*Editor’s note: Please welcome freelance photographer and longtime friend of The Hamblogger, David Paul Morris. David will be filling in as the San Francisco Bay Area correspondent while Justin takes a break from the daily burger grind. David is a recovering vegetarian with a keen appetite for well made burgers, steak, chicken and fish. He is a photographer who covers news, features and sports as well as commercial and corporate assignments based in San Francisco with frequent trips to Asia. http://www.davidpaulmorris.com
Tucked away in Napa Valley, California’s great wine region, there is an unassuming burger joint simply named Andie’s Café. While the size of the building doesn’t really reflect it as a café it is more like a burger joint. What makes this place unique is that it is in the same parking lot as a car wash so while you are waiting for your car to have its bath you can wash down a burger.
The building itself is only about 350 square feet with one table inside that seats 3, possibly 4 – if you pull it out away from the wall – and a counter with 3 bar stools. There’s a drive-through window for those in a hurry and plenty of outside seating in an area that is a bit larger than the building that seats about 25-30 people.
I stopped by Andie’s after an assignment at The Culinary Institute of America at Greystone in St. Helena where I was photographing a chef demonstration for the Almond Board. As the executive chefs finished all their dishes and put each one out for sampling I had to turn away. While all the food they prepared there was looking and smelling so good I wanted to save my palette for my burger experience at Andie’s. Call me crazy but sometimes you just have to sacrifice a 5 star meal to satisfy your burger fix.
And I am glad I did. I arrived late in the afternoon as my assignment went long and it was about 30 minutes before closing time. All burgers are cooked to order and I ordered the Andie’s Burger ($7.69) straight up. No fries, no shake, no coke. Just the burger. As I sat outside watching the cars going through the car wash, my burger was delivered by Jesus and I was amazed at the size and aroma of this tantalizing treat.
All of Andie’s burgers are made with 1/3 lb of ground chuck and mine was packed full of mushrooms, grilled onions, avocado, jack cheese and topped off with leaf lettuce and a couple of pickles all squeezed in between a fresh potato bun.
On the first bite it was hard for me to decide which flavor I experienced first. It was a little overwhelming but the experience was well worth the wait and refusal of the 5 star meal I turned away a few hours before. The meat was cooked just as I ordered, medium well and the onions grilled to perfection. Avocados were sliced small enough where they didn’t fall out of the fresh bun as I stuffed it into my mouth. The cheese was melted just right and felt like it was part of the burger.
If there was any complaint about this burger it is that the bottom bun got a little soggy from all the juices about half way through eating it. Perhaps I wasn’t eating fast enough and enjoying the moment a bit too much. Overall the experience was enjoyable. It is definitely worth a trip back the next time I am in the area and this time I’ll be adding a shake and fries to round out the meal.
RATING: 4 out of 5
1042 Freeway Drive
Napa, California 94558
Monday – Friday 7:30AM – 5:00PM
Saturday 8:00AM – 5:00PM
Sunday 9:00AM – 4:00PM
Monday – Friday 7:30AM – 6:00PM
Saturday 8:00AM – 6:00PM
Sunday 9:00AM – 4:00PM