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Feeling Patriotic at Richie’s Real American Diner

An American Californian burger.

Out visiting my uncle in Murrietta, we were in need of some dinner. Having just moved there a few months ago, there were still some local places he was looking to try out. On this night, Richie’s Real American Diner was calling his name. This is one of those places loaded with in-your-face patriotism and reminded me of what every restaurant must have looked like in the ’50s. Since I am a true American, this looked like it would be a good place for me.

Richie’s was celebrating some sort of anniversary (I think 30th?), and their big specialty of the night was 25 cent root beer floats. Perhaps this was the cost of root beer floats when they were founded. Whatever it was, I love me some floaty root beer, so I ordered one. Then, feeling especially patriotic, I decided I needed either a burger or a hot dog. There were a few options for each and they all looked quite good. Ultimately, it was the Hickory Swiss Burger ($8.35) that got the best of me. This was made with Swiss cheese, a 1/3 pound patty, BBQ sauce, lettuce, tomato and onion. I placed my order without the veggies and upgraded the fries that came with the burger to curly.

Without much wait, the food was ready. My burger came wrapped in that special way you only find in California, covering about half the burger and allowing the eater to at least eat the first half without getting messy fingers. But I had no need for that and immediately unwrapped the burger. I bit in and my taste buds were greeted with one tasty diner burger. The BBQ sauce was pretty sweet and not too smoky, but the Swiss cheese gave it a nice, salty balance. The patty itself was what you would expect from a diner. It was above the level of a fast food burger, but not exactly the gourmet level. Although this was expected, it was still pleasant to eat. Then there were the delicious curly fries. These guys were nice and crisp, making a perfect companion to my diner burger.

There’s a reason Richie’s was celebrating a big-time anniversary. Their real American food fed me just right and left me feeling like few people have ever gotten a truly bad meal from Richie.