Hawkins House of Burgers
11603 S Slater St
Los Angeles, CA 90059
This song immediately came to mind after I devoured my whipper burger at work. One, the song is supposed to reflect on positive change in the hood after the 2008 recession (I wiki’d that). That’s roughly around the time food/restaurant blogging started to pick up steam as the new art and culture. While it hasn’t exactly been a Golden Age (see: Yelp “Elitism”), the sign of the times did help shine light on restaurants that have been criminally long-ignored, in areas that used to be deemed too “urban” for the standard foodie demographic. Nowadays, you see plenty of “adventurous” diners (like myself) patting ourselves on the back while posting photos of us waiting in line in Compton for some Bludso’s on Instagram/Twitter.
Another reason “Put On” came to mind after I finished eating my burger from Hawkins House of Burgers was because I thought of all the pounds I was putting on eating stuff like this. Similar to Mom’s Burgers in Compton, this is a hood burger at its finest. The large patty is hand-formed, well-seasoned, and well-finished on the griddle. The hand-formed patty was extremely loose, but that actually helped the melted cheese on top, as it basically melted into the crevasses of the patty, creating a ghetto Juicy Lucy of sorts.
The variation that I ordered, the whipper burger, was a fully-loaded ride, with plenty of pastrami and slices of hot link. In a neighborhood and culture where pimped-out rides are revered, this is obviously the signature item. And it was indeed glorious, although maybe a bit too much for its own good. All the heft in between the thin, grilled commercial bun kind of rendered it useless; I finished the burger with a knife and fork, an act that might have gotten me shot in the hood. Still, I am not deterred in reflecting positively about the burger. But I will have to order it sans pastrami and hot link next time, because I know that a real burger is about the meat and bun, not the tricked-out accessories (see: SinoSoul’s post on Grill ‘Em All).
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