Nation’s and Andie’s – Napa, CA

Since we’d already hit all of the burger spots on my list, I did some wandering around town while Jo was antiquing.  The first place I stopped in was Nation’s Giant Hamburgers.  With a name like that, how could I drive by?  I didn’t know this going in, but they’re a chain out of the Bay Area with 25 locations.

The first thing I noticed was the pies.  They sold pies by the slice, along with half and whole pies from behind a giant cooled baker’s shelf (on the right side of the photo).  Lots of pies.  In fact, most of the people that came in while I was eating my burger ordered some part of a pie (or more) and left.

I refrained from the call of the pie and went with a basic burger.  The sign said that they were 3/4 pound burgers.  That would qualify as a GIANT burger, if that was the patty.  But that’s the entire burger loaded (and their tomatoes were HEAVY.)

It was perfectly fine – kind of like a Sonic burger.  Nothing awful, nothing spectacular.  I ate half, saving room for whatever came around later.

So I wander back and find Jo in an antiques shop and while she’s wandering through, I strike up a conversation with the store-keep.  Chat-chat-chat-chat and in the midst of the “what brings you here” and “weather-talk” and all, I mention the burgers.  She says, “Have you been to Andie’s?  I’m a vegetarian, but Susan swears they’re the best burgers in the Valley.”  I get directions, find Jo another spot to shop and head off in the car.

As I follow the directions (turn by the car wash), I drive right by it.  Then I look back and realize that it is actually in the parking lot of the car wash.  Right there under the “Drive Thru Espresso” sign.  How could I have missed it?  I find a place to park across the street and walk back.  It is late for lunch (3:30-ish) and there is no one else inside.  Good thing – I don’t think they’d have fit.

Oddly, there are four people behind the counter with some kind of running dialogue that apparently has been going on for quite some time.  They actually were debating, while cooking my cheese burger why one of the ladies wrote “CH burger” on the ticket and the other wrote “CH burger with cheddar.”  The cook insisted that they were the same, but the owner settled it – CH = chuck, so only one of these two (mine) actually had cheese on it.

On to the burger (a chuck burger with cheddar).  It was good sized, cooked like I ordered it and fairly tasty.  The bun was really good.  It was definitely better than Nation’s.  I don’t think it was as good as Gott’s, and there was one of those in town, so Gott’s gets my vote as the best burger in Napa.  I ate half of this one, too, and went back to pick up Jo.  We were heading into San Francisco to fly out the next day and I didn’t want to spoil my dinner.
Nation's Giant Hamburgers on Urbanspoon
Andie's Cafe on Urbanspoon

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