Joe's Hamberger Place. Yes spelled Hamberger. Nothing fancy smancy here. It's more than nostalgic, it's a hoot! If you go, you've been there before,if not, you are with someone who has. The only sign is on the inside of the place. The person who made it many years ago, misspelled Hamburger so they left it that way. This place has been here since WWII….1942, when hamburgers were a dime! A teeny-tiny box with one short counter and five stools. No air conditioning. Just the way I like it. Lots of carry-out, but wait for a seat, and enjoy the conviviality. Joe died, Phyllis worked for him and then Phyllis and her mom took over. Now it's just Phyllis. No special order bullshit here,(got that?) you'll eat it the way Phyllis cooks it. You should be forewarned that Phyllis is a pistol, but has a gem of a heart. If she goes on vacation, she will tell her regulars, by word of mouth. So,if you stop infrequently or this is your first time, you just have to drive by until you see cars parking there again. No menu or prices. Just ask if you don't know at the end of the meal, and leave the money on the counter (it's left there and piles up at the counters edge, over the course of the lunch hour service). Try not to ask for change or use big bills. All the cash she has on hand is what has accrued. Phyllis tallies the amount with a pencil directly on the formica countertop in front of you with an old tax chart in her hand. You can see the scores of markings from the past. If the place is full and she is busy, you may have to stand and wait a bit for her to acknowledge you. Don't get impatient or holler at her. You'll be ignored, and it will only get you dirty looks from the regulars setting at the counter. There's protocol here! If she's in a humorous disposition, she'll likely call you a "Bird." Hollering out, "what do you Birds want today?" All the burgers are hand patted out from a large meat crock stetting by the griddle. Small, medium or large and priced accordingly. Order the Mailman Special. An off the non-existing menu item. It's basically a bigger burger, cheese if you like, topped with her secret chili sauce and includes a drink (order Big Red, it's the right thing to do) and chips. Why is it called a Mailman Special? You see, in the old days, after closing for lunch at 2 pm (or earlier if she ran out of meat) she would sit for an hour or so and play poker with the local mail carriers and server them a special order burger, the Mailman Special. Talking local politics is the norm here, and Phyllis is very opinionated. She's ultra-conservative, but knows her shit. So respect her, but don't tip-toe around her either. It's a fine line. Being thought provoking, earnest and witty will win you points and make for a lively discussion. Just don't get overly adamant or you might just get the boot….Soup Nazi style! Check out the old National Brand Cash Register from the 1930's, the rotary dial wall phone, the CocaCola top-door ice chest, and an 85 year old griddle sizzling with burgers. Phyllis is getting up there in years, so Joe's Hamberger days are finite. Sure, there are better burgers in town, but that's not why you're coming here, is it? It's because you want to stand inside a Norman Rockwell painting, and for a fainting fleeting moment, remember who you really were, once upon a time. A person can climb a mountain, or close a million dollar deal, but it really is the small comings and goings in life….. that matter most of all. Regular hours, 11:30ish to 2 pm Tuesday thru Saturday. Arrive early, if you're hankering' for a hand patted mouth-watering slider…. because when she runs out of meat, the party's over!
Fantastic Burgers!. I have been going to Joe's for over 30 years and have loved every bite of the burgers I get there. It is by no means fancy, and a lot of times you might have to stand and wait for your order for a bit, but trust me-they are worth it and then some! Phyllis packs plenty of TLC in her burgers and you will be hooked by the first bite!
Joes, 2423 Blanco,.
There is no place like Joes
Joes Burgers is the place to go
Phyllis makes them not to slow
secret sauce can't be beat
and Chris Madrid, is still asleep!
Best Burgers...entertaining to be in the place. If you go there you have probably been there before and, if not, you are probably with someone who has been there before.
The decor is not for the faint of heart. I have been trying to pry the recipe from Phyllis for 40 years with no luck.
Former Joe's carhop weighs in....
I was a carhop at Joe's Hamburger Stand during the 50's. Joe Christian was the owner then. When he died, he left the business to Hilda Jaschke. When she died she left it to her sister,Thekla Perez. When Thekla died the current owner, Phyllis, Hilda's daughter, took over.
Hamburgers were a dime when I started as a carhop at Joe's, about 1953. Shortly afterwards, they went up to 15cents. People had a cow!
I worked there until I graduated from Edison in 1956.
Did you know there was another Joe's Hamburger Stand? It was at the corner of Edison Dr. and West Avenue. I think it closed shortly after Mr Joe died. M. J. Trammel , who had been the carhop at the original Joe's before me, ran it. My brother, Bill, was a carhop there.
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