What makes for a great burger?
One of the very first “better burger” food trucks in Los Angeles County, Grill ‘em All Burgers, rolled onto the scene in 2009. As unusual as it sounds it was a heavy metal devotee’s take on the ample burger meal. The founders are Chef Ryan Harkins (a Cleveland native) and Matt Chernus, a former professional wrestler.
The stars were in alignment for them as they were inexplicably cast for the first season of Food Network’s cross-country “Great Food Truck Race.” This was the only season where the competitors were required to have actual food truck experience.
Although the Grill ‘em All guys were on the threshold of elimination on multiple episodes (and expected by the Producers to be out in the early going) they scrappily hung in there and came out on top at the conclusion of the high octane finale in New York! Once the season aired business was such that they needed to secure a second truck.
The gameplan was always to eventually move into the right (affordable) brick and mortar location. That happened last January (2013) when they opened in the Renaissance Theater Plaza in Alhambra in a former (failed) chain 50s diner location. Chef Ryan and Matt have made an odd location work. Grill ‘em All had lines down the block for their anniversary celebration last month. Nights and Weekends are their really busy times.
The most popular burger is The Behemoth. It’s a monster…The patty is one half-pound. It’s grilled cheese sandwich “buns” on the top & bottom, cheddar cheese, bbq sauce, pickle, grilled onion, and bacon.
Future plans include a second location in perhaps Long Beach or North Hollywood. Down the road Chef Ryan’s goal is to open a burger restaurant in his hometown of Cleveland where the dining scene is now really happening.
The remaining Grill ‘em All truck will soon be back in action for private events.
Everyone shared their 4th Of July celebrations.
Jet hosed an intimate backyard cookout. He has an incredible built-in brick grilling unit in his backyard that’s great for picnic entertaining.
Sherry did some bike riding with her husband along the bike path in Manhattan Beach.
She also savored the beach view of all the fireworks festivities along the South Bay.
Producer Andy enjoyed the annual Community Celebration and Fireworks Spectacular in El Segundo (Mayberry by the Sea) in Recreation Park. It was a full day of festivities including a pie eating contest and a watermelon eating contest.
All the food booths were operated by El Segundo Community and school groups. The grilled hot dogs and hamburgers available before the fireworks show were prepared by the El Segundo Community & School Groups.
What’s a 4th of July without grilled hot dogs? Congrats to fellow Californian, Joey “Jaws” Chestnut, winner for the 7th consecutive year of the Nathan’s Famous Coney Island Hot Dog Challenge. He set a new World Record of 69 hot dogs and buns consumed in 10 minutes!
George’s (a Brooklyn resident) burger epiphany started in Los Angeles some ten years ago at The Apple Pan so he’s tops in our book right from the start. He obviously has good taste.
His new series for Travel Channel, “Burger Land” debuts on Monday evening, April 15th. Appropriately enough the first city profiled is Los Angeles. What’s great about the series is that it’s as much about the stories of the owners of these iconic restaurants as it is about the incredible burgers. If we take Los Angeles as an example you’re going to hear fun stories that have previously been pretty much been untold.
“Hamburger America” was George’s second documentary film which was completed in Spring of 2005. The success of that led to the publication of the state-by-state guidebook, Hamburger America. A revised edition of Hamburger America is now in print. It belongs in every burger lovers’ library.