Steve and I decided to check out Clarkes in Mountain View. For 50 years or more, Clarkes has been the feeding trough for burger boys on the peninsula. The building is decrepit at best, which adds to its charm. There are blue vinyl booths with faux wood laminate tops for inside carnivores and outdoor seating as well.
Clarkes flame broils it's 1/3 pound fresh burgers. They come out very smokey tasting, which I generally do not prefer. I ordered the Bacon Cheeseburger ($7.20), O-rings ($3.95), fries ($1.50) and a chocolate milk shake ($4.85). Steve went for the straight cheeseburger. We took our number and took our seat. Very soon our order was ready.
At Clarkes you get just the burger, ordered toppings and bun. They have a big fixings bar nearby loaded with onions, condiments and other items to pile on. You used to have to ask for tomato, but no longer. It is at the bar. There is no "special sauce" which I missed.
As we munched, I found the bacon a bit chewy, not adding to the positive experience. The smokey burger itself was OK, but nothing exceptional. Steve pointed out that I shouldn't order bacon, then maybe I could better experience the burger. I rated mine 3 spatulas out of 5. Steve liked his better. Onion rings were thick cuts of onions with heavy breading. I thought they were the best thing in the meal and rated them with 4 spatulas. Fries were thicker, skins-on style. They were only warm, not hot. 2.5 spatulas. The milk shake was thick and cold and rated a 3.5.
I found Clarkes better for its retro ambiance than its food. I would go back for another taste or just to get a feel the past days on the peninsula.
Burger 3 spatulas (out of 5)
Fries 2.5 spatulas
Onion Rings 4 spatulas
Shake 3.5 spatulas
Clarkes Charcoal Broiler
615 W. El Camino Real
Mountain View, CA 94040