Some of the best food in my life I’ve eaten in the front seat of my car. Though I like my sit-down places, I’m often a “To Go” kind of girl. I see nothing wrong with eating out of a greasy paper bag when the occasion calls, even with said back torn open on my lap, my foot on the gas as I cruise, anxiously awaiting a red light so I can take a bite, add ketchup, or wipe up the sauce/onion/fry I’ve dropped between my legs.
At Hawkins House of Burgers, you don’t have to eat in your car, but you sure gotta take your greasy bag elsewhere.
I found Hawkins via Yelp!, looking for a burger adventure that wasn’t too far from home. Now, some of you will be put off right away when I let you know where Hawkins is – you can find it in the heart of what’s oft referred to as “South Central.” If that worries you, that’s fine with me – just will make for a shorter wait the next time I go, as Hawkins is patient with their food. I happened to be nearby for a meeting at the MLK, Jr. Center for Public Health, so it was kismet – I decided to take my half-hour lunch break awaiting a Hawkins burger.
Of course, I’d checked the menu ahead of time to see if they had turkey burgers – and they did! Served on a whole wheat bun, to make the stars align more than they already were for this particular burger quest. For you beef lovers, there are plenty of other burger choices – with chili, with an egg, double/triple-decked. But of course, I got the gobbler.
Hawkins touts its burger as the #1 in Los Angeles – they may have a point. It took a while for my food to be called, and then I got a little turned around driving to the meeting, so I only had a few minutes to stuff my face in the center’s parking lot. With a couple of bites, I knew I’d met the one – the one that could give my beloved Island’s burger a battle for first place on my (ridiculously subjective) list (as I have strange, picky taste buds and odd limitations on what I’ll eat – full disclosure). The meat was tender, the cheese melted delicately, the onions – red! (I love a thinly sliced red onion). The bun was soft, not too bready. The ratio of meat to bread to complementary components was spot on. It was so incredible that I almost cursed aloud at the fact of having to leave my greasy bag for a meeting.
But I did, parting myself after eating half of the burger, a few fries, with the intention of finishing lunch after the meeting ended, when I could savor and enjoy and even cry, if needed.
So how pissed was I when I found I was the first one to arrive? Right behind me were a few of the other attendees, but the person who’d called the meeting was reportedly still on her way. So I quietly excused myself and walked right back to my car to finish what I’d started. It was a juicy, brilliant, savory, well-seasoned package of goodness that I fancied a lot (in case you couldn’t tell).
At first I was going to give a tie to my burgers at Hawkins and Island’s. Then I remembered that, when starting this, I told myself I wouldn’t sit the fence – that I’d rank these sandwiches based on what I’d most want to eat. Sure, Hawkins is cheaper and Island’s is more convenient, but what I really had to evaluate was taste. So I’d have to say that… Hawkins just barely edges out Island’s by a sesame seed. It’s really that close, but at this very moment, if I could choose a burger to eat right now, it would be a Hawkins turkey burger.
Their fries weren’t bad – they remind me of Fatburger’s fat fries. But weren’t anything special, and definitely not better than Fatburger’s. Still, I mean… they’re fries. It’s hard to go wrong with fries.
All that matters, really, is the burger. And it did not disappoint. The staff at Hawkins, I must add, were also friendly and attentive making for a well-rounded, delicious experience. Thanks, Hawkins House of Burgers! My belly is forever grateful.
Official Dianderthal Burger Quest Burger List:
1. Hawkins House of Burgers turkey burger with
everything (mayo, mustard, pickles, tomato, red onion, lettuce), cheese added
2. Island’s California Flyer turkey burger (BBQ sauce, “Island Reds” – fried onion straws, pepper jack cheese, lettuce,
tomato & mayo)
3. The Habit (Veggie burger made like a Charburger, with mayo,
pickle, tomato, lettuce, caramelized onions, cucumber, and sprouts)
4. The Counter (Build Your Own – turkey patty, grilled onions, cheddar cheese, chipotle aioli, ketchup)
5. Burger City Grill (The BCG, turkey patty,
pickles, grilled onions)
1. Island’s fries with ranch dressing
2. The Counter 50-50 fries (half regular, half sweet Ps)
3. The Habit french fries
4. Burger City Grill fries
5. Hawkins House of Burgers fries
Hawkins House of Burgers
11603 1/2 Slater St. (at Imperial)
Los Angeles, CA323.563.1129 (hint – call ahead!)