Mountain Musings with Uncle Mott – Cheeseburger in Paradise

Jul 29, 2023 | Uncle Mott


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So, I’ve been waiting for nearly two years for the A Burger in Crestline to re-open. The new owners got it reconstructed and repainted about a year ago, but this legendary Crestline burger joint, which was originally an A & W drive-in, has yet to reopen. Could be problems with the county planning department over a lack of parking spaces or building permits.

Liz used to serve up a mighty fine cheeseburger and fries meal, not to mention her one-of-a-kind root beer shake, when she ran the “A” a few years back – unless you were overweight, in which case she would refuse to serve you any French fries…“No fries for you, you’re too fat!”

Liz was from the “Old Country” and, yes, she was a bit opinionated. But, after umpteen years of slingin’ burgers and fries, she apparently got tired of it. We hope she’s doing well.

In the meantime, if you get a hankerin’ for a juicy, charbroiled (they’re the best kind) cheeseburger… OK, so I’m a bit opinionated myself… I recommend Deep Creek Drive-in in beautiful downtown Arrowbear, where they will serve you some very tasty homemade chips and salsa while you wait for the main course.

If you’re down the hill, another good place is George’s Burgers on 40th Street. Alright, I know what you’re thinkin’, what about In-n-Out? They’re OK, but they’re not charbroiled. All this talk about burgers makes me feel kinda’ like a cheeseburger myself.

Cheeseburger in paradise, heaven on earth with an onion slice. Not too particular, not too precise, I’m just a cheeseburger in paradise. (“Cheeseburger in Paradise” – Jimmy Buffet – 1978)

Other good choices on the mountain include the Cedar Glen Malt Shop, Crestline Café, Osorio Brother’s, Mountain Cravings in Top Town Crestline, The Stockade Grub & Whiskey, The Villager in Blue Jay and the Grill at The Antlers in Twin Peaks.

Long gone but not forgotten is Little Al’s, which was where Mandarin Garden is now located on Lake Drive in Crestline. Still around is Uncle Mott’s little-known backyard barbecue at the stately Motley Manor, somewhere in Crestline, where some of the very best bacon cheeseburgers are served regularly. I like mine on a butter-toasted bun, basted with thousand island dressing, Heinz ketchup, fresh-cooked Black Label bacon, pickle relish, a small squirt of French’s mustard, and topped with crisp, fresh lettuce, with no tomato. Once again, I feel like a cheeseburger.

Cheeseburger in paradise, medium rare with Muenster’d be nice. Heaven on earth with an onion slice. I’m just a cheeseburger in paradise.

Keep it flyin’,

Uncle Mott



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