Mountain View Voice

Eating Out - January 11, 2013

Re-inventing a classic

Food truck offers its version of the Parisian burger from Linda's Drive-In

by Daniel DeBolt

Like many local residents, the Zankich family never forgot the Parisian burger served at Mountain View's Linda's Drive-In decades ago, with its special sauce and sourdough bun. When it came time to open their own eatery, what to serve was a no-brainer.

"For years and years and years, my mom would make the sauce up when we would make burgers," Kris Zankich recalled. "We'd have barbecues and people would be like, 'You guys got to open a restaurant.'"

In August that idea became reality when the Gold Rush Eatery food truck was born with Linda's Parisian burger as its signature dish. "With the up front costs of doing a restaurant, basically we came to the conclusion that the way to do this is with a truck," Zankich said.

Long since demolished, Linda's Drive-In was a Mountain View institution from the 1960s to the 1980s. Located on El Camino Real and Escuela Avenue, it was a favorite hangout for students of Mountain View High School when the campus was still located downtown on Castro Street.

For fans of the Linda's burger, Twitter and Facebook announce the truck's location. On most days during lunchtime it is parked at a corporate office somewhere in Silicon Valley, often in Mountain View or Palo Alto.

Zankich was 12 years old when Linda's was around but he says remembers the burger's taste well. It had two beef patties, American cheese, a French roll bun (from the Parisian bakery) and "special sauce" made from ketchup, mustard, dried onions, celery seed and pepper. Tater Tots were served on the side.

"It all kind of melts together if you have the right roll," Zankich said. "We played around with it for a while" and ended up using a bakery in San Francisco.

The sauce was a mystery to many fans for years, though purported recipes can now be found online. Zankich says the family learned it from a former employee of Linda's.

"Linda's used to do two small little patties," Zankich said. "I think a juicier burger is better. We use a half-pound of fresh Angus beef" for one big patty. That also means half the room is needed on the stove, an important consideration in a food truck where space is limited.

With a theme inspired by the 49ers, the Parisian burger has been renamed the "Gold Rush burger" on the truck's menu, which also includes pulled-pork and teriyaki tri-tip sandwiches, Tater Tots, onion rings, and root beer floats. For those trying to avoid beef, a veggie patty can be substituted in the Gold Rush burger.

The truck can serve 250 people in one lunch, Zankich said, as much as a restaurant can. Upside-down buckets with the 49ers logo are used as tables and chairs.

With Gold Rush Eatery around there are now at least three ways to enjoy this classic Mountain View burger. The Zankich family joins two other local restaurants in attempting to recreate the Parisian burger, Armadillo Willy's in Los Altos and Pezzella's Villa Napoli in Sunnyvale. Both began serving their own versions of the Parisian burger a few years ago.

Info:

Gold Rush Eatery posts its food truck locations on Twitter as @Goldrusheatery and may be found on Facebook at facebook.com/goldrush.eatery.

Email Daniel DeBolt at ddebolt@mv-voice.com

Comments

There are no comments yet for this post

Don't miss out on the discussion!
Sign up to be notified of new comments on this topic.

Email:


Post a comment

Posting an item on Town Square is simple and requires no registration. Just complete this form and hit "submit" and your topic will appear online. Please be respectful and truthful in your postings so Town Square will continue to be a thoughtful gathering place for sharing community information and opinion. All postings are subject to our TERMS OF USE, and may be deleted if deemed inappropriate by our staff.

We prefer that you use your real name, but you may use any "member" name you wish.

Name: *

Select your neighborhood or school community: * Not sure?

Choose a category: *

Since this is the first comment on this story a new topic will also be started in Town Square! Please choose a category that best describes this story.

Comment: *

Verification code: *
Enter the verification code exactly as shown, using capital and lowercase letters, in the multi-colored box.

*Required Fields