Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Chow Time: Andre's Drive-In

Now, usually, I am not one for making new year's resolutions - much less, keeping them.  However, as the circumference around my equator (on an anatomically-correct body I believe it is referred to as a "waistline"???) ever increases, the changing of the calendar year seems like a adequately-arbitrary time to reign in the chronic binge-eating of the past few months.

"Yay!  I'm a fatty!!!!"

Before 2014 officially comes to a close, we have just enough time left to savor the sweet, sweet, burger-flavored memories of our trip to Bakersfield, CA and Andre's Drive-In (est. 1955).

Andre's Drive-In - Bakersfield, CA

With all of the surrounding cars, and electrical poles, and wires, it was difficult to capture Andre's at its most photogenic; surely, to most people it is about as plain a hamburger stand as California's Central Valley could muster.  I'll concede that without the finishing touches, it would merely be a stucco-clad, burger-dispensing, beige cube.  It is the genius of those simple finishing touches (see the optimistic script of the sign) that transform it from bland box to atomic space crab!

Sure, those splayed beams both anchor the building to the ground and frame the drive-thru, but they also create all kinds of form and dimension as the scuttling legs of our space crab.  I can't help but love the improbable use of DIY, corrugated siding and the remaining hand-painted signage still adorning the windows.  Did somebody say, "FRIED PIES?!?!!!"

The real delight at Andre's is the free-form, al fresco, dining room.
Undulating amongst the encroaching landscape, the curving benches are punctuated by floating,
kidney-shaped tables; they are perfect for dining alone or cuddling up with your new steady.

If the food was as good as the paintings in the window led us to believe, we were in for a real treat.  Seeing as how we had eaten only a short time before, Mary and I decided to opt for something on the "lighter side."

We acted like we were exhibiting some kind of restraint by splitting Andre's famous "French
Burger."  The fact is, as the sign so clearly states, the French Burger is actually two ham-
burgers made indistinguishable by the large french roll on which they are served.  But, hey, we
didn't order french fries or fried pies...so that's a healthy choice.

The French Burger left us questioning our own patriotism as all we could muster between sloppy, mustard-tinged bites was, "Vive la France!"  At "a million francs or three," we would definitely go Dutch on another French should we again find ourselves in the burger-friendly climes of Bakersfield!  

"La Marseillaise" from Casablanca (1942)

Do you have any resolutions for the new year?  Do you lie to yourself by eating half of a double-burger and then telling yourself that you are halfway to a one-hundred-percent vegetarian, gluten-free, paleo diet?  Whatever your issues, whatever your resolutions, we wish you and yours a very Happy New Year!!!

Andre's Drive-In
1419 Brundage Ln.
Bakersfield, CA


Mr. Tiny


  1. Amazing place! Ben & I uncomfortably cramed ourselves into the outdoor kidney table seats. How much smaller were people??? Worth every leg cramp!

    1. Well, you know if you and Ben could barely fit, there was no chance of us squeezing in! We cheated and sat at a regular table. It's all thanks to Ben that we even got to Andre's!!!!

  2. what a cute place! add a fried pie to mine!
    my news years thing is to try and stop eating bread 3 times a day! ugh! it's so good! so tempting!

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  3. Happy New Year Tiny! I'm hoping to make more time to read more books. I also hope to be more inventive in the kitchen this year.

    1. I can't wait to see your culinary creations!!! Happy New Year!!!

  4. I want to eat some greasy crazy US food!!!! Believe me nothing french in that sandwich.....

    1. Now why would they call it a "French Burger" if it wasn't authentic haute cuisine??? Hahaha!!!

  5. Replies
    1. It's really cool! If you're ever out that way, be sure to check it out!