Burger Quest :: Hawkins House of Burgers

Burger Quest :: Hawkins House of Burgers

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.

Order, wait until you hear your number
Order, wait until you hear your number

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.

Gotta love a greasy bag
Gotta love a greasy bag
Juicy goodness in my front seat
Juicy goodness in my front seat

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.

Ready, set - attack
Ready, set – attack

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)

Fry Factor
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!)

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