The Sterns (roadfood.com) have rarely let this guy down and neither have you fellow Hounds. As far as I was concerned, this trip was planned around getting to the Bob Cat Bite Cafe...My wife just put up with it ..She does not eat red meat, but I found out they had a chicken sandwich on the menu...A new addition.
The place is about 10 miles outside of the town square. At every opportunity, I asked the locals, if they knew the place. Most said yes and that it was great. Our tour guide (get the tour by Clarice with Peter..Fantastic!) raved about the place and also gave us some other places to eat. He knew his stuff because he rattled off the same places you SW Hounds mentioned.
We got to the Bob Cat at 11:45 AM. Passing Harry's Roadhouse along the way. We'd go there later for dessert...Pie. In the Bob Cat's parking lot were all types of trucks, cars, etc. A wide cross section of incomes. It's a non-descript adobe building and the name comes from the fact that they use to actually feed the bob cats coming down from the mountains at their back door. Right there I know they are my kind of folkes. The place was started in the 50's.
You need to put your name on the board for seating if they are filled up inside; it is very small. Two seats opened up at the counter right near the kitchen! Perfect! I studied the whole thing like I was back in hotel and restaurant school. The place was clean, the kitchen staff was clean and boy were they organized.
A griddle burger? Normally, not my favortie way of having my burger cooked. But, the size of those babies and the smell coming from that kitchen was amazing. You could just smell this incredible meat. You could see the fresh hand pattied burgers going on that grill and covered at the last minute to melt that cheese. 3/4 lb burgers!
I ordered the medium rare green chili cheese burger after telling the waitress I'd come nearly 3000 miles for it. My wife ordered the chicken sandwich. I hardly knew she was there. I was fixated on that grill guy. I saw my first customer ready burger sighting passing before my eyes as it left the kitchen ..It was HUGE! Then the guy receiving it puts mustard on it! I could not believe it.
Nearly 15 minutes passed and out came mine. I took one bite sans any ketchup, salt, nothing! The juices started pouring out all over the place. The slightly hot chilis were a perfect additon to what was the best burger I have ever had in my entire life!
Now, we're talking since the late 60's with the true and original Fridays and Maxwell's Plum on the east side of NYC....when they had great burgers ...to PJ Clarkes, etc.
My waitress, who I believe was part of the family who owned the place came over and asked if the trip was worth it...I told her it was.