REVIEW w/pics: Tom's Drive-In No. 19
One day, I was really longing for a burger, but didn't want to visit the usual suspects like McDonald's, Burger King, Carl's Jr, etc. You get the picture. So I decided to visit this burger joint on Foothill Boulevard that I've been driving by for over 20 years, but have never stopped in.
I walked into a space with fake leather and wooden booths, a tiled floor that has seen better days and an eclectic menu that included everything from a variety of burger and sandwich choices to Mexican offerings like burritos and tacos to steak and shrimp dinner plates. There was something for everyone, but I just wanted a burger.
So I went ahead and ordered a burger with chili cheese fries. Soon my plate arrived. I found it interesting that the cheese on my fries wasn't already melted, but later on I actually appreciated it. But first, the burger. Looking at it, it seemed like a good size, but that was mainly because of the big hunk of lettuce that was in that bun.
Sometimes I wonder if burger places think that by making the burger look bigger that it somehow adds value or gives more of a wow factor to this simple food. Personally, less lettuce and more burger would be more up my alley. Anyway, I took a bite. Was it burger bliss? Nope. But it's a classic burger with no pretensions and no fancy trimmings and sometimes that's all you really want.
I have to say that I really, really enjoyed the chili cheese fries. As mentioned earlier, I was surprised that the cheese wasn't already melted, but as I mixed that cheese with the chili, stringy gooey goodness happened. What was even better was that the fries still retained most of its crispness. The temperature of the chili itself melted the cheese and that's why the fries didn't turn to mush. I also really liked the chili itself. It had good flavor and even a little bit of heat, which was quite appealing.
Tom's is definitely not a destination burger joint, but if you need a break from fast food and you're in the neighborhood, check Tom's out, if nothing else, for their yummy chili cheese fries.
To see pics, go to:
Tom's Drive-In No. 19
880 W Foothill Blvd
Monrovia, CA 91016
I like that its an actual side order of chili cheese fries instead of a bucket of them like they serve at the Hat and other places in the area.
I've been there a few times when I go back to Monrovia. It's right by the old high school. It's nothing great, but not bad. T-Burgers down the street is better.