Sanford and Son Forums

NBC (ended 1977)

Fred G. Sanford's favorite burger

  • Avatar of JonJax


    [1]Jul 5, 2009
    • member since: 02/17/08
    • level: 18
    • rank: Land Shark
    • posts: 156

    Even casual viewers of Sanford & Son know that the Sanford "empire" what he called his junkyard, is located in South Central Los Angeles, a few miles south of Downtown the traditional pre-intergation "Black" neighborhood that was the home to many great jazz & blues clubs going back to pre and post WW2.

    Anyhow, Fred G, the g standing for a variety of names depending on his mood made numerous references to Fatburgers, a real life hamburger stand of South Central that has since gome national through franchises sold by corporate owners, Magic Johnson, Dana Owens(Queen Latifah) and others. Anyhow the current Fatburgers is a shadow of the authentic Fatburgers, in fact it is Fatburgers in name only. My father was a part time jazz musician along Central Avenue in the 'hood, LA's 52nd Street, when Fatburgers opened in the early 50s at its original location 23rd and Western it immediately became the spot to go after midnight as they were open 24-7. Many Black celebs, musicians, atheletes, resident and visitors would go to Fatburgers late at night. They lived up to their name as the patties were upon ordering, the cooks would grab some ground beef out of a white bucket, pound out a patty and slap it on the forever hot grill, fatburger, double fat, or single and double kings, choose you toppings, hmmmm hmmmm good soulfood style chili, fried eggs, bacon, onions, tomatoes, relish, lettuce or cheese in any combination. Huge burgers that were a meal and one could barely wrap your hands around it. they also served grilled hot dogs and hot links. Tremendous side dishes like steak fries, individual sweet tater pies or choice of chips.

    My pops took me for my first Fatburger when I was about 8 or 9 years old in the late 50s and I was a frequent visitor there since 1966 when I got my driver's license untill the early 80s when the founders retired and their children too it over and ran it into the ground before selling it out expanding and eventually selling all interest of it to a corporation. In the early 1970s while still run by its founders, the family opened a second location in West L A just south of Hollywood on La Cienega and San Vicente Blvd which immediately began a hang out for all sorts of celebs late at night. When they went to a second location the City of L A's health department made them stop making patties by hand by reaching getting ground beef out of the bucket, they began using pre-formed fresh patties althpough they were prepared by Fatburgers personnel and not bought from a supplier. After Mom and Pop Fatburger retired in the early 80s it was never the same but for those of like Fred G, the gee is for great Sanford who knew the real deal Fatburgers, it was a legendary placed that will never be equaled in taste or ambience. Redd Foxx was a frequent visitor to Fatburgers for many years before he ever became a TV junk dealer, he like many of his veteran chitlin' circuit friends he got roles for were Fatburgers client.

    Pre-1980 Black Los Angeles, rich and poor, celeb or just common folk would sooner or later be seen at Fatburgers, a take out or eat on picnic tables in the parking lot establishment. Over the years I saw Bill Cosby, Sidney Pottier, Sly Stone, Elgin Baylor, Maury Wills, Moms Mabley, Dolemite-Rudy Ray Moore who even made a 1970s movie and included a Fatburger scene and many others Now you can understand why like Ripple, Fred G. g is for greasy Sanford always mentioned Fatburgers.

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