Wayback Burgers - Tustin
Wayback Burgers in Tustin wasn't anything I thought it would be. At first, when it opened a few months ago, I pegged it as a mom-n-pop. But further research revealed it to be a franchise--part of a chain that originated in Delaware but now headquartered in Connecticut.
When I went to eat lunch there, it looked to have the hallmarks of a chain. It had the glossy posters of a corporate outfit and even a movie tie-in with a special Ghostbusters burger and shake called a "Stay Puft Slime Milkshake" that comes complete with a green slime drizzle and marshmallow topping.
But other than that, it was decidedly very unchain-like. There was one employee there doing, well, everything. He took the orders, made the burgers, fried the fries, and wiped down tables.
To cook our burger, he started with a ball of raw ground beef and smashed it flat against the sizzling griddle with a spatula. The buns he toasted with a strange vertical contraption that looked like no other toaster I've seen. And when it was all hot and ready, he walked it out the dining room and served it to us on a tray.
This guy needs to be paid at least triple what he gets, because on top of being more chipper and friendly than I would be if I had his job, he made a pretty good burger.
Though it wasn't like anything I've ever had in California, something about it triggered a memory. Have I tasted a similar burger before? Like in New York? Yes! Yes, I have!
This burger reminded me of Shake Shack's burger.
It's of a uniformly soft texture. The bun, the meat, even the tomatoes and sauce melded into a singular burger-flavored pillow, which isn't a bad thing if you're in love with Shake Shack and would rather not schlep it out to LA to have one.
1631 Edinger Ave.
Tustin, CA 92780
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