Veggie burgers abound in the county—some are even edible. But lovers of quarter-pounders, double-doubles and the Atkins diet should haunt the following hamburger hamlets and worship their protein mullah.
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Knowlwood: A chain, yes, but OC born and bred. Get the exquisite bacon cheeseburger with grilled onions, a hunka-hunka burning meat with smoky slices of swine and a three-napkin minimum. 150 S. Harbor Blvd., Fullerton, (714) 879-7552; also in Anaheim Hills, Mission Viejo, Irvine and Santa Ana.
Photo by Jack GouldMega Burgers: Their trademark is the mega-mega burger, a cake-sized burger served in slices that is the equivalent of eight hamburgers. Order one, and save a Washington cattle baron from foreclosure. 34122 Pacific Coast Hwy., Dana Point, (949) 488-0849.TK's: It's difficult to determine what causes the chaps here to salivate more: TK's billowy buns or the barely legal female employees playing with their meat. 110 Pacific Coast Hwy., Ste. 10, Huntington Beach. (714) 960-3238; also 2119 W. Balboa Blvd., Newport Beach, (949) 673-3438.Volcano Burgers: A Tommy Burger tribute stand, but worth the wait in a teen-infested line that snakes all the way across the street to Los Al High. 3652 Cerritos Ave., Los Alamitos, (562) 430-6004.Yellow Basket: 15 whoppers are flipped at this Santa Ana food-mark, but the best is a triple-cheeseburger that could out-$6-burger Carl's any day—and at only $4.60. 2860 S. Main St., Santa Ana, (714) 545-8219.