Now that I’m blessed to work half a block off the most beautiful plaza in the state, I have access to some of the finest restaurants to have lunch. Of course other than our Friday ‘Gentlemens Lunch’, I tend to be too busy to actually get away during lunch, finally realizing I’m starving at about 3 and having to hit the local Southland Corporation venue. Today was different as I had to run to the bank and figured I’d just get a ‘Grab and Go’ Broadway Market sandwich at Plaza Liquors. Sure, they’re 50 cents more than at Broadway Market but I don’t have to drive anywhere. I offer to pick up something for our nose to the grindstone radio staff and our lead Tech says ” Hey.. what about the Cheese factory for burgers?” Cheese factory?? They only do burgers on the weekends right? Wrong. Then he said the magic words..” The open condiment bar is the best.” I knew exactly what he meant. I was suddenly transported right back to Chico in the early ’80’s to Burger Hut on Nord Avenue.
My Friends, this is the place where burger dreams came true. At this point in my life I was playing in a metal band and if you’ve ever been to Chico you know whats involved. At Burger Hut, my college buddies showed me how to use the condiment stand properly. You get the burger, then you ask for a fork (yes.. they look at you funny). Then you take the lettuce from the condiment stand, tear it up on the plate and add all the respective veggies and then mix up the Ketchup, Mayonnaise and relish and turn it into 1000 Island and Voila.. Salad.. for free.
Meanwhile back in reality, we’re on our way to the Cheese Factory.
I have had the burgers at most of the places on the Plaza. I even ordered a burger at The Girl and The Fig as I was pretty sure there was no funky cheese on it (correct, if you ask for normal cheese) and I have to say that the Cheese Factory has the best 5 dollar burger anywhere in town. Not a fancy patty, in fact it could probably be from Costco, but grilled and sitting out front or on the Plaza lawn, It just doesn’t get much better… and play your cards right and you too could get a free salad.