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Bang for your Burger Buck – Uncle John’s DTLA

12:48 PM PDT on June 11, 2013


Because Burgers and Rice are as American as apple pie.

There is something about the Asian American Sensibility that sits so perfectly well with Bang for your Burger Buck. Their reputation for hard work and business savvy came after a long road paved by manual labor and unjust exclusion from mainstream society. Being a child of immigrants from a Third world country, I would occasionally get the "remember where you came from" speech and as a result, some lessons from the old country prevail. Lucky for you, value is one of them, and that pretty much sums up Uncle John's to a T.

A standard visit to Uncle John's is incomplete without trying the Spicy Fried Pork Chops and Eggs. Chinese food for breakfast? No Brainer. Add eggs? That pretty much sums up the culinary trend of the last 10 years. Just remember to get fried rice on the side. Avoid the tubers, as they just are not up to snuff. Besides you really are missing the point: rice is the starch of choice for the Asian continent, and when in Rome . . . .

Soy it up.

If you haven't guessed from the pics, my burger of choice is the Patty Melt at Uncle John's. Save for a few old school diners, you just don't see a lot of patty melts on menus these days and considering it is $7 with a side(fries and slaw are options along with fried rice) it is bang for your burger buck and you haven't even felt how heavy the plate is.


The rye bread on the Patty Melt reminds us that Uncle John's is a true diner, a place that keeps a good pantry of breads and knows how to griddle them to golden. Plenty of American cheese and onion, essential to a great Melt are laid out in full force. I do wish they could get a temp down right. While this burger was far from dry, I could have stood for it to come off the griddle a tad sooner. An earlier visit where I requested "Medium Rare" was replied back to me as "40%" - let's just say the burger was on the rare side to the point where the lack of texture failed to stand up to the rest of the sandwich. Regardless of that, this Patty Melt is one gooey good gut bomb and should be topping your list of "my next hangover meals".

Pass the chili oil

Knowing that the rice takes well to an extra dash of soy and chili oil, I went ahead and sauced up the burger. Cardinal burger sin? Yes. Would I do it again? Absolutely. At Uncle John's we are reminded that we are a nation of immigrants and what binds us all together is our ability to celebrate our multitude of cultures, even one's that aren't exactly our own. So embrace the diversity, eat like a Fob, and celebrate America.

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