Tommys Burgers question
I believe that 30 years ago, Tommys did NOT serve fries. Is that correct. If so, when did they start serving fries?
Correct, they did not have fries before. I have no idea of the date when they started serving them though.
The original location did not serve fries, only chips, because they were geared for speed, and fries would take too long. It would take mere minutes from the time you gave your order to the moment you got your burger. It was incredible how fast they processed your order, and that included grilling the burger. Lines were long, but you got served very quickly.
When they began branching out, the outer locations were not nearly as busy and served fries. I guess the original location got less busy as well.
I know I didn't answer your question, but it was a nice trip down memory lane.
Perhaps people more in the know could further enlighten us.
"It would take mere minutes..."
Actually, mere seconds, at least back in the '60s when I started making the weekend pilgrimage from Hermosa Beach to Beverly & Rampart. Back in the day, the original - and then only - Tommy's always had long, long lines, even at, say, 3 a.m. Your order was taken just before you got to the grill area, and by the time you moved up those final five or so feet, it'd be boxed and waiting. Anyone who dared request "no onions" (not me) would hear the order called out to the grill man as a "sissy burger." The grill was always completely full of patties in various stages of cooking. Buns were prepped rapidly in assembly-line style by a couple of guys, and the final assembly with burger patty+chili+wrapper was done lighting quick.
Not only did Tommy's not have fries back then, it didn't even have napkins, just dispensers with little squares of wax paper to wipe off with. Beverages were self-service from reach-in cooler chests located just past the grill window. Bottles only then.
Back then, in my late teens/early 20s, I could occasionally handle two double cheeseburgers at a time (and would be tasting them for the next day or so). Couldn't do that now, unfortunately.
I remember the "sissy burger" reference too, Riccardo. At Beverly & Rampart, they would have the entire grill filled up with burgers. When you got to the front of the line and gave your order, you were handed a fully assembed chili cheeseburger within 10 seconds. I loved the coolers with the bottled sodas.
Hard to say exactly, but I think it was in the mid 90s when they started serving fries at the original Rampart location
I used to love their hot yellow chili peppers that were out where you could serve yourself, now they have them behind the counter and they give you only a few.