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Chuck’s Hamburgers: American Classics and Comfort Food

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When the words Chuck’s Hamburgers were spoken in the HERLIFE Magazine office during an editorial planning meeting, my mouth watered and my anticipation grew for my next writing assignment. Chuck’s Hamburgers has been a staple in Stockton and I was eager to introduce our publisher, Dee Yates, to the comfort food I remembered so fondly.

For almost 60 years, Steve Grant and with his family have served up breakfast, lunch and dinner for hungry patrons. Steve’s father, Chuck Grant, opened the doors to Chuck’s Hamburgers in 1960 in the original location on Pacific Avenue. When Steve was only 17 years old, his father passed away; Steve has continued to carry on his father’s legacy in serving great tasting meals, generous portions and fair pricing. 

Five years ago, Chuck’s moved to its current location on Pacific Avenue, attached to Pacific Bowl. “The move to our new location has been a great business opportunity for both businesses,” Steve shared. “We have been able to provide a consistent menu for bowling patrons and our menu has grown, adding new items like chicken and waffles and pizzas made to order.” The pizza dough is scratch made in-house, and when Steve brought us a plate of chicken and waffles, I was more than content to move into the “tasting” portion of the interview. The golden waffle was crisp and the sweetness pairs perfectly with the hint of spice from the fried chicken. The fried chicken had the perfect balance of spice in the outside crust, with a crunch that led to a tender center. I added some syrup to the dish and the flavors of the sweet, spicy and salty finish were delicious. 

Steve brought us several menu items, and as Dee photographed each dish, we continued to be surprised by the generous portions: hash browns covering half of the plate, a pancake served on a separate plate with its edges hanging over the sides and the large basket of fries served with the King Hamburger. As we slowed down to photograph each dish, Steve continued to share his family legacy while we watched him greet customers, help his staff serve tables and move through the busy restaurant with ease. “I have never not wanted to come to work!” Steve smiled as he organized tickets and handed off food from the kitchen to a server. Arriving early each morning, along with his oldest son, Jeremy, who is the lead cook at Chuck’s, is ingrained in Steve’s behavior. “My wife gets irritated when I tell her I am going to stop by quickly at the restaurant. She knows it will never be a quick visit. I truly enjoy being here!” he confessed. 

My hunger was growing as we talked and photographed his popular items such as the Two Egg Breakfast served with four large, thick strips of bacon and a mountain of hash browns. Then Steve brought the well-known Soup Sandwich to the table. This popular sandwich is served on a long roll with grilled mushrooms, chicken and jack cheese all melted together with avocado, mayo, lettuce and tomato. “You have to eat this one with a fork and knife; it’s messy like a ‘soup sandwich’ would be,” Steve laughed. I took a bite and the flavors of the mushroom, chicken and cheese were warm and paired well with the creamy avocado and the crunch from the sprouts. Almost as famous as the Soup Sandwich were the onion rings served alongside it. The large slices of onion melted in my mouth under the crispy outside edges. 

The final menu item from our visit was the King Burger. A half-pound burger with mayo, lettuce, tomatoes, onions and pickles was presented with a large side of fries. These burgers are sure to please and are ready for your extras such as cheese and bacon! We added cheese to our King Burger and Steve brought a milkshake to the table, making this American classic of a burger, fries and a shake a delicious way to end our visit at Chuck’s Hamburgers. 

After learning more about the long history of this Stockton restaurant and tasting many of the popular menu items, I asked Steve about his favorites from the menu. “Every day I eat steak! Mis-steaks, that is. Whenever something is served to a customer not to their liking, we are happy to make them a new plate, and I happily enjoy the ‘mis-steak’!” he explained with a big smile and a laugh. 

From American classics to comfort food with a twist, Chuck’s Hamburgers is serving up great-tasting food for breakfast, lunch and dinner. With two full shifts of 30 employees, you can enjoy Chuck’s Hamburgers any day of the week from as early as 5:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m. or 11:00 p.m. on the weekends.

Chuck’s Hamburgers, 5939 Pacific Avenue in Stockton.