We need more old fashioned hamburger experiences

Abraham Villarreal
3 min readFeb 6
I like hamburgers that only have what they are supposed to have on them, and nothing else. Photo by Edoardo Ceriani on Unsplash.

My friend always chuckles when I go to a diner or a whole-in-the-wall, family-owned restaurant and order an Old Fashioned. It’s what I call a traditional, classic burger.

You know the kind. Toasted bun, lettuce, tomatoes, onion, and some mayo. Oh, and the best part is a patty that looks like it’s been smashed down by the cook with one of those flat metal tools. It’s not perfectly shaped, and the edges of the patty are the right kind of crispy.

Not all hometown restaurants serve an Old Fashioned, but they all should. Menus evolve, and so do tastes, but there is always room for the Old Fashioned. It’s the kind of meal that isn’t pretentious. It knows what it wants to be, and you know it doesn’t want to be much other than good tasting and always the same.

In really good restaurants, the kinds that have been owned by one family for decades and have employed the same cook for generations, the Old Fashioned is extra special. They serve it to you in one of those red basket oval-shaped containers. It’s cradled next to a pile of hand-cut fries, the kind where they are all slightly shaped differently, and you could tell that they were salted by someone who knows how to work a salt shaker.

Nothing beats an Old Fashioned. Not the latest craze in foods like avocado toast or birria tacos. Not burgers with fancy names like the Atomic Burger or the Goliath Burger. Those names try too hard to tell us what they are trying to be. The Old Fashioned doesn’t.

Naming something old fashioned can mean what you want it to mean, and it usually means more than the simple fact that it’s been around for a while. When I order something or read about something called old fashioned, I know it’s something so good it hasn’t been messed with for some time.

I like things that no one messes with, things that are left alone. When you mess with something, you usually end up breaking it. Like the flavor of Coke, or the way ice cube trays are made. They used to be made out of aluminum with a handle in the middle that you would pull out, releasing all the cubes in one move.

Abraham Villarreal

People are interesting things. I write about them and what makes them interesting.