May 30 2013

Burger Barn: Good East Side Eats

Ordering up at the Burger Barn.
Click to enlarge and peruse the menu.

For travelers heading down from Tahoe to the East Side, there aren’t a whole lot of decent food options along the road. Most everyone has learned about Whoa Nellie Deli in the Mobil station at the eastern turn off from Hwy 395 up to Tioga Pass and Yosemite National Park on Hwy. 120. It has a well deserved reputation, but as with all things that become popular, its very popularity is now an annoying blemish.

The Burger Barn is another place that has been serving awesome food for a lot longer than Whoa Nellie has, but with a more traditional menu. Instead of chicken ceasar wraps and gluten-free pizzas, the Burger Barn is know for burritos, nachos, fish n’ chips, burgers, and ol’ fashioned, full fat malts.

Note: The sign just says The Barn. That’s the place!

This may sound like your typical fast food fare except that the attention to quality is nothing like Greasy Macs, Taco Smell (free gas with every meal), or Lenny’s. You won’t be served quite as fast, but quality is rarely a speedy affair. Plus there are plenty of other options on the menu that I haven’t mentioned worth tasting.

The owner, Lee, a former marine insists on getting top quality ingredients. For instance, the beef is grass fed and the chickens are free range. Perhaps more obvious is how crisp and fresh the fries taste, an easy result to achieve if you bother to change the fryer grease every few days and haven’t been lulled into complacency by serving billions of burgers with genetically modified, unethically treated, callously butchered, burnt flesh. It’s more like a back yard bar-b-que, or an ethnic food truck experience except it has a firm foundation and the ethnicity is American Pie.

It’s an easy restaurant to miss since it doesn’t have a huge sign along the road and it has a pretty unassuming, outdoor dining area. On a cold day you might rightly pass it by except they now have indoor dining in the building next door. As mentioned above, my fave reason to drop in, usually on the way home after a great tour somewhere along the Dana Plateau or Virginia Lakes, is for a full gut bomb lunch smoothered in the creamy fatness of a chocolate malt. Aaahhhh, there’s nothing like it on Hwy. 395 from Mojave to the Oregon border, only at the Burger Barn in Bridgeport.

Dining room.

The Burger Barn
152 Main Street
Bridgeport, CA

© 2013

  • http://www.sierradescents.com/ Andy Lewicky

    I’ve been thinking someone should do a series on the restaurants of the 395. There are absolutely a few gems and lots and lots of well…what’s the kind way to put it? :) You’ve inspired me to start publicly recognizing some of my own favorites.

  • Dostie

    Sounds like a project that deserves a bit of collaboration, and not just between the two of us. How ’bout it dear reader? What’s your fave dining spot apres ski tour along Hwy. 395? Including Mammoth, Gardnerville, Reno and up to Susanville. Afterall, 395 is a key tributary to Mt. Shasta too!

  • LightRanger

    Rhino Burger in Bridgeport is solid.

  • Sue Switzer-Tomlinson

    A HUGE shout out to Cheryl McCoy, who is the ONLY cook at the Burger Barn, and is the one who makes all those homemade burgers, fries and chicken sammies. Also to note, try her breakfast burritos…THE BOMB!! Her soups are to die for-all homemade.