A whole bunch better than I expected, anyway. After half a day getting the sunblock scorched off us at the Long Beach flea market, Mrs. O and I stopped on the way home at our favorite Adequate-Food place, the Norm's on Lakewood just south of the 91 freeway. Looking for something different and feeling burgerish I ordered what I think is called the San Francisco burger, which comes on grilled sourdough with cheese, tomato, lettuce and pickle for $6.99, fries included. I was delighted to hear "And how would you like that cooked?", and specified medium-rare. Well, the sandwich she brought me had an obviously hand-formed patty hanging well out of the diagonal-cut bread, and was definitely a two-hander. It had a nice bite to it, a good rich beefiness, was precisely the shade of pink I wanted and oozily juicy to boot. The pickle slices were served on the side, along with some extra lettuce and sliced tomato, I suppose in case I found my sandwich understuffed, but I didn't. The fries were in fact just adequate, a tad floppy, but as I was dripping burger juice all over them anyway (Oh, I DO like gravy on my potatoes!) any real crispness would have just been wasted.
I usually consider visiting any round-the-clock breakfast venue to be just an excuse to have some more of my favorite meal, but now I'm going to have to check in periodically to see whether this burger experience can reliably repeat itself. I guess I should also try it at some different Norm's places. All in the interests of Chow Knowledge, folks!