Behold the Burgerdog: How a picnic-table hybrid morphed into an Olympic Club legend

August 18, 2019

This one is unquestionably an original. Bill and Billie Parrish, the owners of Hot Dog Bills, in San Francisco, were just trying to be practical, as any husband and wife running a small business in 1950 had to be. A rectangular burger patty had two benefits, they figured: it took up less space on a grill, and using the same type of bun for hot dogs and burgers would cut costs.

So they came up with the “Burgerdog” — a quarter-pound mixture of ground sirloin and ground chuck cooked to order and topped with American cheese — and eventually parked their food trailer next to the famed Olympic Club. As soon as the smell began wafting across the fairways, Burgerdogs became a fixture at the historic track.

In 1954, Hot Dog Bills was invited inside the gates and given a home on the Lake Course. Today, there are two more shacks around Olympic. “The key is, we use good meat — not just ground hamburger,” says Grahm Thrush, a Hot Dog Bills manager. “And toasted buns and fresh condiments. It all works together, and people just love them.” Sometimes, the simplest ideas are the best.

An ice-cold lager is the perfect pairing with Hot Dog Bills' iconic mashup.
Chelsea Kyle