Cafe Reviews

Space Age Lodge Has a Burger That's, You Know, Out of This World

A road trip to San Diego during summer is as natural to us Zonies as throwing buckets of ice in the pool. And when highway hunger's got you looking for the nearest exit sprouting the golden arches, this Fry Girl says don't get vacay-conventional, go galaxy-like with a Space Burger at the Best Western Space Age Restaurant.

Located on State Road 85, about 70 miles out of the Valley in the town of Gila Bend (its welcome sign reads: "population 1,700 friendly people and 5 old crabs"), this novelty stop built in 1965 feels like a scene from a yet-to-be-filmed Tarantino movie. The futuristic fanfare boasts a flying saucer over the lobby, a geodesic dome by the swimming pool, and painted murals of astronauts, satellites, and the Enterprise from Star Trek. Most of the clientele consists of Border Patrol agents, lots of 'em.

"They eat here all the time," Isak the counter guy tells me. "And they hold a lot of their meetings in our Outer Limits Conference Room."

"Ha! Do you need to show your papers to get in?"


Now, when writing about the Space Age Restaurant's signature dish, the Space Burger, lesser columnists might be tempted to pepper their prose with words associated with the universe, the future, etc. Well, not this one. I've got standards.

Oh, who am I kidding.

Greetings, Earthlings!

On my recent trip to your planet, I encountered a most out-of-this-world treat called the Space Burger. Featuring a half-pound of certified, pre-abducted, and probed Angus beef between two soft flying saucers of poppyseed bun, this two-handed meteor monster delivered cosmic satisfaction with its charbroiled taste and grilled onion. And a half-and-half order of fries and onion rings, cooked to crispy perfection, was like a supernova in my nutrient portal.

The final frontier? The homemade pies, featuring Dutch apple, cherry, and blueberry. This galaxy girl went Big Bang-style with the blueberry, served warm with two moon scoops of vanilla ice cream. Not quite like Mama Venus would have made, but it filled my belly's black hole nicely.

Yes, the Space Burger is a close encounter of the delicious kind — a must-stop-for snack in the Milky Way of off-the-freeway fare.

Well, it's time to get back to my home planet of JXN92 in my atomic rocket pod. To infinity and beyond!

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Laura Hahnefeld
Contact: Laura Hahnefeld