Bonney’s Burgers – Gimme a Side of Expletive Deleted


Where to Eat in Redding and Shasta County, California

Recently Femme de Joie paid a visit to Bonney's Burgers. To protect innocent eyes and sensibilities, she issues a Caution: Graphic Language Ahead.

It's likely most locals have never even heard of Bonney's Burgers, much less driven by it. It's off the beaten track, out in Happy Valley, down the road from the fire hall and across from the elementary school. It's been there for untold years, long enough that the light-up sign by the road no longer lights up, which is just as well considering they no longer serve Pepsi (now it's RC Cola). Apparently Bonney's survived all this time away from the bright lights big city because it's handy for parents and visiting teams to grab a bite after the softball game.



It was a bit of a slow day at Bonney's. No cars in the parking lot when M. de Joie drove up. She could see a woman working inside while Billy Idol's "Dancing With Myself" blasted from a radio. Despite the window being closed tightly, Mlle. de Joie could also hear the woman's one-sided phone conversation very, very clearly:

"So after this I've gotta fucking get groceries. What? No! He fucking doesn't know what fucking shopping is. Shit! He doesn't fucking clean the house either, I gotta fucking do everything. I fucking gotta get fucking water, that's how fucking lazy he fucking is...."

It went on like that for another three or four minutes. Whether Potty Mouth Burger Gal was unaware she could be plainly heard, or she knew and just didn't care, is unknown. Femme de Joie is no stranger to the better Anglo-Saxon phrases of both scatological and sexual nature, but generally she prefers them served separately from her cheeseburgers.

But then once PMBG got off the phone, she opened the window and suddenly was all sugar: "Hello, Honey, what can I get you?... small, medium or large, honey?... That'll be $10.01, honey..." While waiting for her order, M. de Joie heard PMBG make another phone call: "Hey, it's me again. Matilda's having a baby! Yep. She's been keeping it secret, but it's no secret no more.... blah blah blah.... Gotta pull the burgers...."


When you sit at the picnic tables, the first thing you will notice is the nailed-in-place benches are really close to the table - close enough that a junior-sized second baseman can belly up, but more than a bit of a tight squeeze for parents.


For dogs. The dogs are not provided with a trash can so they have to leave their plastic cup lids lying around.


Super Bonney Burger, small seasoned fries, RC Cola, $10.01.

After that rather surprising introduction to Bonney's Burgers, the test would be if the product was worth it: it was.

The menu says the ground beef comes from R&R and is hand-shaped into patties daily: this was definitely not a pre-made burger. Frozen burgers seldom if ever attain a crunchy brown exterior, and this one had just that. The downside was that it was cooked really, really thoroughly - probably because PMBG was discussing Matilda's impending bundle of joy - so that the edges were starting to crumble off. Also, probably because PMBG was busy talking, she didn't salt the burger. However, the grease factor made up for much of the deficiencies: this was an authentic old-time burger, hefty, unashamedly full of fat, and flavorful. The seasoned fries were pre-made seasoned curly fries, crisp and hot, but not really a match for the Real Genuine Cheeseburger, either.

Other menu items include the usual you'd expect - Tater Tots, hot dogs, shakes. More interesting items include a Super Jalapeno Burger for $5.50 and a Guac[amole] Burger for $4.95. Shakes and such are made from Dreyer's Ice Cream.

M. de Joie would go back to Bonney's Burgers: the burgers are the real deal and worth having to listen to Seven Words You Can't Say on TV. However, if you're of a delicate nature and have tender ears, don't say you haven't been warned.

Bonney's Burgers, 17415 Palm Avenue, Happy Valley (Anderson). 530-357-2011. Open Monday-Friday 10:30 AM to 8:00 PM, Saturday and Sunday 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Ample on-site parking. Bring your own earplugs.

Femme de Joie's first culinary masterpiece was at age 4, when she made the perfect fried bologna sandwich on white bread. Since then she has dined on horse Bourguignon in France, stir-fried eel in London, and mystery meat in her college cafeteria, but firmly draws the line at eating rattlesnake, peppermint, and Hamburger Helper. Currently she resides in Shasta County at her country estate, Butterscotch Acres West. She is nearly always hungry. Visit MenuPlease for more.

Femme de Joie
Femme de Joie's first culinary masterpiece was at age 4, when she made the perfect fried bologna sandwich on white bread. Since then she has dined on horse Bourguignon in France, stir-fried eel in London, and mystery meat in her college cafeteria, but firmly draws the line at eating rattlesnake, peppermint and Hamburger Helper. She lives in Shasta County at her country estate, Butterscotch Acres West. She is nearly always hungry. Visit MenuPlease for more or send her an email at
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14 Responses

  1. ambercita says:

    Love this! I look forward to reading more about these off the beaten path joints. I'm moving out of the area but will have to check out Bonny's Burgers on some return trip!

  2. pmarshall says:

    And just who is "Femme de Joies"? Good choice of names, I think. I must check my French. Anyway, that gal really loves the "f" word. I doubt I will go that far for a burger, but it is a very interesting report. Thanks "Femme"!

  3. Pat j. says:

    Looking forward to more of M. de Joie…amusing and informative. Really must get out to Ortega's. pj

  4. Randy Simmons says:

    Hello, my name is Randy Simmons, my wife and I own Bonney's Burgers. I know the employee you are talking about, I've talked to her before about her language and choice of words. Trust me I will talk to her again. She is a great employee and good worker. The sign works, we use it at night not during the day, and we just switched to RC so the RC rep is still looking for a sign that will work in place of the old sign. I removed the garbage cans from the outside because people began filling them up with gargage from their cars while waiting for their food, sorry. The meat is hand pressed from R&R meat and it is ground round not ground chuck. I'm also sorry for the benches/tables they were their when I bought the place 4 years ago. I will put a Bonney's Burger up against any burger in shasta county or California for that matter and rank it as one of the top hamburgers around. As for Femme next time your in the area stop back by and lunch will be on me. Sorry, Randy Simmons

    • Femme de Joie Femme de Joie says:

      Dear Randy,

      M. de Joie was not offended by the language but of course can't speak for everyone who might stop by Bonney's and overhear a similar tirade. Your attention to detail is appreciated.

      Everyone knows what a Big Mac or a Whopper tastes like; it'll be exactly the same whether purchased in Redding, Des Moines, or Tokyo. The burgers produced at a small place like Bonney's bear no resemblance to those turned out on a conveyor belt at nationally-known fast-food chains.

      M. de Joie supports locally-owned businesses and encourages the public to patronize places such as Bonney's, who make a quality product at a reasonable price, and recirculate the money back into the local economy.

      While your kind offer is appreciated, M. de Joie must decline the lunch on the house, so as to keep her integrity and anonymity intact. Good luck to you.

      – Femme de Joie

  5. jacki g. says:

    Too cool, only at anewscafe could this dialogue ensue…can't wait for la femme's next encounter!

  6. gamerjohn says:

    Actually in Tokyo the Americanized burgers have about 5 times the onions to meet the local taste buds.

    And do you know what they call a quarter pounder in France? If not, watch Pulp Fiction.

  7. Barbara says:

    Bonney's Burger has the best burgers in Northern California. I have personally eaten there many times and travel from Cottonwood a half hour just to eat there. They also have other sandwiches for those who are healthy eaters. They are very clean and the owners are maticulous and take great pride in their work. Happy customer who will return!

  8. Laurie C. says:

    It would be a fun drive to check Bonney's Burgers out. If you are headed north of Redding, head out Lake Blvd to a little place called "Shasta Burgers". Judy, Damon and Vicki are wonderful people and keep this small building clean and the friendliness cannot be beat. The burgers are fabulous, reminiscent of the old Pac Out burgers and Damon has created a new menu of more exotic offerings……..scrumptious!

  9. Banjo Bill says:

    It sounds like the a scene right out of Pulp Fiction, with the X-rated language, and talk about burgers. It's still breakfast time as I read this, but I SURE HAVE A HANKERIN' for a big juicy homemade burger. SLURP!!!
    Good news that the owner is in touch with EVERYTHING!
    I must take a drive out there and sample the whole aural and oral feast for ears and digestive organs!
    …Now where did my French phrase book go?????

  10. Robin says:

    My co-worker and I go to Bonneys Burger about once a month. It is a must for us! We have never had a bad experience. For those of you who have yet to taste a Bonneys Burger, we urge you go give it a try.

  11. Elaine Black says:

    I can't speak for everyone in Happy Valley but most of us are thrilled to have a great old-fashioned cafe like Bonnies Burgers. Bonnies is the only restaurant in our area and we are lucky to have it. Owners Tara and Randy provide a real service in our community and are fine people. They serve great food, are open for lunch and dinner 7 days a week, know most of their customers by name, and do their best to survive in a tough economy. There might not be extra cash right now to do a lot of upgrades on the facility–the owners know that we would rather have a good burger than a fancy sign out front.

  12. Kasey Aguilar says:

    Im Kasey and I grew up eatting at bonnie's burgers:) I love thier food and I Think they are the best !!! nomatter what anyome thinks . You have to grow up in a small town to appriciate a good meal like that ! thier hamburgers are to die for and thier fries are soo big you couldnt eat them all 🙂 they have the best shakes also fresh fruits not like burger king or mc donalds so I live here in Iowa now but if i could go back and enjoy Bonnies burgers food i would in a heart beat !! 🙂

    P.S. I think all the people that grew up there with me in happy valley would agree !

    Thank you Kasey A

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