Welcome to Burger, Fries, and a Shake — a new series in which we visit fast-food and fast-casual restaurants in search the perfect menu trio: a great burger, superb fries, and a thick, rich milkshake. What makes this combo the right way to put menus to the test? It’s balanced, there’s a variety flavor and textural notes at play, and it’s perfectly calibrated to expose any weaknesses that a restaurant might have. The skillset to make a great burger is vastly different than that prepping awesome fries or mixing up a fantastic shake.
The first stop on our quest takes us to Good Burger — the Nickelodeon-commissioned pop-up restaurant built in homage to the legendary 90s All That skit the same name and launched to help promote All That‘s reboot on Nickelodeon. The show itself may be coming back to entertain a new generation, but it’s clear that the Good Burger pop-up in Santa Monica, California was meant as a nostalgia bomb built for 90s kids who grew up watching Kenan Thompson and Kel Mitchell fool around in a fictional fast-food joint.
Unsurprisingly, the interior Good Burger leans heavily into the show. You’re greeted by artistic replicas original set pieces, a 90’s themed arcade, and quotes across the walls to awaken long-forgotten TV memories. When you approach the cash register you’re greeted with the iconic, “Welcome to Good Burger, home the Good Burger may I take your order?” in a laid-back SoCal drawl. It’s not un-fun, by any means.
Aside from a few photo opportunities, the restaurant space doesn’t fer much to do, aside from playing a few video games and eating, so let’s get straight into it. The Good Burger isn’t exactly a replica the Good Burger from All That and its subsequent spin-f film, and for good reason — the restaurant from the skit was an absolute hole. It was a fluorescent bulb lit, ten nauseating, Gen X-led representation the vapidity 90’s commercial fast food. A far cry from the vaulted-ceiling, exposed wood, fake meat-serving fast-casual restaurants today.
I went into the restaurant unsure what to expect, food-wise. I figured the pop-up wouldn’t be a recreation the original Good Burger, because no one’s that nostalgic, though I fully expected there to be orange soda. I was pleasantly surprised to find that the kitchen was being run by Los Angeles hometown hero, Alvin Cailan, the founder Eggslut.
Here’s my review the burger, fries, and milkshake: