Just a plain, ordinary Cheeseburger

Cheeseburger Week….Sounds like a blast, right? A hoot? Or maybe a word that’s still actually being used today. Like nifty.

Pasadena Cheeseburger Week on the other hand…oh god, do we have to??

Driving to Pasadena from Hollywood on a skewl night in rush hour traffic is not exactly an enticing road trip.

Is our precious time really worth a few lousy cheeseburgers?

Thankfully, it was.

Some history for ya: the cheeseburger was invented in Pasadena in 1926. Just Google it or click the link below if you don’t believe me.

Not sure why no one thought to plop a slice of cheese on a burger before that, but Pasadena has proudly claimed this daring feat.


Chesty Morgan and I wanted to try two of the best rated old timey burger joints still in business so we chose Pie N Burger and The Original “Tops”.

Pie N Burger, opened in 1963, has been on Top Ten Burgers in American lists for ages!

I get some of the appeal. That crusty old diner hasn’t been remodeled since Nixon was President. The waitresses are a bit slow but nice enough. If you enjoy being hushed when you interrupt their sentence.

Wait, maybe I don’t get the appeal.

The burger is really old school too. Just burger, cheese, bun, lettuce and a crapload of thousand island. Don’t get me wrong, It was good. But not amazing. In and Out has that formula down. And Pie n Burger doesn’t have “Animal Style” capabilities.

Fatal flaw.

This was made up for with an incredible Boysenberry pie. Perfect, flakey crust. Filing wasn’t too sickly sweet.

Boysenberries are an elusive fruit. Harvested only three weeks out of the year, they’re pretty much impossible to find.

So, when you see them in pie form, do not hesitate!

Tops opened in 1952 and is clearly the winner. It’s got a more fast food feel than PnB. It’s very clean, fast service and features an amazing Pastrami burger.

Seeming like an odd combination, pastrami and burger go so well together!

Kind of like high cholesterol and diabetes.

Share it with a friend to avoid any guilt. Then order a side of zuchini fries because you’re a masochist.

Boysenberry Pie (THE BEST!)

Strawberry Cake

"Bright and Cheerful!" says the NY Times.

The Original Tops - Tops Special (with Pastrami)