A & J Drive-In, Burger Spot on the Blacktop, Continues to Deliver in Fullerton
If I'm ever pulling into a lonely asphalt lot greased with diesel, oil and debris, it's probably for one of the best burgers in Fuller-town. On a breezy summer afternoon, A & J's Burger Drive-In is a hive of lunchtime activity, and I've been buying their cheaply priced and consistently tasty burgers since attending Sunny Hills High School.
My friend and I used to visit for their cheap burgers and perfect fries, and it hasn't changed since. Lightly crisped buns smeared with Thousand Island dressing hold your burger together, and it goes well with finger-thick fries. For meatier flavors, try the pastrami burger with chili cheese fries. The pastrami's worth a go, too: not too dry, not too peppery, worth it.
This joint is sandwiched (burgered, actually, haha) between a thrift store and an old donut shop, and the three make for a sketchy triumvirate of the Fullerton barrio. Usually, you'll stumble into local workers who know where it's at for lunch. Sometimes it'll be a hungry, pubescent Korean kid from nearby Grace Community Church (which occupies the expanse that was once the Hunts-Wesson tomato cannery), five-dollar bill in hand. If you find neither of the two aforementioned demographics during your visit, chances are you've got two outdoor tables' worth of prime Brookhurst expanse all to yourself. Stretch your legs and enjoy the burger, (booze brought in surreptitiously by eaters--not that I know anything about that...), breeze and billboards on the panels of cruising trucks.
For a meal that's less than five bucks with a bit of street scenery, A & J's is worth visiting more than occasionally. But the best part is that if you get to know the employees well enough, they might let you cook up your own recipes for them, like the Burgeritto: lettuce, tomatoes, pickles, mayo, and diced patty in a tortilla layered with cheese.
A & J's Burger Drive In, 403 S. Brookhurst Rd., Fullerton, (714) 525-1548.
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