Route 66 Stop: Emma Jean's Holland Burger Café in Victorville, CA
PHOTO CREDIT: Jeff Adkins
Emma Jean’s Holland Burger Café doesn’t have a lot of booth space or counter space, but it sure has plenty of ambiance and good food.
The tiny Victorville restaurant has been a popular drop-in dining spot on Old Route 66 for more than six decades, and the long-standing eatery was recently featured on Guy Fieri’s Diners, Drive-ins and Dives on Food Network. The blond, spiky-haired, eccentric Fieri featured Emma Jean’s as one of the three most interesting restaurants that he has ever visited along Route 66.
Emma Jean and Bob Holland founded the tiny cafe back in 1947, and when Emma Jean passed away in 1996, husband Bob continued to run the eatery with son, Brian, and his wife, Shawna. Today, Brian serves as the restaurant’s chef, and Shawna is the waitress.
The quaint diner is known for homemade food, made from scratch, and is favored by locals for its generous portions. Brian Holland cooks up down-home dishes that include biscuits and gravy, chicken-fried steak, and a renowned Trucker's Sandwich that is piled high with roast beef, bacon, chilies and cheese.
The restaurant, which many customers refer to as a little piece of Americana, features heaping breakfasts that can include everything from kielbasa and eggs Benedict to a traditional ham, bacon or sausage plate with scrambled eggs and hash browns. Several customers request the Holland's spicy ketchup to add even more robust flavor to each meal.
But perhaps the most-ordered item on the menu is the Brian Burger, which features a half-pound of grilled hamburger topped with melted Swiss cheese. Then, two grilled Ortega chilies are added, and everything is placed between extra-thick slices of sourdough toast that is generously seasoned with Parmesan cheese.