What Are Nessy Burgers?

By Karen Robertson

How many times have you passed up the best burger in the country? The Nessy Burger is unmistakably the juiciest most robust yummy burger to be found.  Driving south on I-15, if you turned off at highway 76 to Oceanside, you were within smelling distance of the famous Nessy Burger. On the NW corner of I-15 and highway 76, a little trailer with green picnic tables attracts hundreds of satisfied customers daily to this small, but outstanding outdoor café.

Sandy Webster opened this tiny establishment in 1988. She had been a hairdresser with experience as a waitress. Her partner in the endeavor was from Scotland. It was his idea to put a little bit of Scotland in SoCal by naming the place after the Loch Ness Monster ― hence the Nessy Burger.

So what makes a Nessy Burger so special? The meat is fresh every day from a local provider. Every burger weighs ½ lb, is hand made, comes with cheese, two thick slices of tomato, and onion. All the vegetables are fresh daily. The condiments and napkins are on the table, and it takes at least 5 napkins to finish one burger.

The clientele is made up of those who come from near and far. “We actually live in Sacramento, but whenever we come to Southern California we always work a Nessy Burger into our vacation.” That customer was staying in a timeshare in Ramona.

Another man said he lived in Temecula and worked in Oceanside. Several times a week he stops for breakfast, lunch or dinner. Two customers, employees of Lawrence Welk, dropped by for a late lunch.

The place may be small but they offer many choices throughout the day. The breakfast menu includes: ham and egg or bacon and egg sandwich, and the famous Trucker's Special (a Nessy Burger with two fried eggs on top with bacon optional). For long-haul truckers this may be their only food stop of the day.

For lunch and dinner, Nessy’s offers a rare, but popular, ½ pound turkey burger originally created by Sandy. A popular menu item is the “Protein Burger” ― the same delicious, juicy meat patty but wrapped in fresh iceberg lettuce leaves. The steak sandwich is cut from top sirloin, fresh every morning, and is served on a Kaiser roll. Other major menu items include chicken breast and Polish sausage sandwiches, the Nessy Dog, and the Jumbo Dog, as well as side orders of grilled onions, chili, bacon, and even chili cheese fries.

With 13 faithful employees, they prepare as many as 500 burgers a day, plus juicy chicken sandwiches and all the rest. They offer all three meals seven days a week from 7:00 AM to 7:00 PM during daylight savings time; 7:00 AM to 6:00 PM during fall and winter; 9:00 AM to 4:00 PM Saturday and Sunday.

Although the dining area is outside in a covered shelter with friendly birds hopping about hoping for a dropped crumb, there is no shortage of customers. A man in a white shirt and tie was enjoying his dinner there. “I drive by every day, and a friend kept telling me to stop and have a Nessy. It’s fantastic and I’ll be back.” 

For 22 years Sandy has overseen the business and cleaned up the parking lot daily. Charles, her husband of eight years, joins her in the task. They couldn’t be happier. When asked what they would change about their business, their answer was a rousing “Nothing!” 

Charles expects to have a website up in a week or two, but you can find positive comments about the Nessy Burger all over the internet. Next trip south stop by for a messy Nessy Burger.

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