There are days when you simply want a good homemade hamburger. It doesn't have to be fancy but the fast-food chains just won't do. I recently had the pleasure of visiting , a hamburger joint in Livermore. Despite the fact that I have worked in Livermore for 12 years, the restaurant is tucked in an area of the city that I never would have found without a resident to guide me there.
Ben's Burgers isn't anything fancy but the food is good and cheap. On a recent visit I had the mushroom burger, small onion rings and a medium soda and spent less than $7. My companion had a bacon and avocado burger, small fries and a medium strawberry shake for under $9. The burgers were fresh and tasty.
I must admit, when I saw my companion's strawberry milkshake I did have some shake envy. But I decided that I'd made a good choice with my diet soda since I wasn't able to go home and lie on my couch for several hours after lunch.
You won't find a burger on the menu for more than $5 and this includes the half-pound burger. Why, even "Ben's Burger," which is a one-third-pound burger fried in a rectangular shape to go on a french roll, costs $4.65.
For someone looking for an alternative to beef, there are fish, chicken and garden burgers for $3.25 each. If burgers aren't your thing, you can opt for a teriyaki platter with chicken or beef rib for $4.99.
The restaurant has many choices available on a french roll, from a rib eye steak for $4.95 to turkey for $3.95. There are chili dogs and super hot dogs for $3.25 and corn dogs for $1.50 and hot sandwiches, chicken nuggets and fish or prawn with chips.
Sam Noh has owned Ben's Burgers since 1982. It is clear that he is proud to have been serving fresh burgers to the community all these years. Noh mentioned that his milkshakes are the real deal, no "soft-serve" ice cream. His restaurant serves Dreyer's and has the regular flavors —vanilla, strawberry and chocolate — and some fun choices, including pineapple, cherry, cookies 'n' cream, caramel, boysenberry and root beer. Milkshakes run $3.25 for medium, $3.75 for large. Add a banana or malt for 50 cents.
I find that very rarely do I get a bill at a restaurant and feel excited about the amount I owe. When I was given my total at Ben's Burgers, I was actually giddy about handing over my money. I think you'll feel the same way.
Ben's Burgers, 777 Rincon Ave., Livermore. 925-449-3124. Monday- Saturday 10 a.m.-9 p.m., Sundays 11 a.m.-5 p.m.