The L.A. born Original Tommy's is known for their heartier burgers that come ladled with signature smooth chili as standard (also available on the fries, hot dogs, or by itself in a cardboard boat). While my affection for the chain was based mostly on college day nostalgia, in the last few years it had grown more into a fascination after discovering their inspirational roots to my beloved MOS Burger. One thing I did confirm recently though is that a Tommy's does taste better in L.A. Home turf advantage of fresher chili and a constant stream of regulars help.
Sadly I don't think I've ever been beyond third person in line at our branch off Clairemont Mesa Blvd. I'm guessing most
San Diegans didn't help the city become one of the top ranked fittest in
America from a diet of Chili Cheeseburgers (or flavor-rich
ramen for that matter).
Their lighter and healthier 'California Classic'
came out a few months back with hardly any fanfare (and only available
at selected locations). In fact it's not even mentioned on their
can get it as a single or double. My two-patty single-cheese only set
me back $3.40 and it's a bit weightier than your comparable at
In-N-Out. Curious that my order receipt said "1000 Island Dbl Chsburger."
wise it has all the California-style signatures as if going down a
checklist. While the large slice of beefsteak tomato, pickles and onions
(chopped) are appropriated from the original, I would've never believed
to one day see iceberg lettuce and thousand island sauce on a Tommy's.
buns on my second trial were better toasted than my first and had the
all important crispy edges. Your standard thinner fast food patties,
veggies adequately fresh and all in all a decent fill though it felt a
little clumsy in assembly. I also found the texture of the bread that
may be perfect for chili consumption somehow a little detracting.
makes you realize and reappreciate how well executed an In-N-Out
When I'm in the mood for a classic California style I'll be patiently waiting in line at
In-N-Out, and the days I am at Tommy's I'll be sticking to the Original with thick-cut fries.
Original Tommy's, 7415 Clairemont Mesa Blvd, San Diego, CA 92111