If you're ever in California, somewhere near San Jose, and you decide that you need garlic, chances are that you'll end up in Gilroy. Gilroy prides itself on being the garlic producing capital of the world* and they even hold an annual Garlic Festival in the town to proclaim their love of the fragrant bud. There are plenty of garlic shops that will sell all manner of garlicked products.
But there is another delightful secret there in town. At the corner of Monterey and Seventh is Baha Burger a tiny little 'drive in' that makes great little burgers. Old school burgers.
The place was bought 40 years by a guy called Al Tamayo. He bought it from an Iranian student who needed to give the place up. Al, apparently, can't remember the student's name but it was something like "Bahadin" so now the place is called Baha Burgers.
We see Al through the window when we order but we order from Marina, Al's daughter. Today we saw Al's wife through the window too - it's a family affair.
There's nothing fancy about the place. Vinyl seats, creaky tables, and some old gaming machines.
But the cheeseburgers. Well, the cheeseburgers are worth the drive. Simple patties on plain bread buns with mustard, onions, tomatoes and cheese. The french fries are crinkle cut and delicious. And the shakes? Ah, yes, the banana shake is my favourite...
* according to statistics on Wikipedia, Gilroy isn't even close to being the garlic capital of the world. China produces around 75% of the worlds output of garlic, the US, in comparison, produces 2%. Not that I'm knocking Gilroy... it's a great town.. it's just that China produces a frightening amount of garlic.