I was originally going to add this to The Great Burger Hunt, but I decided that it was a bit too far off the beaten path to be included in that, so it gets its own review. Dad’s Luncheonette is a small roadside eatery on Highway 1 in Half Moon Bay. It’s been getting a lot of buzz lately as it’s been opened up by Scott Clark, who has a fine dining pedigree including working in a three Michelin star restaurant. I decided I needed to give this burger a try, so I headed down the coast to give it a try.
It’s a very small venue in a train caboose on the side of the road. There is a tiny patio area with quite a bit of seating, and I imagine it could get quite cramped during busy hours on the weekend. It is very cute though, and it’s very reminiscent of places that a person may have stopped when taking road trips across America with your parents as a child. These places are becoming very scarce, so it’s nice to see someone embracing Americana with both arms.
The menu isn’t very extensive, with either a hamburger sandwich or a mushroom sandwich on order with a few sides including home made chips, mac and cheese and salad. There are also weekly specials for soup and dessert. I opted for the hamburger sandwich which consists of a hamburger patty, cheese, a fried egg, pickled onions and lettuce on toasted white bread with a side of chips. When I arrived there were only two other people there, but as I sat, more and more people were coming up, so I imagine by early afternoon it would get quite busy.
The burger itself was good, but not amazing. The patty was a bit small, so the bread made sense as it was just the right amount of bread to patty ratio. The patty was also cooked medium well, so it was cooked more than I like, but it was still quite juicy. The egg was perfectly cooked though, and I’m a huge fan of eggs on burgers so it was a good addition. The home chips were really tasty and crispy so they were a nice side. I even decided to get the weekly dessert of a ginger blondie, and it was incredibly tasty as it wasn’t too sweet and had a hint of salt to it.
I totally get the vibe they are going for. It wasn’t glamorous and had a really fun atmosphere. Both “Dad” and “Mom” were there, and they were very nice. They also provide a nice bit of eye candy while you’re there. However, the burger wasn’t really worth the trip there, but if I were in Half Moon Bay for some reason, I could see myself heading over here to get a burger or to try the mushroom sandwich (and maybe the mac and cheese). Or if someone I knew was visiting, and they wanted to take a drive down Highway 1, Dad’s Luncheonette would be a great place to stop for quick bite.
225 Cabrillo Highway South
Half Moon Bay, CA 94019