Fatburger :)
www.apassionforfood.blogspot.com

 
At 1:58 PM, Blogger elmomonster said...

DCCF,

Thin crust is the only way to go for me. Thanks for the rec.

PE,

That reminds me of this Simpsons episode where there was a commercial on Homer's TV advertising something called the Good Morning Burger. I think it went something like this:

We take eighteen ounces of sizzling ground beef, and soak it in rich, creamery butter, then we top it off with bacon, ham, and a fried egg. We call it the Good Morning Burger.

Tokyoastogirl,

Nothing except the Good Morning Burger! (see above)

Anonymous,

I'm sure there are burger joints that are just as worthy where you are. But, a fried egg on a burger, now that's rare.

Kathy,

Love your blog! Why have I not seen until now. But there are closer locations of Fatburger near you. Brea for sure...I think there's also one in West Covina too. If you make it out to one, remember the egg!

 
At 4:57 PM, Blogger Steph said...

I've only been to Fatburger once, and it was so long ago I can't even remember what I had or if it was any good (the one by the Palladium in LA while waiting to get into a Jane's Addiction concert). Your post has definitely put it back on my radar! Thanks, monster!

 
At 9:16 PM, Blogger Mark said...

Had to hit up the Orange location for lunch today. King Burger w/cheese & an egg! All your fault.

 
At 9:21 AM, Blogger elmomonster said...

Steph,

Hope when you try Fatburger again it will be as good as you remember (or don't remember as this case may be)...as Kirk says though, quality seems to vary by location.

Mark,

Glad to be of service. I'll happily take the blame if it means you had a tasty burger!

 
At 9:00 PM, Blogger Eddie Lin said...

Did you say that there's an option of putting balls in the burger? Oh, I'm sorry. Wishful thinking. You said it's a ballsy option to put a whole fried egg on your sandwich. Ah, gotcha. Right.

How embarrassing.

 
At 3:03 AM, Blogger googiemel said...

definitely stopping here for lunch in orange this week. i thought i was the only one who loved an egg on a hamburger.

 
At 6:00 PM, Blogger elmomonster said...

Eddie,

Sounds like someone's having flashbacks of those Rocky Mountain Oysters it seems. HA!

Melissa,

I think a better question would be "Who WOULDN'T love an egg on a burger?"...Enjoy! And thanks for visiting my blog!

 
At 9:02 PM, Blogger Jeremiah said...

You know, I work near the Aliso Viejo Fatburger, and I go in there on occasion when I'm in the mood for a good burger, and yet, I've never tried it with an egg.

Next time, I'll do the Mini-Fat with an egg, like you mention. And the onion rings. I like the fries, but the onion rings have my (artery-hardened) heart.

 
At 3:43 PM, Blogger elmomonster said...

J.,

Those onion rings and egg add-on will be the death of me. I'm glad I have to go out of my way to go to Fatburger. It's not on my route home from work. This fact probably saved me at least one coronary bypass.

 
At 1:21 AM, Anonymous jp116 said...

Fatburger is delicious! I remember coupons floating around somewhere too. I -love- their thick fries.

Sadly, I think the Michelson location may be closing to make way for more parking for the newly built condos of that area.

 
At 6:55 AM, Blogger elmomonster said...

Awwm...that's sad news. Well, at least we've got one left in Irvine if the one on Michelson goes. That one was always too busy for me though...

 
At 9:50 AM, Blogger Brandon said...

The one on Michelson is still open despite the theatre being nearly destroyed now. I went there a couple nights ago and there was no sign of it closing down anytime soon. Also, their chili cheese fries are excellent.

 

Post a Comment

<< Home