Hi! And Welcome to the September edition of our culinary food holiday series. While we have done cooking with B, (My favorite as it melded two of my favorite things together: food; and time spent with my daughter.) and other food frolics at various restaurants and the like, nothing quite matches our food holiday series. Unfortunately, due to unforeseen circumstances, last month turned into crazy town. And so I didn’t get accomplished what I want. But we are back this month with another fun food dish. Be sure to check out some of our other September tastings, here and here. But this September, we couldn’t think of anything better than to celebrate two of our favorite foods: hamburger and cheese. So for the month of September 2019, the Guide celebrates another food holiday with National Double Cheeseburger Day: September 15th.
When I’m in the mood for All American Food, nothing quite tops the cheeseburger. That delicious dish incorporates all of those things I love in life. Bring a bit of ground beef, slathered in cheese, topped with some mayo and ketchup (or special sauce if you prefer), some tart pickles, spicy onions (preferably grilled), lettuce, and all wrapped around a bit of bread, and you cannot do better.
While I like to take you back to my history with the cheeseburger, I cannot say I remember a time before the cheeseburger. Which means I suppose it goes back to infinity. But I’m not sure I want to go back that far. Let’s just say, the cheeseburger has always been a staple of my diet. (Yes, I can feel my arteries clogging right this minute.)
Of course, the burger I think of today would not be the burger I would have wanted eons ago. You could say I grew up with the Big Mac as my staple burger. Because it had everything in it I would have wanted, a nothing in it I didn’t. Between the two burger patties, the slices of cheese, the “special sauce”, the shredded lettuce, pickles and onions, I’m not sure you could have made a better burger for me.
First, the onions weren’t too large. Onions could be overpowering when I was younger. And they didn’t have tomatoes on it either. My younger self hated the crazy fruit/veggie. I loved dill pickles. The special sauce was both sweet and tart. And the melted cheese on two delicious patties tied it all together. To say nothing of the extra slice of bread which went with the sandwich, upping both the carbs and deliciousness. I couldn’t get enough of that terrible burger.
As for my daughter, her experimentation with burgers is limited. She prefers her cheeseburgers with a bun, some ketchup (or catsup if you are a traditionalist), and one slice of cheese to go on a burger. She rarely ventures out into the land of the double cheeseburger. She’ll actually order a second cheeseburger if she is that hungry. Nevertheless, cheeseburgers are one of her favorite dishes as well.
To dislike a cheeseburger, you practically have to be un-American. They even provide alternative methods of cheeseburgers with soy patties, veggie patties, and “almost beef” patties. And if being anti-carb is your thing, turning your cheeseburger into a lettuce wrap works just as well. Wherever you go, the cheeseburger can be adapted to your diet of choice.
But, of course, our obsession with the cheeseburger does not have to be your own. And we at the Guide want to provide you with more than our love of this heavenly food. We always make sure to give you the history behind this lovely dish. So, at the Guide we scour the depths of the dark web or leave this planet earth for the planet Funkin’, avoiding Darth Vader and his evil nemesis Yoda, or something like that. We jump into the Wayback time traveling machine and find out the history behind this amazing dish.
Thankfully, for the cheeseburger, we didn’t have to go too far. As all of the claims to the invention of the cheeseburger happened between the 1920s and 1930s as meat became ubiquitous and a staple of many an American diet. So let us take you back to the days when skirts were short, and flappers were plenty. Where people died just to give you some alcohol. Which means now is the time where we at the Guide proudly presents, the fake history of the double cheeseburger. Or maybe just the cheeseburger doubled. One of the two.
The Fake History of the Double Cheeseburger For National Double Cheeseburger Day
We at the Guide had to present you the four main claims to the cheeseburger beginning with the first claim from Lionel Sternberger who was 16 in 1926, and working as a fry cook in his father’s sandwich shop, “The Rite Spot.” I suppose whether or not he did his father’s shop proud is open for interpretation. He seemed to have his mind fixated on other things.
Although we cannot fault him for what he fixated on one February afternoon as he stared at the big slab of cheese being put into the refrigerator at the restaurant that afternoon. He thought and thought, and thought some more. Before long he started putting the cheese on everything. One might say he went a little cheese crazy. Sandwiches, soups, onions, salads, and before long he was dropping the cheese into the fries basket right after he pulled it from the fryer.
One piece of cheese hit the edge of the fry basket and flung across the grill, inconveniently placed right along next to the fry basket. Lionel was about to pull the cheese off the hamburger patty it fell on only it had slightly melted. So he decided to heat up another patty and stared at the cheese on the burger. He thought for a moment and then decided to throw it on the bun with a few pickles, tomato, onions and lettuce and took one bite. He wanted to finish the whole thing then and there but he decided he needed to run and show his father.
Within one millisecond, Lionel’s dad knew they had an amazing thing on their hands and decided to sell burgers with cheese at the shop. People came from miles around to eat those delicious burgers. They couldn’t keep them in the shop long enough.
The second of the cheeseburger stories comes from 1928 and a little man named Roy Al Burger. He was cooking up burgers with chili on this particular afternoon when some customer wanted chili without the burger, with a slice of cheese on top. Roy felt like this was sacrilege and decided to confront the customer. He told him as politely as possible he could have the chili on top of the burger or no burger at all. Conveniently, the burger was called the Roy Al Burger.
After disputing with Roy for 20 minutes about why he needed to order both the burger and the chili together he gave up. He was about to leave, but he knew he had no more time left for his lunch break as he spent too much of it arguing with the cook. So he asked Roy as politely as he could.
“Could you give me a Roy Al Burger with Cheese on it?” the customer requested.
“So you want a Roy Al with cheese?” Roy questioned.
“Yes!” The customer screamed.
“Hold your horses. Or in this case your burgers. One Roy Al with cheese coming right up.”
And so the great cheeseburger with chili on top made its way to O’Dell’s Diner in Los Angeles for a mere 25 cents. This delicious burger became famous throughout the southland, making another restauranteur named Tommy jealous. But that is a whole other story for a whole other blog post.
The third of the great cheeseburger claimers comes from Louisville, Kentucky. Kaelin’s restaurant and their head chef Bud Medium, got together with sous chef Harvey Rare to cook up some burgers for a bit of charity work they were doing on the side. There that day at the stove the charcoals gave up the ghost before they were finished cooking all the burgers. Worried some people might not feel the burgers were cooked through enough, they decided to add slabs of cheese to the burger to mask whatever underdone beef there might be.
Thankfully, all the beef came out fine, and no one became sick. But so many people came up and complimented them that day for the underdone burgers with the cheese on them, they decided to add the dish to the menu. Officially, this came on the menu in 1934 as the Medium-Rare Burger with cheese. People flocked from miles around just to get a taste of this little heavenly patty.
The final contestant in the cheeseburger wars comes from the Humpty-Dumpty Drive-In Restaurant in Denver, Colorado. They were able to trademark the cheeseburger name because no one else had thought to actually trademark that specific name in that specific order before. No one knows why some of the other restaurants didn’t do it. So Humpty-Dumpty did.
How they came up with the name, no one quite knows. But as far as how their burger came to be, one only need to look at the namesake to understand. It was a great kitchen accident where a large block of cheese knocked down a slab of frozen meat and landed on top.
Coincidentally this happened the same day fry cook Clarabelle Cheddar was fired for stealing French fries. She turned off the freezer for revenge so when they found the cheese on top of the unfrozen patties in the morning, they knew they had to cook them up. So they did and added the cheese to the meat as they felt they might salvage something from the wrecked burgers.
They named these burgers, Cheese on Burgers, which they later shortened to cheeseburgers. And from there they decided they had a great name for their new sandwich which sold so well. So they patented this design and mass-marketed this cheeseburger product. Why they got away with it despite other restaurants with their same sandwich, no one quite knows. Maybe it’s a mystery like the special sauce at McDonald’s. Something which remains cool as a mystery but would only cheapen the person who discovered the mystery when they found out the secret. So the Guide will leave it at that.
Five Best Double Cheeseburger Spots In Southern California For National Double Cheeseburger Day
Without a doubt, the double cheeseburger, the delicious variant of the cheeseburger, will last on into eternity. As those who cannot get enough of this amazing beef and cheese combination can attest, one helping is never enough. So the double cheeseburger came into being. And we at the Guide are always keen on giving you the very best food options when we celebrate a food holiday. Sometimes we give you an amazing recipe. But this time we will pick out the top five local places which serve double cheeseburgers for National Double Cheeseburger Day September 15th. As one recipe would never do the double cheeseburger justice. Welcome to double cheeseburger heaven. So without further ado, the Guide proudly presents the top five double cheeseburger spots in Southern California.
5) Love Hour – Los Angeles, CA
It’s one of a new variety of popup joints in Southern California which present some amazing fine dining options out of a truck. Or possibly a ready-made facility. It’s a simple double cheeseburger, cooked to order, and topped the way you like it, whatever way that might be. If you are looking for a simple and delicious treat, keep an eye out for them.
4) Burger Boss – Cypress, CA And Other Locations
For those of you into the make your own burger craze, you will not do better than Burger Boss. With several different types of protein (including making your burger a double), you will enter burger heaven with all the toppings sauces, cheeses and buns. If I want to have a burger “My Way” you gotta be the boss. So go to Burger Boss.
3) Slater’s 50/50 Anaheim Hills, CA And San Diego, CA
If you want to try some of the most unique burgers around, you will need to head on over to Slaters. With so many different types of meats, cheese, sauces, and toppings to try, including peanut butter, you will never run out of unique burgers to behold. And all of them come with the possibility of double and tripling the burger. Of course this isn’t triple cheeseburger day so it shouldn’t matter . . . unless you are hungry.
2) Honeybee Burger – Los Angeles, CA
If you want the burger to be at it’s most simple and delicious, you will not do better than Honeybee. And to get your double here, you must feel like a queen as it is the Queen Bee. It’s a double version of the Honeybee with two patties, house sauce, house-made onion jam to die for, lettuce, tomatoes, onions, and pickles. Plain, simple, and incredibly delicious. Plus the amazing sweet potato fries to go with it will leave you begging for more.
1) In and Out – Throughout Southern California
I will not be talked into a different version of this post where something beats In and Out for a Double Cheeseburger on National Double Cheeseburger Day. Cannot be done. I’m not saying there isn’t a better Cheeseburger out there. But when it comes to double cheeseburgers, nothing beats a double-double. I know some people feel the meat is underdone for them. I’m not that person. I feel like they do it perfectly. And then get it animal style with dripping cheese, extra sauce, pickles, sautéed onions, and so much more?!?! My mouth is watering. For those of you not familiar with In and Out, you need to make a pit stop here if you ever make it to Southern California. It’s the most inexpensive, delicious burger, you will find anywhere.
Wrapping This National Double Cheeseburger Day Delight Up
I will admit in my search for the delicious double cheeseburger for National Double Cheeseburger Day, things got a bit dicey. There are so many great cheeseburger places out there, but many didn’t have double Pattys. They just had larger size burgers. But that doesn’t count for this post. I would have added Burnt Crumbs to this list if I did. Check out this amazing Post by Cuisine and Travel (yes she’s my friend but she does amazing work.) and you will see why Burnt Crumbs would be an excellent place to go to for a burger or almost anything else. Unfortunately, it doesn’t do double cheeseburgers. So I couldn’t put it on this list.
However, on the 18th is National Cheeseburger Day, so visit there, or any of these fine establishments and you will get a wonderful cheeseburger as well. Maybe I will throw in an extra post in a couple of days giving you the ten best local cheeseburger spots to go with this post. And you will still have the great fake history of the cheeseburger here to warm your heart, if not your stomach.
Continue The Conversation
Are you ready for National Double Cheeseburger Day? What is your favorite local cheeseburger? Have you tried out the impossible meat burger yet? If so, what did you think? How many vegan style meals have you tried? Would you think it would be worth it to review some more vegan food? (I know this might be sacrilegious from a meat lover, but I’m a foodie at heart and love to branch out.
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If you liked this National Double Cheeseburger Day post, definitely check out some of the other food holiday posts I have. One day I’ll have a whole calendar’s worth of food holiday posts and you can peruse through it all together. And don’t forget to click the like link and leave us a message in the comments. Share with friends. And follow us here to get the further foodie adventures at the Guide as well as parenting posts, Knott’s Berry Farm adventures, Southern California travels, news on steroids, movie reviews, lifestyle posts, and so much more. We hope to see you back again soon.
Until next time, this is me signing off.
David Elliott, The Single Dad’s Guide to Life