Sunday, January 30, 2011

T&C Hamburgers (South Gate)


South Gate Eatery #2

Apparently, this joint has been serving up subs, sandwiches and burgers for over a 1/4 century.  I remember walking by this restaurant many times as a kid.  Back when I was only knee high, pops would take us to watch the "Christmas Lane Parade" and sometimes we'd pass by this restaurant.  Back in the day, this restaurant was bustling with people and from the outside you could always smell the food and see plumes of smoke emitting from the kitchen's grill.  It's incredible to think that I never made it a point to stop by...until now.  

Sadly, I think this restaurant has lost it's luster.  I would've loved to have come here years ago when the original owner still ran the place and the restaurant was at its peak.  Nothing against the current people behind the restaurant, but the fervor seems to have died down.  

The cook and lady that took our order were extremely nice and chatty.  Unfortunately, as I would later find out, the service ended up being the best aspect about this restaurant.  Being a first-timer here, I asked what they were most proud of on the menu, the best seller - basically, the dishes that bring customers back.  Their response was, "everything is good here."  Wrong answer.  To say, "everything is good," is to say, "nothing stands out."   As it turns out, nothing really did stand out.

My favorite item on the menu was their Carne Asada Taco.  It was loaded with plenty of meat and it had just enough cilantro and onions in it.  One of the things I hate most about tacos, is when my order comes with about as much vegetation as it does meat.  The taco is about the meat!  If I order a taco de carne asada, I expect to see meat with a sprinkling of cilantro and onions on my tortilla.  I do not want to have to dig my way through the vegetation to get to my meat.  But I digress...  I liked that they doubled up on the tortilla and griddled it.  That is my preference with any taco.  One tortilla usually doesn't hold up to the juiciness of a well-made taco and the salsas added to it.  One tortilla soaks up some of the salsa and meat drippings while the 2nd tortilla is slightly more griddled, almost crispy and holds the entire thing together.  I really liked the addition of avocado slices and the tomatillo salsa was good but not freshly made.  What I didn't enjoy as much was the use of seasoned salt to season the meat and the fact that the meat was reheated.  Overall, it was still a decent taco. - 3.5 stars               

The Tuna Melt was okay but nothing you couldn't whip up at home.  It came on wheat bread but the "wheat bread" was just that generic, soft, air-filled white sandwich bread that is basically dyed brown.  You know what I'm talking about!  That stuff that's made from "Enriched" wheat flour and not the real hearty whole wheat bread.  Anyway, the sandwich was okay.  - 2 stars

The Jack Melt was less than average.  It came on toasted rye bread but the quality of the bread comes into question again.  The patty was slim as hell and got lost with all the unnecessary lettuce and tomatoes in the sandwich.  - 1.5 stars   

I paid nearly $16 for 2 mediocre sandwiches, 2 sodas, fries and a decent taco.  I didn't think it was worth it.  Frankly, I would have rather spent my money at Subway.           

T & C Hamburgers.

Jack Melt.

Tuna Melt.

Taco de Carne Asada with Salsa Verde.

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