American Graffiti: Retro Food at Mel's

Idealized food...from simpler times.

George Lucas' idealized vision of America circa 1963 should be reflected in our dinner. This was a time before Julia changed the way we looked at food, before diners served seven pages of specials from around the world, before many of us had heard of Viet Nam.

We don't just want burgers, fries and shakes as we might have found them at the drive-in, we want them as we have dreamed them. Pop art versions of the originals that leave us pushing back from the table thinking...that was as good as I remember.

At the same time, we don't want to modernize the burgers and fries and turn them into 21st century creations, like the chef's that serve burgers with fois gras. Our burgers should certainly be recognizable by the characters in the movie.

Bacon Cheeseburgers with a Surprise

Our mamouth burgers are stuffed with cheese, kind of like Chicken Kiev, but with hamburger instead of chicken and Velveeta instead of butter. Still, the idea is the same - a fanciful squirt of flavor awaits your guests first bite.




I like the burgers best when grilled, but I've had no complaints when this dish was simply broiled inside. Note, I like to sneak a side salad in to counteract some of the fat...It isn't authentic, but eases the conscience.




French fries and Beer Batter Fried Onions are there for those needing a hefty dose of cholesterol and fat. If you want to keep things simpler, just substitute the ready made fries in the frozen isle.