Memorable | One of the Best
Review by: ayersian
Not long ago, the Munch Box sat alone—a brightly-colored island in a small sea of concrete. This local eatery is nothing more than a small burger shack that forces patrons to enjoy the Southern California sunshine from one of its counter stools. Although the real estate has been sought after over the years, legions of fans have stood ready to sign petitions to keep the historic landmark alive. Convenience stores and fast-food chains have grown up around the restaurant, however, and as a result, the handful of picnic tables available for eating “in house” now sit at the edge of a strip-mall parking lot.
The menu at the Munch Box is simple: burgers, dogs, fries, and drinks. You can order your burger with the typical toppings, but we suggest trying the Hickory Burger, infused with a slight smoky taste and topped with chili, mustard, and grilled onions. The chili is delicious—finely ground meat, dark, and spicy. The Mushroom Burger includes mushroom dressing, onion, pickle, and tomato. For an extra dollar, you can make it a double.
As for the Box’s fine hot dogs, the boiled wiener is thicker than many of its Valley counterparts. Bigger than usual, its steamed bun is very soft. The bottom of the bun is thin enough that eventually the weight of the wiener and chili will break through the bottom. This eventual mess can be avoided by ordering the dog with cheese, which lines the bun to add another layer of strength. Though we are constantly searching for a worthy competitor, this chili dog is the tastiest we’ve eaten in the Valley.
The shoestring fries are a worthy accompaniment on their own, but are greatly enhanced by the addition of spicy chili and shredded cheese. Either way, they’re served in a cardboard tray placed in a brown paper bag, which is torn into leaves to expose the tasty potato goodness within.
The Munch Box is primarily a lunch spot, although they do stay open until 6:00 p.m. some days. Be sure to call in advance to avoid arriving to find the take-out windows shut. Though the stand has long been the butt of jokes regarding Chatsworth’s infamous distinction of being California’s adult film center, the Munch Box stands proudly as a true Roadfood establishment and one of the Valley’s first independent burger shacks back when this area was little more than horse ranches.
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