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Dave's BurgersThe big moment of my first car signified independent transportation and loud music, delivering me to endless destinations. That car served me well, driving locally from beach to beach in my native Laguna, to beyond the borders of the United States, reliably. After fourteen years I finally said goodbye to my ‘99 Honda Civic on Monday with one last burger run.

On the way to the dealership, my Mother, riding shotgun, and I stopped for our last lunch in the Honda. We pulled up to Dave’s Burgers where Wardlow Road intersects Atlantic Avenue in Long Beach. Too small for a website, the Yelppowered eatery grabs hungry drivers eyes sporting a tasteful red-‘n-white themed look…, that is, if you don’t miss it. If it weren’t for the big clock, I might’ve driven past the stand, but it was definitely “time to eat”.

We walked up to the window of the cash-only purveyor, to the sizzling sound of patties and onions being griddled. The place was dinky, an honest to goodness shack. We were greeted immediately and though our smiling face do-it-all was deep in cooking mode and busy with two other patrons, we were still encouraged to put in our order—she had multi-tasking down.

A short wait—under ten minutes—and we had two sandwiches and a bag of banana peppers in hand for $6.25. We skipped the two adjacent picnic benches for our burger sendoff, pulling up at a local park nearby. A mouth-watering presentation was enough to know the direction of this burger.

D BurgerIt seemed as if the sandwich was busting at the seams—a generous size considering the price. The first bite backed it all up with a contrast between hot patty and cold crisp sheets of iceberg lettuce providing a winning combination. The juiciness of the patty was really surprising too; the cooking time played up its strengths and though I still prefer raw onions, the sautéed onions had no problem finding their place. The application of sauce was judicious, sealing in the standard symphony of flavors.

A fitting end to the final ride of my Honda Civic, with a very good burger from this tiny roadside stand, we made it to the dealership full and ready to purchase my first new car. Hours later, driving off the lot in the new wheels, I had peace of mind knowing that my car had all the amenities, and there was a great place  nearby to grab lunch when my car would go in for regular maintenance.

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