Poway’s Hamburger Factory is always a family affair
By Kelley Carlson
With an array of knickknacks on display and a bountiful menu, the Hamburger Factory offers a feast for the eyes (and stomach). Located in Old Poway Park, the Wild West-themed restaurant is a favored stop for diners of all ages.
“Our customers are our Hamburger Factory family,” said Cyndy Casse, who has been running the eatery with her husband, Dave, and her parents, Phil and Cleta Spear, since 1998. “We see the same faces, some of them twice a day, some every day at breakfast.”
Customers — especially children — are entertained by the eclectic mishmash of collectibles on the walls, from large plush bears and mounted animal heads to classic signage and random cooking utensils — perfect for a game of “I Spy.”
And a number of patrons appreciate the train decor of the main patio, a nod to the narrow gauge Poway-Midland Railroad that encircles the park.
But naturally, it’s the hamburgers that are really the center of attention here, which are constantly lauded by locals in readers’ polls. There are nearly 15 topping combinations for half- and quarter-pound patties, such as the Gringo with melted cheddar, avocado, lettuce and tomato slices, stacked on a toasted sesame seed bun.
To spice things up, there’s also a “Burger of the Month” that has a suggested pairing with a craft beer from a local microbrewery. A recent example is The Cheeseburger Club — two quarter-pound burgers, bacon, lettuce, tomatoes and a choice of cheese — with a Germans in the Desert pilsner from Latitude 33 Brewing Co. in Vista.
Additional “experiments” — as described by Casse — have included the Pizza Burger and Chipotle Chorizo Burger.
While the restaurant’s name might imply “hamburgers only,” there’s so much more, with full breakfast, lunch and dinner offerings that are constantly changing.
Hearty breakfast items are served until 10:30 a.m. Monday through Friday, and the hours are extended to 11:30 a.m. Saturday, Sunday and holidays. Among the selections are skillets; three-egg omelets; biscuits with sausage gravy; and the SOS (Stuff on a Shingle), consisting of chipped beef on toast or a biscuit.
For lunch and dinner, guests may start their meals with an appetizer such as the Not-So-French Fries, a pile of deep-fried potatoes smothered in nacho cheese, jalapeños, bacon and sour cream.
Along with burgers, people can turn to entrees such as chicken and fish baskets, and sandwiches that encompass everything from classics such as Grilled Cheese and French Dip, to the Tuna Meltdown and the California Chicken Sandwich (avocado, cheddar, bacon, grilled chicken, lettuce and tomato on a roll).
For a more sophisticated dish, options include the Cedar Plank Salmon with Tuscany vegetables and garlic mashed potatoes, and Maple Bourbon Sirloin Tips.
Desserts include milkshakes, Fruit Cobbler, the decadent Chocolate Stampede cake, and the World’s Tiniest Sundae — a small scoop of vanilla ice cream with fudge in a condiment-sized cup, topped with whipped cream, rainbow sprinkles and a cherry.
On Tuesdays, ages 10 and younger eat free with each adult meal purchased.
■ 14122 Midland Road, Poway (in Old Poway Park)
■ (858) 486-4575
• Open Since: 1980s
• Take Out: Yes
• Reservations: Recommended for parties of 8 or more
• Patio Seating: Yes
• Happy Hour: No
• Hours: 7 a.m. to close, daily
Each week you’ll find a recipe featured through a click on the bar below. This week’s recipe: Hamburger Factory’s Pulled Pork Skillet
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