Great American Burger & Pie Company has all the classics of an American burger place. Vintage Coca-Cola advertisements hang on the walls alongside the picture of Rosie the Riveter, burgers can be heard sizzling from outside, and, naturally, there are enough fried foods to go around. At Great American, diners know exactly what they're getting themselves into.
What you get may not be the healthiest meal of the week, but it will be one that allows you to indulge in crispy, savory, ketchup-y goodness. Great American's food is no secret either. At its busiest, there can be a line out the door and over an hour wait for a milkshake and fries. But, as many will attest, the wait is worth it.
The structure of Great American Burger and Pie Company is simple. Walking through the front door, the one-room restaurant immediately consumes your senses. The simple linoleum tables staggered throughout the floor draw your eye onward toward the sturdy, barstool-bordered counter which separates the grill from the dining area. Upon ordering one of the restaurant's signature 1/3rd-pound burgers, the kitchen staff grabs a fresh patty and tosses it on the grill with the other burgers already in motion.
About ten minutes later the burger comes out a complete product, finished to your specifications. If you agree to everything on the burger, the sandwich will come out stacked with lettuce, a generous portion of onion, tomato, mayo, ketchup, and mustard. Just about every condiment and topping a burger needs is stuffed between the buns of a Great American burger.
Though Great American Hamburger and Pie company has been owned by the same family for over 34 years, the most recent iteration by Helen and George Koliavas, a married couple, has worked to bring the classic ingredients to a greater level. "What we do here is great customer service, good food, and all at great prices," explains George. The couple does this by using the freshest meats -- brought in every other day -- and precisely measuring each burger at 1/3 of a pound assure consistent quality. "We do it all old style American dining, we try to make the best food with the best ingredients available." Taking one bite into their burgers, it's clear that this effort is not wasted.
Beyond the staple burgers -- bacon cheeseburgers, double hamburgers, mushroom cheeseburgers, etc. -- Great American Burger and Pie Company offers a specials menu which might challenge the habits of the average diner goer. There is a bacon and pineapple-stuffed Hawaiian Teriyaki Burger, an Ultimate Turkey Burger, and an onion and pepper-filled Philly Cheese Steak sandwich, to name a few. The best part? All of these items are under $8.00, making Great American Burger & Pie Company a place to treat yourself and load up on its many offerings.
Whether diners park at the picnic table out front or at the tables inside, a meal at this diner is something that needs to be consumed while sitting. Looking around at the packed restaurant during peak hours, diners often take their time with this meal. This may be because it's hard to eat a steaming order of onion rings quickly when a belly is quickly filling up on a fried chicken burger, or it may be that diners are working to savor each bite, but either way it is clear that Great American Burger & Pie Company knows what they're doing, and they're doing it well.
Great American Burger & Pie Company
35 E. Richmond Ave., Point Richmond
Mon - Fri 8:00 am. - 5 pm.
Sat - Sun 8:00 am. - 3:30 pm.
Visit their website here
Image courtesy of Great American Burger & Pie Company's Yelp page.