Super Chili Burger, 6090 Riverside Drive (at Magnolia), Chino
I’d heard about this place from a reader’s tip and decided to head down to Chino for a long lunch hour to check ’em out. It’s a few blocks east of Central Avenue in a standard fast food building.
The menu has burgers, chili, tacos, burritos, fried chicken and gyros, plus eggs, omelettes and pancakes for breakfast. It’s one of those burger places where you can get almost anything and is popular with students from the nearby junior high and high school. Oh, and I noticed that besides the three standard milkshake flavors, they also have pineapple.
Of course I ordered the namesake chili burger, the quarter-pound size, with onions, lettuce and tomato, in a combo with fries and a Coke ($5.97 with tax). A customer hanging out at the counter, a public defender named Bill, recognized me, as did the counterman, Jimmy. Believe it or not, this generally happens everywhere but restaurants.
Well, courtesy of employees Jimmy Alexandris and his brother, Nick, two cheerful, gregarious guys, I soon had the history of the family-run restaurant, founded circa 1987 by their parents, both Greek emigres. The whole family pitches in to operate the place and has watched the city change.
As for the food, I’m not a chili burger aficionado so I can’t compare the Super Chili Burger version to the competition. I’ve been to Tommy’s twice and got heartburn both times, which never happens to me. I did not get heartburn from Super Chili Burger. To me, that’s a plus, but your personal belief system when it comes to chili may differ. In any event, my lunch wasn’t a knockout, but it was messy, gooey and satisfying.
If nothing else, you might go just to meet the family.
Update February 2017: Needing a quick dinner in Chino recently, I returned to Super Chili Burger and got a chili dog combo. Cheese and onions– why not? The bun collapsed partway through, but that was okay. It was a good, cheap meal. Special note: It was heartening to see a pile of two or three newspapers left by customers, available to be read.