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Tommy built it; they came- and ate

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first_imgStudents crave them. Dads devour them. And pregnant moms awaken at 2 a.m. for Original Tommy’s World Famous Hamburgers runs. On Monday, Angelenos queued up for hours to wolf down chili-slathered cheeseburgers – at 60 cents each with a drink – on the 60th anniversary of the famous L.A. shack. “Worth the wait … just delicious,” said Rick Alvarez, 30, of Reseda, salivating at the end of one of two hourlong lines at the ramshackle landmark at Beverly and Rampart boulevards. “The ultimate: Double it up. I’d say the best burger in L.A.” The USC Trojan band played fanfares for the Original Tommy’s burger. Crimson and gold balloons wavered in the hazy afternoon sky. And city officials joined Koulax’s heirs to celebrate the unchanged menu of chiliburgers, hot dogs, tamales and fries always accompanied by burning yellow chilis. City Council President Eric Garcetti recalled the Tommy’s of his youth and wielded an official “Happiness is the Original Tommy’s” proclamation. Councilman Tom LaBonge recalled when legendary Los Angeles politician John Ferraro cut deals over the greatest chiliburgers in town. “They’re right here,” he joked, pointing toward his growing waistline. “It’s the special spot.” Diane Koulax Craig, daughter of the original Tommy, remembered how her Greek-American father fled the Dust Bowl of Oklahoma with his family to buy the original shack for $500. After a go selling flowers, he soon turned to burgers, often sleeping with his onion sacks to dish out chili treats 24/7. Always tight with a buck, Koulax required that his five children and two stepsons work there and would drive across town for a deal on tires, Craig said. Koulax died in 1992 after opening a series of German and Mexican restaurants, as well as a ’60s go-go bar, on opposing street corners. “Dad made the hamburger the way he liked it,” said Craig, one of several family members who now run the company. “He said, `… If they want more chili, give ’em more chili.’ My dad would be proud that we keep (his) traditions going.” Today, the original Original Tommy’s ladles between 200 and 400 gallons of chili per day. Sodas, available in cans from outdoor coolers, are sold on an honor basis. It was the Tommy’s tradition that compelled Greg Bilan to ride his bicycle from North Hollywood to Los Angeles to scarf four 60th-birthday chili cheeseburgers – the sale-price limit. “It’s the only place I go for chiliburgers,” said Bilan, 50, who was fourth in line. “It’s fantastic.” [email protected] (818) 713-3730160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREBasketball roundup: Sierra Canyon, Birmingham set to face off in tournament quarterfinalsFounded in 1949 by the late Tommy Koulax, the family-owned Original Tommy’s has packed an estimated 50 million burgers onto L.A. waistlines. With six stands in the San Fernando Valley and 29 in Southern California, the Glendale-based chain has grown synonymous with late-night burger runs by generations of high school and college students. From noon to midnight Monday, thousands flocked to Original Tommy’s for gooey chiliburgers at vintage prices. But it was the original 21-by-12-foot shack that drew the ultimate fans – and the “ultimate fan.” “That first burger, the chili, wow!” said Ron Farris of Palm Desert, winner of the Ultimate Tommy’s Fan Contest and a customer since 1949 who once made tamale runs at 2 a.m. to satisfy the cravings of his pregnant wife. “It was something to behold.” last_img

Photographer shares history of ‘ghost town’ Inishsirrer Island

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first_imgPhotographer Gareth Wray captured this stunning image of Inishsirrer Island, a small piece of land about a mile off the coast of Gweedore.Strabane native Gareth has a passion for the Irish landscape, and frequently photographs Donegal in all of its natural beauty and shares it along with a historical context of the area.During the week he uploaded a stunning picture of Inishsirrer Island along with a few paragraphs on the history of the island. He says that the island, which now lies deserted, was once a prosperous fishing community, and although it now lays empty, remains of “abandoned cottages, shops, and a small harbour echo its bustling past.”He adds; “When I stare over this small island that is nowadays sadly left to the elements, I try to imagine how life may have been here back in the day.”“One can’t help but feel a strong sense of admiration towards its once hard working community during the good times that have now sadly long passed… but I’m sure those memories and tales will never be forgotten and will be passed down throughout the future generations.”To check out more of Gareth’s work you can find him on Facebook or on his website. Photographer shares history of ‘ghost town’ Inishsirrer Island was last modified: September 24th, 2016 by Elaine McCalligShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)last_img read more