Photo taken at Winchester Bay, Oregon

Thursday, February 4, 2016

Gonzales Hamburgers

At Llano Grande RV Resort, Mercedes, Texas...

If you stay in the Rio Grande Valley for any length of time, it won't be long until you hear about Gonzales Hamburgers. This tiny restaurant near downtown Donna, Texas, has been around a very long time, serving monster hamburgers. Patronizing the place--at least once--is a rite of passage for all snowbirds, and they do, indeed, patronize the place in droves.

On this visit, we arrived at precisely 11:00 a.m., their opening time. Unfortunately, to get there when it opens is to be late. The restaurant's chairs were already full with a line out the door:

The restaurant is hardly set up for the crush of customers it gets. There is one small griddle, one small fry station and one small prep station, manned by three employees (two are MIA in this photo). 

The hand-formed meat patties are enormous--perhaps a pound each--and only about a dozen can fit on the griddle. Sandy and I ordered one burger to split between us and a single order of fries. This photo doesn't adequately show the size of the burger, but trust me, it's huge!

Notice how the meat patty is so much larger than the bun; you don't see that very often. Because of the very limited kitchen and staff, things move very slowly in cooking the burgers--so slowly, in fact, that we waited almost two hours for our order to be filled!

The burger, when it finally came, was a bit anticlimactic. While it was an okay burger, the only thing it really had going for it was size. A much older couple sitting beside us who were apparently unfamiliar with the size of the burgers, had the misfortune of ordering a burger and fries apiece and, when they came, the woman merely shook her head and looked forlornly around the giant burger in front of her.  There was no way she could have eaten but a fraction of it.

So, I include this review as a service and warning to readers: If you want to go to Gonzales Hamburgers because you want to have the experience, fine. But be prepared to spend a very long time there and realize that you could have gotten a better burger at Salazar's on Pike Boulevard in Weslaco for less money and much less of an investment of your time.

Thank you, Lord, for this wonderful life; please forgive me if I don't appreciate it enough each day.

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