For burgers and fries, Yummy Yummy is a cheap alternative
Yummy Yummy Burger Shop1008 W. Sacramento Ave.
Chico, CA 95926
In his three-plus decades of epicurean vagabonding, Henri has taken frequent note of a curious culinary custom: restaurants posting laminated color photos of their meals, often with numbers identifying them to make ordering easier, on their windows. While he has always prided himself on his ability to interpret a wide range of offerings on various international menus—not only in exotic cities around the world, but also when dining at ethnic restaurants here in the States—he has, on recurrent occasion, taken full advantage of the ubiquitous photos.
Et pourquoi pas? What with a picture being worth a thousand words, the photos can be très utile. Bacalao al pil-pil? Salt cod in garlic sauce from Spain’s Basque Country. Hanoi bun bao? Fried beef from Vietnam. Cazuela de ave? Chicken soup with potatoes and green beans from Chile.
On the other hand, he finds it peculiar that some restaurants here in the U.S. post photos of rather familiar menu items.
No. 14. French fries. Hmmm. Interesting. They look like, what, potatoes of some kind that have been cut into long rectangular strips.
No. 8. Hamburger. It looks like … oh, a beef patty inside a, what is that, a bun? With … lettuce! Yes. That’s definitely lettuce.
No. 11. Two tacos. I see. You get a couple of … tacos with that order.
All of which is not to be too disparaging of Yummy Yummy Burger Shop, the new burger place in the Safeway strip mall over off Nord Avenue. Actually, the restaurant’s photos make a certain kind of sense when you consider that the owners of Yummy Yummy also own Windy’s Chinese restaurant next door.
The afternoon we stopped in, we were the only ones there, and our hostess/waitress seemed genuinely happy to see us—and in fact admitted to being ‘bored.” She smiled and handed us menus, then disappeared into the back.
Despite the delicious-looking meatball sandwich in the photo on the wall next to the front door, we spent several minutes perusing the menu. We had heard that the burgers were good, and we are also fans of Windy’s.
While Yummy Yummy’s menu includes the classics, the influence of Windy’s is obvious. The mahi mahi, shrimp and scallops appetizers ($3) are deep-fried with panko—a flaky breadcrumb actually originating in Japan that is lighter and crispier than traditional breaded coatings. Burgers ($3.95-$5) include teriyaki and ‘spicy” burgers, as well as pork, chicken and veggie. In addition to the meatball sandwich ($3.50), Yummy Yummy serves Italian pork sandwiches ($3.50) and traditional fried chicken ($1.25-$3.50).
Henri ordered a spicy burger with fries, Colette the panko mahi mahi. ‘Ten minutes,” said the waitress—clearly, now, our chef as well—before disappearing again. We sat down at one of the seven tables—all shining impeccably—as she prepared our food.
When she came back out with our tray, I was initially a little surprised by the small portions, especially Colette’s fish, which came in a tiny wax-paper bag.
As she dipped a piece of fish into the tarter sauce, I pulled off the top of the bun to see what made it spicy: a deep red chili paste with garlic. I sampled a fingertip’s worth. Spicy, indeed. I reassembled my burger and dug in. The one-third-pound patty was thick and lean and, well, yummy, the fries generic but tasty.
Colette was impressed with her fish, which I tasted—light and flaky and flavorful—and which she said was plenty for a light lunch.
On our way out, we agreed that we’d be back. Less than $10 for lunch for two? Certainly one of the best values in town.
When we got home I showed Miss Marilyn and Mr. Theo a photo of a big juicy rib-eye. ‘Not funny,” Colette said, taking their chicken pot pies from the oven.