Photo by Cameron Yong
Photo by Cameron Yong

⅖ stars


A slight hesitation followed by, “You’ll like any burger you get,” is what the no-name tag cashier said when I asked him what his recommended choice was at Vicky’s Burgers. There is much to choose from on Vicky’s menu, from cold-cut sandwiches to burgers, even Mexican food — they have it all. But there’s a difference between having everything and having quality.

The no-name tag cashier finally gave me a suggestion and said that the chili cheese fries were the most popular item on the menu. So I ordered the chili cheese fries along with an avocado burger with cheese and a bacon cheeseburger. The total came out to be around $15, not including drinks.

I waited for my food in one of the various booths that resembled that of any other diner. I applauded their efforts to make the restaurant aesthetically pleasing. It was set up with bar stools, booths, tables, with a slight 50s retro appeal. But ultimately, it looked like any other fast food joint.

The food arrived promptly on a red tray and my appetite intensified. I was famished and I almost forgot why — probably because of the obscure location in Jurupa Valley and the tedious trip it took to arrive there. The very first item that enticed me was the order of chili cheese fries. I took my plastic fork and jabbed one of the chili fries and devoured it out of hunger. To my dismay, I realized that I should have taken a better look at the plate of chili fries before opening my mouth.

The plate of chili fries looked as through a can of chili, which contained a liquified mass of beans, was poured over the fries and left there to soak in the unsavory juices. I thought the fries lacked cheese but if examined closely, one could possibly detect a few shredded strands of cheddar. I slowly chewed my single fry and realized that it tasted as though it had been frozen and thawed out and left at room temperature. It seemed like Vicky’s had ignored the typical elements that should be comprised in chilli cheese fries. The fries were not recently fried, the beans in the chilli were nonexistent, and moreover the chilli “cheese” fries has an insufficient amount of cheese.

The avocado burger had some potential in that avocados make almost everything delicious — at least they were able to cut open a fresh avocado and place it between two buns. The avocado burger had the sesame buns, lettuce, tomato and cheese — everything to make a burger, but nothing to make it memorable. The lettuce and tomato weren’t on the verge of spoiled but a step below fresh and the bun wasn’t moldy. So the quality of the burger made the minimum requirements to be edible. I was glad I paid an extra $0.55 to add cheese or it would have been almost flavorless.

The next burger I tried was the bacon cheeseburger. The reason this burger was tolerable and moderately more appetizing was due to the fact that one just cannot go wrong with bacon and cheese. The slightly salty flavor that came from the crisp bacon and melted cheese encouraged me to finish the entire burger. However, the burger was made up of the same beef patty and vegetable fillers as the previous burger. Although the bacon flavor allowed this burger to be the better choice of the two, there are better choices at the local Farmer Boys on Iowa Street.

The entire experience was not original and too out of the way to be considered a place to just stop by for a bite to receive an unremarkable piece of sustenance. The novelty of the name “Vicky’s Burgers” is also lost on the street of two other burger joints with a female name. Maybe to add some excitement the burger joints should collaborate together and create a burger joint row. But in the meantime, for students, I suggest going to Baker’s — it’s two blocks away, much cheaper, and just as good as Vicky’s.

In any case, I appreciated the fact that the no-name-tag employee said “like” and not “love” when predicting my admiration for Vicky’s Burgers because deep down, he knew that their burgers would only equate to adequacy.