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Archive for the ‘Burgers’ Category

Some Serious Burger Innovation

In Burgers, San Antonio on January 21, 2012 at 3:30 am

1624 E. Commerce -- Within Walking Distance of Downtown!

As I’ve said somewhere to someone, San Antonio has some of the best burger joints around. Little did I know that some serious innovation has been taking place on the east side of San Antonio at Fatty’s Burgers. Locally owned and operated, Fatty’s owner Mark, recently started serving some “outside the box” burgers. I’ve been excited about eating a burger before, but I’ve never had fun eating one until I went and tried out the ice cream burger. That’s right, an ice cream burger!

I’ve tried two of their five new releases. Below I’ve reviewed the ice cream burger and the pancake burger. The other three new ones are the breakfast burger (served with an egg), the BBQ burger (served with sliced brisket), and the chocolate chip cookie burger.

The Ice Cream Burger

Some, if not many, will be suspicious of just how good (or bad) an ice cream burger might taste. Well, I think it tastes pretty dang good and others seems to agree. Fatty’s burgers are already great, but when you add delicious ice cream (either vanilla or strawberry) to an already delicious burger, then well, get ready for a fun experience. Along with the burger, go ahead and order their award-winning, beer-battered onion rings.

Beans That Actually Taste Good

Oh, and while your waiting, be sure and enjoy a cup of their complementary pinto beans. I normally don’t think much of pinto beans, but if beans tasted like Fatty’s most of the time, then I’d be a bean connoisseur. Just sayin’.

The Pancake Burger

On another visit, I ordered the pancake burger. Just look at that burger! Bread, pancake, meat, cheese, and syrup. That’s it. I had to ditch the bun half way through because, as good as it is, it’s like eating a burger with double the bread. The pancake was really good and so was the burger. It’s ideal for brunch and it will fill you up quickly.

Can you believe what you’ve just seen? I’m still really excited about these outside the box burgers and I’d recommend anyone reading this post to at least go and order the ice cream burger. Have some fun and say hi to Barbara, Fatty’s hostess. You’ll love her hospitality and kindness and she’ll take good care of you.

If you can’t bring yourself to order the ice cream or pancake burger, check out the menu below and take your pick. Bby the way, take a look at Fatty’s website by clicking here and check out how their building looked before it was renovated and became a fine, east side establishment. Let’s support this locally owned and operated restaurant and spread the word about this great place!

Fatty’s hours: Mon – Wed 11am – 6pm; Thurs – Sat 11am – 8pm; closed for church on Sunday.

These Are Your Burger Options, Plus More!

Next post…my favorite coffee shop in the Alamo City!

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La Tuna is Spanish for…The Tuna

In American, Burgers, San Antonio on January 14, 2012 at 2:49 am

Sandwiched between the Blue Star Arts Complex and the new Cevallos Lofts, while at the same time floating on a sea of bottle caps, La Tuna Grill serves up some tasty dishes in beloved Southtown. With two buildings on its property, one for drinking and one for eating, La Tuna offers one more great place to enjoy within walking distance of downtown San Antonio.

Like I said, La Tuna Grill is made-up of two separate buildings. The smaller building on the corner is where you can go to have drinks.  You can drink inside or drink on the small patio which has a pool of bottle caps next to it. Bottle caps are everywhere, but next to the bar it’s like walking on sand .

Don't believe me? Here's a snapshot of the bottle caps.

You’ll need to go to the larger building in the back if you want to eat or buy some art. La Tuna doesn’t offer a whole lot of inside seating, but they make-up for it with lots of seating outside on the porch and several picnic tables.

So far, my dish of choice at La Tuna is their Blackened Fish Tacos. Blackened cod is served on corn tortillas with shredded cabbage, onions and cilantro. The tacos are topped with green chile cream sauce and are served with nopalito salad, which is excellent if you like nopales (nopal cactus). It’s even healthy! This dish costs $8.59. If you like fish tacos and haven’t tried La Tuna’s, please make a visit and try them out!

Blackened Fish Tacos

After the fish tacos, my next favorite dish is chicken tortilla soup. It was the soup of the day when I went. Served with corn chips, this soup is sooooo delicious and I’d say very hard to beat. It’s hearty and full of flavor. Grab one while it’s still cold outside. Other soups are available and a cup is $3.59 while a bowl is $4.99.

Chicken, Tortilla Soup

Surprisingly, La Tuna has some really good wings. I hate it when I order wings that come with very little wing sauce. You won’t have that problem here. They are drenched in a zesty, spicy house sauce. The wings are $7.99 and I’m sure you’ll have a few bucks worth of wing sauce all over your face by the time your done with them. Ask for extra napkins at the start. Don’t order them if you’re on a date.

La Tuna Wings

Finally, La Tuna’s website says, “Rumor has it that this is the BEST burger in town.” While I’ve never heard this rumor, I’d say it’s not the best, but it’s not bad either. Even though it comes with a 1/2 pound Black Angus patty, the patty itself could use some more flavor. The cheddar and jack cheese is nice, but what dominates is the soft, yet lightly toasted, sweet bun. The Cheesy burger is $8.29 and is served with your choice of a house salad, wedge fries, or nopalito salad.

Half-Pound, Cheesy Burger

Take note of La Tuna’s hours. They are open from 11:00 – 2:30 for lunch, 5:00 – 9:30 for dinner, and they are closed on Sunday. They say it’s “loco” at La Tuna on First Friday, but I’d deal with any amount of loco if that means enjoying their amazing, fish tacos and nopalito salad.

View of La Tuna's Restaurant

The place to drink. It even has a fire pit to keep you warm!

Next post…ice cream cheeseburger!

Frank’s Hog Stand: A Love Story

In American, Burgers, Hot Dogs, San Antonio on November 1, 2011 at 2:23 am

I can’t tell you how many times I’ve driven by Frank’s Hog Stand and wanted to stop, but never did. Gladly, once again, Groupon gave me the push I needed to give it a try. What I appreciate most about Frank’s Hog Stand is Frank. I love the fact that he grew up in the neighborhood, loved the “Pig Stand” (which is what it was called before it closed down due to Urban Renewal of the late 60s), and would later return to revitalize a place he loved. Even though his family was forced to move out of the neighborhood years ago, Frank was quick to purchase the property after several years and renamed it, Frank’s Hog Stand.

Rusty Nuts

My wife and I started our lunch by sharing some Rusty Nuts (loaded tater tots with chili and cheese). Healthy, no. Delicious, oh yes! As we devoured these rusty nuts, we said we’d come here just to enjoyed these loaded tater tots. The crispy tots were perfect with just the right amount of chili and cheese.

The Dirty Frank

I ain’t afraid of no chili, so I ordered The Dirty Frank (Hot Dog with Chili) and large-cut, french fries. It was really good. I like that it came in an unexpecting way. The dog is sliced in half and is served on a hoagie bun. I didn’t think I could finish it after the Rusty Nuts, but I did. 🙂

Burger Good, Onion Rings Better

My wife went with the burger and onion rings. The burger was okay considering it didn’t have cheese (I don’t believe in burgers without cheese). The onion rings were great…just the way I like them. I prefer onion rings that have just enough batter that the ring is flimsy and the batter can easily fall off.

The Ben Milkshake

At the end of our meal, we said in the words of Frank himself, “It’s time for a shake!” Frank’s shakes are served with Blue Bell Ice Cream. I ordered The Ben (chocolate, vanilla, and strawberry ice cream mixed together). It was a good, traditional Blue Bell Ice Cream shake. Frank’s Hog Stand is just one more great place to eat in Southtown.

The Volcano Downtown

In American, Burgers, Italian on September 17, 2011 at 2:32 am

Did you know that there’s a volcano located in downtown San Antonio just south of I-35 at 618 McCullough Ave.? I discovered it over a year ago while living downtown. I didn’t see smoke rising from the ground nor did I see lava flowing. I just saw the Volcano Burger being promoted on a marker board at Guillermo’s as the daily special and couldn’t resist the possible delicious mix of spicy and burger.

Some burger joints do certain burgers better than others. For example, Chris Madrid’s, in my opinion, makes the best Tostada Burger (with the Lord’s Kitchen an extremely close second!). For months, I would have told you that Guillermo’s has the best spicy, gourmet burger in town. I remember the soft, delicious home-made bun with a thick, yet loosely hand-packed, half-pound of 100% Angus beef topped with melted cheese, Louisiana-type hot sauce, jalapeno slices, and bacon plus all the other veggie toppings on the side. For $9.99, this burger came with a good amount of fries. It was perfect…and then I went back today.

As soon as the burger was placed in front of me, I knew something was different. The bun wasn’t as soft and the patty was packed so much that it was way too tough for my taste. I was heart-broken and disappointed.

The Volcano Burger

I had to find out what happened, so I spoke with a very nice and helpful employee. Apparently, nothing in the recipe has changed. However, she did admit that they now tend to pack their patties more now and the bun, which is made fresh daily, was just baked longer than before. What made me hopeful for next time is she said you can request your patty to be less packed, but it may be more difficult to fix the bun. So, I just said to please share with the manager that it was perfect the way it was before and please go back to making it that way!

Some new friends I made while ordering invited me to sit with them. One said she always comes to Guillermo’s for the Tony’s Special, which is a focaccia sandwich which is offered in a variety of combinations. Some of the options include turkey and bacon, Italian ham and pepperoni, meatball and cheese, and pineapple, ham, feta, and cranberries. It comes with a side of their famous spinach and bowtie salad. I tasted the salad and it was fantastic! It costs $8.99/$9.99. I guess I shouldn’t be too surprised since this is more of an Italian restaurant, which reminds me…they makes some great pizzas!

Tony's Special

As far as service goes, they are always friendly and welcoming. One of the food runners (I think that’s what they’re called), provided exceptional service. I asked about my burger and he enthusiastically help while always having a smile. It’s always great to have positive service.

As a final recommendation, I highly recommend nibbling on one of their homemade chocolate chip cookies while you wait on your food. They’re fresh, soft, yet firm, with the right amount of large chunks of chocolate chip. You won’t be disappointed!

The Cookie

The Yellow Submarine + A Beer Bonus

In American, Beer, Burgers on July 30, 2011 at 2:04 am

Today, I was in the mood for a burger, but not just any burger. I wanted a burger with some flair. So, I returned to Timbo’s, which was recommended by a good friend of mine and is located on Broadway near downtown. Timbo’s, which is proud of its Little Hipp’s heritage, opened in 2003 after Little Hipp’s closed its doors in 2002. This was my second time to this burger joint. This time, however, I wanted to review what Timbo’s calls the “Yellow Submarine.”

The Yellow Submarine

As you can see in the picture above, The Yellow Submarine is a 2/3 pounder stuffed with cheese, onions, and jalapeno. It was one, big burger. I was even hesitant to order a side but I asked for some tater tots anyway, which were really good. As for the Yellow Submarine, I was expecting an explosion of beef, cheese, onion, and jalapeno. To my dismay, the beef patty itself was rather plain and tasteless. There were only a few bites when I could actually taste the cheese, onions, and jalapeno, but overall, the bun, lettuce, sliced onions, pickles, and tomatoes were dominate. At times I thought I might as well just take off this patty and enjoy some delicious veggies and bun. Needless to say, I won’t be ordering the $9.95 Yellow Submarine again. And by the way, Timbo’s is closed on Saturday and Sunday; service is friendly, but relaxed.

As a post bonus, I want to recommend to all my readers the Pancho Verde Chile Cerveza. Named after Pancho Villa, Mexico’s version of Billy the Kid and revolutionary leader who wanted agrarian reform and advocated for the poor, Pancho Verde Chile Cerveza is brewed by New Mexico’s Rio Grande Brewing Company. This green chile beer is a rather unique, tasty, and fun beer.

Beer Infused with Roasted Green Chile

I really like and admire breweries that use local ingredients to produce special and unique brews. Since Green Chilis are New Mexico’s largest agricultural crop, I agree that it is very appropriate to include them as an ingredient to one of their brews. This lager is light and comes in at 4.67% ABV. If you like roasted green chile then you’ll like this beer. If you’re ever at HEB and want to give one a shot, pick one up just for fun like I did and enjoy it with a good steak or hot link. Cheers!

Chris Madrid’s: the tostada burger, pure perfection

In Burgers, San Antonio, Top Five Burgers on May 21, 2011 at 9:55 pm

In my opinion, San Antonio’s burger restaurants are just as numerous, diverse, and high quality as its Mexican restaurants. To be honest, I think San Antonio should be just as well-known for it’s burger joints. When someone asks me what’s my favorite burger place in town, I have to say it depends on the type of burger. So, when it comes to the tostada burger, Chris Madrid’s (chrismadrids.com) has the best tostada burger around. Just be sure you add some pico de gallo and salsa from the condiment bar to the burger. The freshly cut fries are great and they even have a great forzen, mango margarita and I dont’ even like frozen margaritas. If you’re not in the mood for a burger, then nachos are a great option. If you only have one chance to grab a burger in San Antonio, you gotta choose Chris Madrid’s.