Thursday, January 3, 2008

Tyler's - Palm Springs, CA

Tyler’s is a tiny spot in downtown Palm Springs – former winter haunt of Sinatra, Bob Hope, Carey Grant and Sonny Bono. A hit with locals and tourists alike, there is a line for seats from before they open at 11 am until they close at 4 PM. The tiny structure barely fits a grill, a bar that seats eight and two additional corner counters to sit two or three. Outside is a garden seating area and there is more seating outside in front. We took the less demanded inside seating at one of the corner counters where there was only a short wait.

We busied ourselves reading the countless news clippings on the wall extolling the virtues of Tyler’s. Our waitress was cheerful and efficient as she took our orders. My daughter, Sara, opted for the sliders ($2.50 each), three mini burgers, with all the fixings of the big burger. My wife, Pat ordered the cheeseburger ($6.50). I got the bacon cheeseburger ($8.00). We also ordered a large basket of fries ($3.50), cole slaw ($2.75), and a chocolate shake ($4.50). Alas, no onion rings at Tyler’s.

Before long, the food arrived. I must say this burger is the best I have ever had. The 7-ounce patty is seasoned to perfection with salt and pepper. American cheese drips down the sides of the patty, which is covered in the sweetest grilled onions you will ever taste. The bacon is thick, salty and crisp. Somehow it is light and thick at the same time. The bun is a pillow of white, soft bread, griddled on the inside. The bun holds together admirably despite the juiciness of the burger and onions. Mayonnaise completes the combo that plays together like a fine rock and roll band.

Sara loved her sliders, which are just a small clone of the burger and just as tasty. Pat devoured her plain cheeseburger. She usually only eats half.

The fries were thin and light with a crisp exterior. There were lots of crispy pieces at the bottom of the basket. The slaw was creamy and peppery, but I prefer it a little nuttier and spicier. The shake was very good; although it had some ice chips in it. It had a good flavor and consistency.

If you are ever even close to Palm Springs you must hit Tyler’s. It is probably worth the two-hour drive from L.A. or the even closer drive from Las Vegas. When you see the bronze statue of Sonny Bono smiling on the main drag in Palm Springs, it is probably no coincidence he is facing in the direction of Tyler’s.

Burger 5 spatulas out of 5
Fries 4 spatulas
Milk Shake 3.5 spatulas.

149 So. Indian Canton Drive
Palm Springs, CA