The Chili Cheese Fries (top) and the Big Beeper, a double cheeseburger from Beeps. Photographer: Nate Ward.
Sometimes the memory is better than the real thing.
Beeps is a diner that has been serving classic American fast food since 1956, and while it remains a popular Valley staple, the reputation seems built more on age rather than quality.
The restaurant maintains its ‘50’s style and features dozens of menu options including burgers, hotdogs, sandwiches, and even breakfast. And during the pandemic, Beeps frequently sees a wait of at least 45 minutes for patrons to order from the diverse menu of American fast-food staples.
A popular selection is the Big Beeper, a double cheeseburger with a half-pound of charbroiled beef, served with onions, pickles, tomatoes, ketchup, mayonnaise, thousand island dressing and a third bun in between.
Biting into this meaty behemoth delivers an unmistakable charbroiled flavor, but there isn’t much behind the initial taste. Missing is the “it” factor all famously lauded burgers possess, a signature taste that will compel you to return. If you have been to any indie burger joint that was decent but forgettable, you’ve had this burger.
While the burger is large, the Pastrami Reuben Sandwich is a downright disappointment in quality and taste. The sandwich comes on a choice of grilled bread served with pastrami, kraut, melted Swiss cheese, mustard and thousand island dressing. The term sauerkraut is debatable because if it exists, it’s indiscernible from the heap of piled onions. The sandwich was greasy, the pastrami itself bland, overly chewy, with the only real flavor being absorbed in the onions.
Chili Cheese Fries feature a bean-less meat chili and plenty of cheese which are better than the sandwich but a bit dry. The best for eats may be the onion rings, as they are large and thick with breading that have a pronounced crunchy texture.
Like most ‘50’s style diners, milkshakes rule.
Beeps has almost 20 different flavors of milkshake. The large shake comes in a tall cup with an optional dollop of whipped cream. The strawberry shake is sweet with limited bits of strawberry in it. There is an artificial flavoring taste, but for the size and price ($1.75) it’s a worthy deal.
Since 1962 to the present, the diner likely attracts customers who crave nostalgia.
But the long wait for unremarkable fast food and not enough parking, makes the trip to Beeps more of a hassle than a treat.
Address: 16063 Sherman Way Van Nuys, CA 91406
Hours: Mon – Fri 7AM – 9PM Sat 7:30AM – 9PM Sun 8AM – 8PM
Big Beeper $6.29
Large shake $1.75
Reuben pastrami sandwich $6.99
Chili cheese fries $2.30
Onion Rings $3.79