This is just about a juicy, tasty $4.05 charcoal broiled hamburger.
Kal's is one of three places that I know of in the South Bay that has hamburgers cooked over a charcoal grill.
The burger arrived a perfectly cooked medium. The inside had the faintest blush of pink. One slice of American cheese on a toasted standard issue hamburger bun. A classic with charcoal goodness in every bite.
It is like the pretty small town girl that doesn't need fancy clothes or makeup to let her true beauty shine thru.
There's no fancy Nieman beef. No choice of cheese like blue or jack to tart it up. The only thing fancy is the burger is cooked over Mesquite which Kal's has been using long before mesquite passed in and out of fashion. Just one of the best, juicy, satisfying burgers in the bay. They type of burger you make on a family picnic.
There's a simple condiment island so you can dress the burger to your taste - tomatoes, chopped onion, sliced onion, pickles, pepper. Bowls of yellow mustard, catsup and mayonnaise. Leaves of iceberg lettuce so crispy and fresh it gives iceberg a good name.
There's a 1999 review in the restaurant from the SJ Mercury news saying it was the "home of the best Bar-B-Q in the Bay Area" A search of the review online was unsuccessful.
Other than the hamburger amd a Draft beer I have no recent meals. I worked in the area long ago and Kal's was a regular stop.
The menu has the basics, fries, hot dogs, Steak, B-B-Q Pork and Beef, and Tesas style Chili & beans plus a few other items. Prices are reasonable with the steak sandwich $6.25 and chili $3.25.
There's a full breakfast which includes omlettes, hot cakes and french toast. You can order the low Kal plate - hamburger, 2 eggs on toast and cottage cheese. Breakfast runs in the $3 - $6 range.
There are long tomato soup red picnic benches outside with bushes and trees blocking out the rushing traffic on Matilda Avenue. A little oasis where you can eat your burger and watch puffs of barbeque smoke drift by.
As good as the memory.
425 N. Mathilda Ave
Sunnyvale, CA 94086 (a few blocks from the 101 Mathilda exit).
M-F 6 AM = 9 PM
Sat 7 AM - 2:30