Rick’s Famous: “A Genuine American Burger Joint”


The platter of food at Rick’s Famous.

Diana Sidorevich, Contributing Writer

Adding another burger spot to the heap of burger joints already reviewed by The Tangerine can never hurt. If anything, it’ll give you a longer list to choose from next time you are in the burger mood. 

Most recently, we’ve been to Rooster’s and Golden’s. Golden’s has the thickest burger with zesty house-made pickles and shoestring fries seasoned with lemon salt, and Rooster’s was a smashburger that could be ordered over fries or in a hoagie roll as an option. In both of these restaurants, the grill is right next to the register—you get a first person view of your burger being made. The aromas fill the cafe and linger on your clothes when you leave.

Rick’s Famous is not like the others. The environment seems a bit more commercialized, even though they’re owned by the same people who own Ocean Blue and Nostro’s downtown, and it’s a bigger space with more seating. Their branding has a classic Americana feel, as do the photos on the wall curated for the male gaze.

The menu: burgers, a fish sandwich, a chicken sandwich I hear is great, slushies and milkshakes, and fries, pickle chips, onion rings and sweet potato fries as sides. 

While deciding between a Truffle Burger with mushrooms, bacon, swiss cheese, truffle mayo and a classic ¼ lb cheeseburger, a friendly server Anthony C. said he was a customer here just a month ago. 

“You’re gonna like this,” Anthony C. said when he learned we were first time visitors. 

I went with the classic cheeseburger because I can’t not have onions and pickles on my burger. I’m looking for that sharp raw onion bit and a few briny pickles, and don’t miss the cheese.

One bite into the BBQ Burger already left a ring of BBQ sauce around Marinus Nortje’s mouth. It was definitely not dry nor soggy. Made with braised short rib, onion rings, cheese, pickles and BBQ sauce enveloped in a sesame bun, Nortje said the braised short rib “is the way to go.” 

Straight from the fryer, the pickle chips were also a hit, and with a sip of cherry slushy, that’ll take you back to the 90’s. 

Besides the satisfying fulfillment of eating a great burger, I appreciated that the bun wasn’t cut straight through to the end; it was still attached. I liked the meal’s “packaging,” paper burger-and-side holders. 

The crinkle-cut fries were a miss, and I wish they weren’t. 

“If I wanted frozen fries, I would’ve bought McCains at Walmart,” Nortje said. 

They were over-seasoned and slightly hard. Maybe they’re better fresh. And although the bun was tasty, the outside of the bun was cold to the touch. 

Does this mean I won’t be back? Definitely not. My Gen Z sister who dined with me will most likely not be coming back though.

“Pretty much all of the pictures reinforce patriarchy,” Mary Sidorevich said about the decor. “It ruined the experience.”

Images of pinup girls in diners date back to the 1940’s, but are they relevant today? Let The Tangerine know what you think at [email protected].

One last thing, if you order the pickle chips, order them to share unless you want to leave with a stomach ache.