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 Mid-Cali: Roadside burgers, highway 99

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guacshorts

  • Total Posts: 78
  • Joined: 2/21/2007
  • Location: eugene, OR
Mid-Cali: Roadside burgers, highway 99 Sun, 03/25/07 11:59 PM (permalink)
Anyone ever stop at the Mexican-owned hamburger joint, on highway 99 North, near Madera (between Fresno and Merced), before the Los Banos turn-off that cuts across to the I-5?

I was so impressed: hot summer day, road trip from Phoenix, AZ to Portland, OR, and hungry as heck... The hut-style place is right next to the empty highway, near the truck turn-off. There is NOTHING else around for miles!

The hamburgers were just right, greasy, torta-style bread, mayonnaise, avocado, ranchero cheese, escabeche jalapeƱos, etc. You ordered at the walk-up window, ate outside at old benches, and looked across a dusty, semi-agricultural barren landscape while semi-trucks rumble past.

Anyone know what I'm talking about?

I've eaten there twice on separate road-trips. The last time (Sept 2005), I drove past it driving north-- since it goes by so fast in the middle of nowhere -- and I drove another 10 miles or so for a way to turn back on to the other side of the divided highway. I needed to try it again after a couple years of not... hehe

If this is the first time you have heard of this, please, if you are in the vicinity for whatever reason, give it a go if it's still there...

 
#1
    Jennifer_4

    • Total Posts: 1508
    • Joined: 9/19/2000
    • Location: Fresno, CA
    RE: Mid-Cali: Roadside burgers, highway 99 Mon, 03/26/07 1:06 AM (permalink)
    Thanks for the heads up..don't know how I could have missed this place.. I used to go down that stretch of road quite frequently and I don't recall ever seeing it.. MikeS, do you know about this place?
     
    #2
      Twinwillow

      • Total Posts: 4895
      • Joined: 4/15/2006
      • Location: "Big D"
      RE: Mid-Cali: Roadside burgers, highway 99 Mon, 03/26/07 1:51 AM (permalink)
      quote:
      Originally posted by Jennifer_4

      Thanks for the heads up..don't know how I could have missed this place.. I used to go down that stretch of road quite frequently and I don't recall ever seeing it.. MikeS, do you know about this place?


      Ditto for me.
       
      #3
        guacshorts

        • Total Posts: 78
        • Joined: 2/21/2007
        • Location: eugene, OR
        RE: Mid-Cali: Roadside burgers, highway 99 Mon, 03/26/07 5:25 AM (permalink)
        OK, after some Google Earth-ing, this might be it on the highway 99 just before the 152 to Los Banos:

        google Earth coordinates:

        lat=37.0764089623, lon=-120.199170347

        It's on Avenue 22 1/2 and CA 99.

        It's the only roadside building right off CA 99 going north on Google Earth that could be where I remember it being. From above it looks very much like it is the hamburger stand/hut with the dirt lot...

        Any thoughts on this Jennifer_4 or twinwillow?

         
        #4
          guacshorts

          • Total Posts: 78
          • Joined: 2/21/2007
          • Location: eugene, OR
          RE: Mid-Cali: Roadside burgers, highway 99 Mon, 03/26/07 5:41 AM (permalink)
          YES!

          This is it! The Mammoth Orange... and apparently not Mexican-owned, but what's in a name right...?

          http://www.fresnobeehive.com/opinion/mammoth_orange/

          and

          http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?file=/chronicle/archive/2002/04/12/BA167063.DTL

          images here: http://virtualglobetrotting.com/pic/2735/

          Hopefully my imperfect earlier description is cleared up by this update!
           
          #5
            MikeS.

            • Total Posts: 5357
            • Joined: 7/1/2003
            • Location: FarEasternPanhandle, WV
            • Roadfood Insider
            RE: Mid-Cali: Roadside burgers, highway 99 Mon, 03/26/07 6:43 AM (permalink)
            Sure, I know exactly where/what it is. Never stopped there to eat because it is/was too close to home. I ran out of gas right there but goinf southbound once while driving my friends van. He had a 2nd tank but has forgotten to tell me switch over...Served him right I got wake him up.

            MikeS.
             
            #6
              enginecapt

              • Total Posts: 3486
              • Joined: 6/4/2004
              • Location: Fontana, CA
              RE: Mid-Cali: Roadside burgers, highway 99 Mon, 03/26/07 6:53 AM (permalink)
              Oh yeah, I recognize that place. I'll put it on my list of places to hit next time I'm in Sanger. Along with Sal's.
               
              #7
                guacshorts

                • Total Posts: 78
                • Joined: 2/21/2007
                • Location: eugene, OR
                RE: Mid-Cali: Roadside burgers, highway 99 Mon, 03/26/07 7:38 AM (permalink)
                ok, enginecapt,

                I see that there's two Sal's in/around Fresno... any preference for a neophyte?



                I'm excited... thanks for the Sal's lead... looks like awesome reviews and several happy generations of Sal's customers...

                 
                #8
                  enginecapt

                  • Total Posts: 3486
                  • Joined: 6/4/2004
                  • Location: Fontana, CA
                  RE: Mid-Cali: Roadside burgers, highway 99 Mon, 03/26/07 8:02 AM (permalink)
                  I always go to the original location in Selma. It isn't the best I've ever had, but I've never been disappointed and never turn down a chance at a meal there, so they must be doing something right.

                   
                  #9
                    enginecapt

                    • Total Posts: 3486
                    • Joined: 6/4/2004
                    • Location: Fontana, CA
                    RE: Mid-Cali: Roadside burgers, highway 99 Mon, 03/26/07 8:05 AM (permalink)
                    Guacshorts, another one I like up there is Bobby Salazar's. They have a number of locations, some full service and some are walk up. I always treat myself to a plate of Bobby Salazar's when I go to the Fresno fair.

                    http://www.bobbysalazar.com/locate.html
                     
                    #10
                      Jennifer_4

                      • Total Posts: 1508
                      • Joined: 9/19/2000
                      • Location: Fresno, CA
                      RE: Mid-Cali: Roadside burgers, highway 99 Mon, 03/26/07 8:21 AM (permalink)
                      Yes once you said Mammoth Orange I knew what you were talking about.
                      As for the great Sal's/Bobby Salazar controversy (at least in these parts), nothing beats the original Sal's.. to me, Bobby Salazar's (the upstart nephew and sometime arsonist) is just O.K. If you want some authentic Mexican fast food in the rough, try Al Rico's taco stand under the 99 overpass on Kings Canyon Ave near the old Valley Novelty.

                      Enginecap, when you're in Sanger, you enjoy the Chuckwagon, yes?
                       
                      #11
                        enginecapt

                        • Total Posts: 3486
                        • Joined: 6/4/2004
                        • Location: Fontana, CA
                        RE: Mid-Cali: Roadside burgers, highway 99 Mon, 03/26/07 8:38 AM (permalink)
                        I plowed through 5 of those chili dogs last July when I was up for my Aunt's 85th birthday.
                        So, yes, I do. Love that place.

                        I can tell you where not to go: The Blossom Trail Cafe at N. Academy and E. Belmont. Blech.
                         
                        #12
                          guacshorts

                          • Total Posts: 78
                          • Joined: 2/21/2007
                          • Location: eugene, OR
                          RE: Mid-Cali: Roadside burgers, highway 99 Mon, 03/26/07 8:48 AM (permalink)
                          quote:
                          Originally posted by Jennifer_4

                          Yes once you said Mammoth Orange I knew what you were talking about.
                          As for the great Sal's/Bobby Salazar controversy (at least in these parts), nothing beats the original Sal's.. to me, Bobby Salazar's (the upstart nephew and sometime arsonist) is just O.K. If you want some authentic Mexican fast food in the rough, try Al Rico's taco stand under the 99 overpass on Kings Canyon Ave near the old Valley Novelty.

                          Enginecap, when you're in Sanger, you enjoy the Chuckwagon, yes?



                          ok, this has perked my ears:

                          "ARSONIST" ???

                          wow, cool roadfood cultural insights...
                           
                          #13
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