[ed. Note: 6/18/2014: Congratulations to Vickie's for winning best burger in Alabama this week.]
This post could go several ways. We could make fun of the portable Biff Burger building, the handmade "Pardon the flies" sign, the TV that does not work, the paper towels on the tables or the lack of a sign visible from the road. We could research the health rating. We could try to weave the latest government crisis into the story and blame the House Republicans. We could be smart and sassy. Or we could--shocker--really write about the food.
|The 8 oz. combo--drink included|
|Wide open spaces compared to the competition.|
Now that recommendation is out of the way, there is some nostalgia and knowledge to impart. No one reading this blog should leave this page dumber.
|Inflation= Hamburgers go from 15 cents to $6 over 40 years.|
Actually, calling itself a lunch van is more appropriate than maybe even the owners think. Those of you who grew up in the Gump remember the Biff Burger which opened on the Lee side of town in the 1960s. Know what Biff stands for? It stands for "Best In Fast Food." In fact, the Biff-Burger in Montgomery was one of 160 of the most successful franchises of that era. The Biff-Burger had two innovations that set it apart. First, the founder invented a dual grill machine that charbroiled the hamburgers on one metal conveyor while the buns traveled below and absorbed the flame-kissed drippings. Second, the founder also invented a modular and portable building equipped with the unique broiler that could be installed in a week such that once the land could be cleared the store could be up and running in ten days. The Biff-Burger in Montgomery--and now Vicki's Lunch Van--were housed in a portable building that has remained in use for over 40 years.
The chain was founded in St. Petersburg, Florida, where one of the only two remaining Biff-Burgers still serve "Biff Burgers" to hundreds of bikers who flock to the throw-back buildings. Perhaps one can even learn from the fall of this great chain that apparently gave Burger King its idea for a burger broiler. After the founder sold out to a conglomerate, the purchaser decided to diversify into gambling operations that ruined the company. Think of it, a casino operation that loses money. You would almost have to try to lose money to fail at raking in chips from games tilted in your favor. Regardless of the improbability of it, that is the reason we do not have Biff-Burgers all over the country.
|The re-purposed portable BIFF|
Their 20th century loss was our 21st century gain. When Vicki had to shut down her actual lunch van near Gunter, the portable Biff-Burger building--which had housed God only knows how many other businesses--was there for the taking. Today, in that portable building without a sign to alert the passing public a restaurant is inside, Vicki and her cohorts are serving up burgers that put the Biff-Burgers--and just about any fast food hamburger--to shame. For in the nondescript hovel, made to order hand-pattied mixtures of freshly ground steak are cooked on a griddle, smushed one at a time with a spatula, adorned with a bun to soak up the steamy grease rising from the heat and then served juicy and hot along with thick-cut real french-fries. Even Harry Reid might agree to allow such a burger to pass mustard.
Darn. I am making myself hungry. What flies?