05th Feb
The Quarter-pounder with cheese

Birthplace of the Hamburger

Sure, history books tell of the Tartar’s fondness for raw meat and how sailors from Germany loved to order Hamburg Style Steak upon their arrival in the New World. The real question is: Who created America’s first all-beef patty, ancestral prototype of today’s Quarter Pounder, Big Mac, and Whopper? Pinpointing the origination of the hamburger …

04th Nov
Bob's Double-Deck Big Boy Cheeseburger

Bob Wian’s Big Boy Burger

Robert Wian learned the restaurant business the hard way. When his father’s furniture business faltered during the early thirties, he took a job washing dishes at the White Log Tavern to help out. Although fresh from high-school, it didn’t take long for him to become manager. His experience was soon rolled over into a better […]

01st Sep
McDonalds Golden Arches (circa 1950s)

Fable of the Golden Arches

Richard and Maurice McDonald were planning to franchise their successful burger system in 1952. To stand above the visual noise created by miles of drive-ins, motels, car washes, bowling alleys, service stations, and coffee-shops—they decided a new structural style was needed. Without a unique design, nationwide recognition for their walk-up stand was an impossibility. With […]

22nd Jun
The Quarter-pounder with cheese

Hamburger Architecture

Hamburgers made their debut on the food scene as irregular lumps of chopped beef, hand shaped according to the improvisational jazz of lunch counter short order. During the early years, long before the cookie-cutter aesthetics of the Big Mac came into vogue, concerns over circular uniformity and ingredients were minimal. When fry by the seat of […]

03rd Mar
The Big Boy Himself

The Devolution of Bob’s Big Boy

In 1937, Robert Wian created his signature two-story cheeseburger at a five-stool lunch counter in Glendale, California and along with it—gave birth to a new roadside icon. At the time, six-year-old Richard Woodruff was a regular customer there, always on the make for free food. Occasionally, Wian let him sweep the floor in exchange for […]