El Niño wasn't particularly shy about making a splashy -- literally and so on and so forth -- entrance at the start of 2016.
We'd all anticipated it, watched the weather, and pondered what sort of savory foodstuffs we might stock up on, for the shelves, should the skies turn especially wet.
King among such savory foodstuffs is the cheeseburger, a gooey, drippy, bun-encased superstar that can be easily made at home but is often more fun (read: gooey/drippy) to find at a restaurant.
Pasadena gets both our longing for hearty fare when rain arrives and our love of fancier eat-out cheeseburgers, the ones topped with fried eggs or unusual cheeses or those caramelized onions that lend an unassuming patty zest and zing, both.
What to do, where to go and what to see
So rather than going the typical Restaurant Week route, as many a city does come January, which just happens to be California Restaurant Month, the Crown City offers up a single entree as its Restaurant Week superstar.
This is no surprise; it's often said that the cheeseburger was born in the city back in the mid-1920s.
What does Cheeseburger Week, which sizzles from Jan. 10 through 15, add up to, then? Fancy patties of the gooiest, drippiest sort, from a pair of onion smashed burgers at Dog Haus (the This Burger and the That Burger) to specials at both Lucky Baldwin's and Pie 'n Burger, two of the city's cherished, sip-sup hangouts.
The full list of places celebrating the week in a fried-eggy, caramelized-onion-esque way can by found at Cheeseburger Week's main HQ. Could you try every cheeseburger from Jan. 10 through 15? Well, that's a fairly small window, so you might land on a couple of interesting choices.
More El Niño-ing will surely stoke the savory longings of many a burger buff. You can fry up those patties at home, or you can don your slicker and make for Pie 'n Burger or Meat District Company or Twohey's Restaurant or or or...
Well, the list is long. While it doesn't contain as many Cheeseburger Week participants as there are raindrops falling from the sky these days, it probably boasts about as many restaurants as there are fries on a plate (the kind of plate where fries are a side to a perfect cheeseburger).
Slickers on, savory lovers. Pasadena's superstar dish is about to have its day in the sun. Er, rain. You get us.