Redrum Burger in Davis, CA sits catty-corner to an In-N-Out Burger just off the freeway. Redrum was there long before In-N-Out and judging from the line at lunch time on a recent Thursday, they will be there for a while longer. Originally called Murder Burger when it was established in 1986, Murder changed to Redrum (murder spelled backwards) when a contest determined the winning name in 2001.
The place feels a little shabby when you walk in, but it seems comfortable like an old sweatshirt. I went to the counter to choose between burgers. 1/4 lb. $4.29, 1/3 lb. $5.49, 1 lb. $11.49 or my choice 1/2 lb. $6.49. They have Buffalo too. The burger comes with cheese, mayo, mustard, lettuce, tomato, onion and pickle. I ordered fries ($1.49), onion rings ($4.99) and on the recommendation of the counter-minder a strawberry shake ($3.99). They have various combo specials to save you money. “Twelve minutes”, he told me when he handed me my change.
I picked a duct-taped, red vinyl bench and sat down. A steady stream of contractors, men in uniforms and students came through to order. My name was called and I retrieved a huge tray of food.
The half-pound burger is a massive affair with a big puffy bun, lot’s of veggies and a big flavorful patty cooked a nice medium. I found the burger quite tasty. The bun seemed a little dry on top but plenty spongy enough to soak up the juices, mustard and mayo without falling apart. I found myself eating around the edges where there was more cheese.
The fries were thin and had the skins on. They seemed to be fresh cut and a little under cooked. They reminded me a lot of the In-N-Out fries in flavor and consistency but not looks.
The onion rings were very impressive. Robust and thick they were covered in a crispy fried batter. I loved the thick sweet onion inside.
The shake was great, with the fresh strawberries, dancing on the tongue. It was thick and creamy.
I did not even come close to finishing all my food. But I did enjoy it. I love places like Redrum with their history and ties to the community. There was a sign on the wall, Best Burger, California Aggie, 2007, 2nd Place. I guessed number one was In-N-Out and checking the web I was right. But Redrum is probably happy with second and its hard-core fans. Long may it thumb its nose at the burger colossus across the street.
- Also published on Hoosier Burger Boy