Mountain Musings


Cheeseburger In Paradise


I don’t know what took them so long, but Crestline’s premier burger joint, A Burger, has finally reopened following a nearly year-long hiatus. And it’s a good thing, because I was growing despondent over having to drive down to George’s on 40th Street to get a decent cheeseburger. And lots of others must feel the same way about A Burger, since the line to get theirs is infuriatingly long, though well worth the wait.


“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)


Holding forth at A Burger these days are Liz’s daughters, who have done an excellent job of reviving the tantalizing deliciosity of their burgers. You remember Liz – she is the often lovable, but sometimes cantankerous lady from the old country who hand-crafted and flipped every juicy burger patty. By the way, who knows what kind of food truck serves hamburgers? OK, you with your hand up…wrong, it’s called a Patty Wagon.


Liz – who I once heard tell a customer they couldn’t have French fries because, “You’re too fat, you no get fries. Fries very bad for you.” – retired from flipping burgers and fries last year due to health concerns. Her children reassured me that she is feeling better now and is getting a well-deserved rest at her new home down the hill after 37 years of flipping burgers.


“I like mine with lettuce and tomato, Heinz 57 and French-fried potatoes. Big kosher pickle and a cold draft beer, good God almighty, which way do I steer for my cheeseburger in paradise.


Before there was an A Burger and Liz at the corner of Lake Drive and Forest Shade Road, there was an A&W fast food restaurant. I guess Liz figured it was easier (and cheaper) to just squeeze the “W” off of their sign.


Other burger joints have come and gone over the years, including Little Al’s, back in the late 70s (Yes, Al was little), which was in a little building across the street where there is now a yoga studio. Then there was the Burger King, who reigned supreme back in the 90s, just outside Lake Arrowhead Village. And more recently, there was Fast Eddie’s in Top Town Crestline. None of these places could compete with the deliciosity of A Burger, although Fast Eddie’s came close.


Don’t get me wrong – there’s other great burgers to be found on the mountain, including those served at Arrowbear’s Deep Creek Drie-In, the Cedar Glen Malt Shop, Crestline’s Stockade Restaurant and Top Town’s Bear House.”


A while back, one of our readers even sent me a book all about hamburgers. That was thoughtful, but please no more hamburger books. I know a great hamburger when I see…er, uh, taste one.


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


Keep it flyin’, Uncle Mott