before there was grumpy cat, there was grumpy al. when “grumpy” prefaces your name, the approaching blogger may have a bit of trepidation about the interview.
when we pulled up to burger inn, methinks i heard the “happy days” theme song in my head. i spotted grumpy al right away. he had his leg propped up on a bench and was chatting it up with customers. “maybe they’re family”. after we got situated, perused the menu, enjoyed the atmosphere of a classic drive in, and took a deep breath, i made eye contact, and called him over. first, the kind eyes and then the big warm smile, and a hearty welcome to his world……he’s not grumpy at all! were we in a situation of an ironic name, or scrooge story? i believe the first.
this man has a story. he is the third owner of this foundation the first being, pop king in 1952. it was also know as “what a burger”. al, is also a vegetarian. he has been a vegetarian most of his life. al, is also a musician. everyone i have mentioned his name to, disclosures that first, so he must be pretty decent! he seems humble about the music, but not about his food! there is an air of pride in his gate, and definitely, in the taste of the burgers!
vanessa noticed that al was doing laps around the building. i thought he was just busy. so, i hailed him down mid lap and he confirmed vanessa’s observation. grumpy had some serious serious health problems and, on doctors orders, set out to exercise. he does 100 laps a day around his palace.
as for the food, it tastes like a memory…… like the perfect burger you had growing up. there is attention to detail in that, believe it or not. it is such a specific flavor, the past just the way you remember it.
very nice that one can be served in their car, sit on the patio, or go into the old school diner.
before we left, a baby broke out in wails, grumpy came to the rescue, and in seconds had even charmed a little fussy infant into submission. some day his burgers will charm this grown person too!!
the excitement is in the air as we travel today to one of melbourne’s historic, in my opinion, places to indulge in the best of what a drive up burger joint has to offer. i was introduced to the burger inn several years ago and always make it a place to stop in when i have company in town. lucy was one of my guests years ago.
beverly who has always been there throughout the years is always excited to see you and is so great to catch up with. as lucy mentioned grumpy al is not the grumpster he’s known to be and what i had always expected to be until today i finally got the myth straight…nicest guy around!
i’ve tried everything from burger to corndogs off the menu but i’m a sucker for a good ole grilled cheese with pickles on the side. the buttery browned white bread filled with melted cheese….awwww heaven! pop a slice of pickle in your mouth with it makes it the perfection i always get off on al’s grill.
and then there’s the chili cheese fries. a huge order of crispy fries topped with a semi-spicy chili and smothered in cheese. i think cheese is definitely my theme of the day.
you really can’t go wrong with the burger inn. it will continue to be a special place for all to visit and don’t forget to say hello to “grumpy” al….he won’t bite, i promise.
1819 N Harbor City
Melbourne, FL 32935