Talk about false first impressions. I initially figure Apollo Restaurant, in Victorville, California, is just another faded burger drive-in joint in a dusty desert parking lot.
When I step inside, though, I’m quickly overwhelmed. I can negotiate the seven burgers on the big board, ranging from a fiery Mexican to a two-patty Narcissist. But I’m then handed a sheet listing a dozen other burger permutations, which can be further customized to please.
Help! Finally, I take the path of least resistance and order a basic Classic ($3), adding just crispy bacon and caramelized onions.
But the surprises aren’t over. I’m told the burger meat is ground in house each day from sirloin, chuck and brisket and then hand formed. With this purity of patty, is there any choice but to go medium rare?
My only quibble is the bun quickly falls apart. Oh well, all the better to savour the superior beef without many distractions.
As I’m about to tuck in, a woman at a neighbouring table sees me typing notes on my iPad. “You a reporter?”
“No, just a burger blogger.”
Her companion admits to eating here three times in the past week. Her parting advice: “Get ready to enjoy life.”
14950 7 Street, Victorville, California
Monday to Wednesday 10:30 am-8 pm. Thursday to Saturday 10:30 am-9 pm, Sunday 11 am-7 pm