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As a child, growing up in Merced, I remember the "Gold Coin Tavern," as it was known in the 1960's, as we passed by the place each of the countless times we visited Yosemite National Park.  "Back in the day," is was mostly a bar, but times have changed, and the restaurant has changed owners several times, has been completely remodeled, and now is known as Bett's Gold Coin.

Photo:  Bett's Gold Coin is located at the west end of downtown Mariposa, which is proudly known as "Old Town" Mariposa, and their motto is, "Where history lives..."  Much of the western three blocks of downtown, which faces California Highway 140, dates from the mid to late 1800's, and it is truly historic.  It's late Thursday morning, July 30, 2015, and we're about ready to step into Gold Coin to enjoy some of the best burgers in Mariposa County.

Photo:  Gold Coin has definitely changed since the first time I was inside, which was probably about 1968 or so.  It has retained all of the history and atmosphere, yet the restaurant is comfortable, and squeaky clean.  It has become a favorite eating spot, and watering hole for Mariposa locals, and any tourist who is driving through town on the way to Yosemite, who is interested in a cold beer, and some delicious food.  Our group is to the left of the photo, and Michael is admiring a television monitor on the wall, that features an endless slide show of historic photos of Mariposa County.  There were even shots of one of my favorite railroads, the long-defunct Yosemite Valley Railroad.

Photo:  Here's a the lunch menu, with features just the kind of food we love.  As for me, I felt since I was posting a write-up of this fine restaurant, it would be appropriate to order "The Gold Coin Burger."  As it turned out, I made an excellent choice.  Be sure to check out their web site at the end of this article, as their web site has the entire menu posted.  We need to return for dinner!

Photo:  Meet Mr. Robert (Bob) Borchard, the gentleman on the right, and along with is wife, Linda, a owner of Bett's Gold Coin.  Bob is a history buff, very friendly, and quite a character.  Mariposa County is a very gun-friendly county - the only county in California where open-carry is allowed anywhere in the county, including in town - so Bob helps to play the part, by providing a western hat, a real Colt .45 revolver, and a belt with live rounds.  I couldn't resist snapping a photo of this friendly couple, as he had the gal pose brandishing the weapon.  His advice was "Look mean for the camera."  I wouldn't want to mess with this gal when she's holding that "hog leg," but her hubby seems to be enjoying the moment.

Photo:  After taking the previous photo, it was my turn to pose with the handgun, but I failed to get a "mean" look on my face, as it was all I could do to keep from laughing.  Bob asked me to pose in this part of the restaurant, so one of the beautiful murals, painted by a customer, would show up in the photo.

Photo:  Bett's Gold Coin features a large, u-shaped bar, with lots of television monitors.  Note the period rifles above the bar.  Gold Coin, along with the town of Mariposa, is as western as it gets.  The lady in the background of the photo is Linda Borchard, along with her husband Bob, is a co-owner of the restaurant.  We didn't get the pleasure to chat with her, as she was busy taking care of the gentlemen seated at the bar.

Photo:  Our friendly server, Monique S., who goes by "Mo," delivers Greg's and Michael's burgers to the table.  We absolutely adored Mo, as she was friendly, efficient, and answered all of our many questions.

Photo:  After delivering our burgers to the table, I asked friendly Monique to take our photo, which she did with a smile.  Our group, from left to right, Greg Wilson, your author, Eric Rench, Dan Weir, and Michael Rench.  

Photo:  Brett's Gold Coin serves all burgers open faced, with allows for great photography.  All burgers come with a side of fries, which are as good as fries get, as their deep fried to a golden brown on the outside, chewy on the inside, not greasy, and lightly salted, with is a boon to a guy like me, who has a low tolerance for salt.  My choice was the "Gold Coin Burger," which I couldn't resist, as it appears to be the flagship burger of the restaurant.

The menu describes the "Gold Coin Burger" modestly as "A house favorite, served with cheddar cheese and bacon." The menu goes on to state that all burgers are served with lettuce, tomato, onion, pickles, and fries.  The price of the burger was $11.00, even, which turned out to be a great value.

My description of the burger was absolute perfection!  I ordered my beef cooked medium, and that was how it arrived, as it was cooked perfectly.  The melted cheese was just right, added an extra-dimension to this superior burger.  The veggies were crisp and fresh.  I love the little cups of condiments on the side, so I can garnish the burger "my way."  We requested ketchup for our fries, and received a squeeze bottle, filled with chilled ketchup, which is class.

The dingy bar-only days are gone, and now Bett's Gold Coin is not only a family-friendly restaurant, it's now a sports bar, where you can always watch a game in comfort.  On your way to Yosemite, if you're in the mood for one of the best burgers the Mother Lode has to offer, pay a visit to Bett's Gold Coin in "Old Town" Mariposa.

Bett's Gold Coin
5021 California 140
Mariposa, CA 95338
209 966-2388

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