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It was a rough day.  I was completely bored at work, I hadn’t slept at all well, and my chronic back pain was ablaze with a fury not unlike one could imagine a rhinoceros experiences when he wakes to find the stock market has tanked and his entire 401(k) has just vanished into a puff of putrid fart fumes.  Yes, readers, that morning I was hurting, and there were two things that it was entirely necessary for me to get on my lunch break, each of which, ideally, would make me feel better in its own way: a professional deep-tissue massage, and a juicy delicious bacon and avocado hamburger with crisp golden french fries and a ice cold root beer.

Luckily, in Costa Mesa near my work, just behind the Denny’s at Red Hill and Bristol, there happens to be a small (and as it turned out, particularly mediocre) massage parlor.  And even more fortunately, just across the street there was a quaint little spot called Bill’s Burgers which appeared to be just what this hungry guy was seeking.

A message, a message from the lord! God be praised!

I walked in to find a large movie-theater-billboard-style menu populated with classic American fast-food cuisine and a solid set of options for Mexican dining, if one were inclined to order such rubbish fare (I was in burger mode).  I found it very interesting that there was no Greek — or Mediterranean cuisine of any kind — on the menu, and yet, the cups were handsomely adorned with coliseums and statues of discvs [sic] throwers.  Interesting…

The woman at the register was a little short with me at first, but when I showed that i was friendly and smiley and asked questions about whether I could get bacon AND avocado on my burger, and how much would it cost please, she actually turned out to be quite friendly and rang my burger up in such a manner that it came out to cost some 80 cents cheaper than had she rung it up the other way.  I tipped her well (total out-of-pocket being $10) and took my unique order number placard to a table in the restaurant dining area — which was about as close to Coco’s decor as I could imagine any other restaurant being, lawsuit-free — and began sipping at my boiled sassafras beverage.

McDaphne's Famous Lamburgers?

I took a beat to scan the room and observe my fellow diners.  I was pleased to find that Bill’s had a very eclectic clientele, ranging from skateboard-wielding high-school hipsters (no doubt grabbing lunch at a less pricey alternative to the dining options at the nearby “trendsetter” breeding ground, The Lab) to kind-eyed senior citizens enjoying an old local Costa Mesa favorite.  Despite their stark differences, these people all seemed pleased to be where they were, and as such, my expectations simmered.  I felt at peace with my new by-proximity friendships, and my nerves calmed as the hour of be-burger-ment drew near.

Then it came. Visual first impression: ‘OK, this could be good!’  Oral first impression: ‘OK… this could be better…’ This burger was not great.  Everything about it seemed to fall just a little short of good-enough, much like every Adam Sandler movie since The Wedding Singer (Punch Drunk Love exempt).  The patty was too small and thin for the bun and lacked flavor or spice of any kind.  There was not nearly enough tomato, though the tomato was fresh, and the iceberg lettuce was standard and boring.  The bacon was too crispy and flavorless, and the spread was Thousand Island dressing.  This burger’s not winning any originality awards, not that I was expecting it to.

The one ingredient that Bill* seemed to actually care about was the avocado, and apparently, in Bill’s twisted burger brain, it’s totally cool to compensate for all shitty other ingredients by stuffing in way way way too much avocado, thus bringing “balance” to the burger.  I’m pretty sure there was an entire avocado on my burger.  The poor sandwich was swamped, and even it if wasn’t, it just wouldn’t hold up to any of the burger sensations I’ve experienced up in Los Angeles.  Fortunately for your blogging friend here, there was something else on the plate.  The fries were actually were actually not bad, though they were not anything particularly exciting.  They were just done right.  The root beer was good too.

'Avocado volume is inversely proportional to overall burger crappiness!' - Bill
'Nope.' - Eric

All in all, it was a pretty disappointing lunch hour, but I’m glad to say that we all learned a valuable lesson here: Don’t put pantheons and olympians on your cups if you want people to think you sell a good hamburger, because you don’t.  Especially if you’re Bill’s Burgers.

*There wasn’t any person Bill that I actually saw, I’m anthropomorphizing the establishment.

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