We recently went to a restaurant called Meditrina Cafe, and their menu had "Famous Hamburgers" on it. This place isn't famous for anything, certainly not a burger. After eating there (and having a salad) I don't think they'll be famous for anything but being the fastest place to close its doors on Abbot-Kinney.
Every stooge on the planet has a "famous" hamburger. Especially in Los Angeles. It's the official food of Angelinos. You can't throw a rock around here without hitting a burger joint. (I just threw a rock and hit a Hummer, but a dude was eating a burger in it, so that sorta counts.)
So where do all these places get the cred to call their burgers "famous"?
If your burger is famous, wouldn't there be a line out the door? Pink's Hot Dogs is the only famous hot dog I know of and there's one hell of a line there at all hours of the day and night. That probably qualifies as famous. Because only a famous hot dog would make you stand in a line like that for a hot dog.
Tommy's Burgers are supposed to be famous, but has anybody heard of them outside SoCal? Maybe they're famous for having chili on them, but it's not like the burger is that good. Probably the best tasting, least cowschwitz-y burger in San Francisco is at the Metro Caffe on Fillmore and Haight. But they don't call their burgers famous. I guess "Famous" doesn't necessarily mean good. But nobody wants to eat a Notorious Burger.
White Castle is mentioned in a Beastie Boys song, as is Fatburger . That probably qualifies as being famous, but neither of them use that word in their slogans.
In-n-Out Burger is probably the most famous burger of all, but they don't call their burgers famous either. I knew a vegetarian who was broken of her vegetarianism by In-n-Out Burger. That's worthy of fame.
Every time I drive by a sign that says "Famous Hamburgers" I think to myself "I gotta stop in one of these days to give it a try". Like I'm the decider of whether a burger is deserving of the word Famous or not. Now I'm wondering: Why the fuck would you need a sign to advertise your burger if your burger was famous? IT'S FAMOUS!!! IT DOESN'T NEED ADVERTISING.