Do not adjust your browser, The Cured Ham recently dined at one of the most popular establishments in Fresno, CA, Dog House Grill.
True, a departure from my normal dining habits. Ordering food at the counter and waiting for "Number 264, number 264 to the counter please!!" reminds me of, well, no food experience I can recall. I suppose the closest approximation would be riding a pedestrian BART train at rush hour.
Ahhh, rush hour on public transportation in the Bay Area. The smell of crowded spaces. Waiting in long lines for your train. Delays. Cheap, efficient, never enough seats, and if you manage a seat, someone's crotch in your face. Let's not forget the familiar muffled sounds of "Embarcadero, Embarcadero Station". Yes, this theme of cheap, efficient, crowded space with insufficient seating, and an overhead squawk sum-up the atmosphere of Dog House Grill. To be fair, there are several televisions playing sports on multiple screens with no two sporting events the same. Televisions and monitors cover every wall that's practical. There is also a full bar on the premises and an outdoor patio complete with fireplace. The TV, bar, and fireplace are all improvements over Bay Area transportation amenities. But what about the food?
My friends and I ordered a round of burgers and french fries. It's more accurate to say we ordered a single "bucket-sized" order of fries rather than individualized orders. The fry order was enough to feed 4 to 6 normal appetite adults; we were three people that evening and we did not finish the fries, not because we didn't like them, there were just too many. The fries were shoestring style; thin, crispy, well seasoned with salt and some reddish powder (not spicy), and not a single fry was burnt. Good, really good fries actually.
As I mentioned, we ordered three burgers. I ordered the ABC Burger, Avocado, Bacon and Cheese Burger. This is a two-hand, fully stacked burger. Sliced raw onion, lettuce, tomato, pickle, and slathered with thousand island dressing (special sauce??) and maybe a little extra mayo on a sesame seed bun (I've heard this jingle before) complete the burger. The meat patty was not a hockey puck, it was actually moist; fully cooked but moist. Guess what, it was real good. All three of us agreed, a tasty burger. Was my burger a sublime Food Network Chef Burger, ground from Waygu, topped with porcini mushrooms, caramelized onions, truffles and served on brioche?
No, it was 5 bucks and a hell of a burger.
Our total meal cost with fountain drinks...$23. Families, college kids, couples, and some more well dressed business attired individuals all ordered at the counter at this efficient and satisfying pedestrian eatery. The Dog House is located across from California State University, Fresno (we call it Fresno State...Go Dogs Go) so there are students here, but honestly, it's not just students who want a cheap quality burger...everyone does. And everyone was here.