I'm in the same boat on Mel's. I think I was there years ago. Don't remember anything particular about the food and/or beverages. Though, in a high volume tourist operation like that, I would imagine most everything comes straight from the food service supply company.
This is not a rec, but a remembrance that Mel's Drive In on Lombard has the whole shake/malt thing going. I only ate there many moons ago and can't recall quality from then and don't know where it is now... Comments?
I do like Zuni's burger and string fries. but this may not be the type of joint you have in mind. Maybe you could get them to whip up a fresh lemonade or at the very least a fresh lime juice margarita...
For some reason, I've never been to Zuni's. We used to live a few blocks from it, so I think it might be some sort of blind spot thing. Do need to get there one of these days. I did see Judy Rodgers go over her burger procedure once on Martha and have the cookbook. However, since I don't have a meat grinder, I probably won't be experimenting with it any time soon.
Must also give Big Mouth a try. I frequently transfer from BART at 24th, so it is practically on my way home.
fiftydollars, do you mean Original Joe's, Joe's Cable Car, Westlake Joe's or some other Joe's?