Great hamburgers in a quiet neighborhood of Santa Rosa

If you don’t rub elbows with at least one person you know at Carmen’s you probably need to get out a little more.

Nestled into the established McDonald neighborhood, neighbors caught onto Carmen’s charm quickly, packing the shoe-box-sized restaurant with kids and families and ensuring a 10 to 20 minute wait most evenings.

It’s a park-your-bike-out-front kind of place that serves up simple, straightforward burgers, onion rings and milkshakes with the added benefit of a full bar (one of only a few in the immediate area).

Top honors at Carmen’s goes to the Triplets–three sliders dressed up with either cheddar, blue cheese or nothin’ at all. Going red-meatless? The Turkey Melt is divine — a moist turkey burger with grilled onions, Thousand island dressing on rye bread.

The menu also includes simple salads and a few Mexican items, but its best to stick to the burgers.

Carmen’s Burger Bar: 1612 Terrace Way, Santa Rosa, (707) 579-3663 and also in Larkfield, 90 Mark West Springs Road, Santa Rosa, 526-1575.