Legends Burgers, 2420 W. Arrow Route (at Monte Vista), Upland; also 1645 N. Mountain Ave. (at 16th), Upland; 8775 Baseline Road (at Carnelian), Rancho Cucamonga; 1155 E Route 66 (at Loraine), Glendora
Our local legend is the Legends chain of burger parlors, which are favorites in Alta Loma, Upland and Glendora and which added a fourth location near Claremont and Montclair in late 2009. (The Glendora Legends may no longer be officially connected to the chain as it’s not mentioned as a location on the menus.)
They have 20 burgers, a variety of sandwiches and salads and some Mexican items, plus pancakes and omelets for breakfast. In that way they’re similar to the valley’s better burger spots, the ones that have expansive menus and seem to put more effort into things.
I’ve been to the two longstanding Upland and Alta Loma Legends but more recently have visited the new one, which is technically in Upland but is only a block from the Claremont Colleges.
Legends does a decent fast-food burger ($3.29), on a sesame bun with lettuce, tomato, purple onion, pickles and Thousand Island dressing, and a chicken gyro ($5.89), with tomato and onion, of similar quality. On one visit I got a small vanilla shake ($2.69), which is made with real ice cream. I found the food acceptable but nothing to rave about.
Legends’ decor, all four locations, might best be described as “aggressive kitsch.” Almost every square inch of wall space is covered in posters, tin signs, portraits and street signs, involving the usual suspects: I Love Lucy, James Dean, Marilyn Monroe, Elvis Presley and Route 66. Lining the walls is a string of license plates, one from each state, in alphabetical order.
It’s overwhelming and a bit much for my taste, but the good thing is that Legends is so clean it almost gleams. The service is exceptionally cheerful. The food isn’t exactly legendary but the cleanliness and friendliness make for a positive experience.