GORMAN, CA (on the I-5) – We’re headed north to Sequoia/Kings Canyon national park and have stopped for the night. As it’s dark outside, we’re not really sure where we are. There was a sign saying Gorman when we pulled off, indicating some kind of town, but all we’ve seen are a couple of gas stations, fast food restaurants and the motel we’re staying at. The motel room is fine, but the surroundings are weird. Lots of trucks pulling in and out (the I-5 seems to be a big north-south link), but a very deserted feeling to the place. It’s a bit like the roadhouses (gas stations) we came across in western Australia, only bigger and with more neon signs.
Next to the motel lies a Carl’s Jr restaurant, a burger/mexican chain I hadn’t tried before. We had to eat something (duh…), so we picked up some food there: Helga got a taco and I got a two different burgers. Lina wanted to order one of each item on the menu, but we strongly suggested she’d stick to her formula. Not expecting anything, the burgers were absolutely great. The first one was an “Original six dollar burger” (curiously priced at $4.49+tax), with black angus beef, fresh greens and some mix of ketchup and mayo. The pickles on that one were probably the best I’ve ever had (as usual I removed them from the burger and ate them separately. Still don’t know why all chains bother with them). My second burger was of the “western cheese” variety, featuring “normal” beef, bacon, onion rings, bbq sauce and no cheese. In both cases the bun was a bit boring (having made my own buns recently, based on a scientific recipe, I’ve become even more anti the typical burger chain bun), but the taste of the burgers came through. The bacon/onion rings combo had the best taste, but the more luxurious meat was obviously the quality option and was really, really good. A nice surprise and as far as value for money goes, a real winner!