Review #3 - Sam's Burger Joint

Posted by Hamburglar | | Posted On Wednesday, January 7, 2009 at 10:42 PM

If you're in the mood for some live blues, americana, or rock music, Sam's Burger Joint may be the place for you. Just don't expect to find Jimmy Buffett there because a Cheeseburger in Paradise is nowhere to be found.

Sam's is located at 330 E. Grayson St., just a short drive north of downtown San Antonio on Broadway. Finding it was fairly easy, we just looked for the giant sign towering over Highway 281 advertising Sam's upcoming music acts, instead of its burgers. Can you say foreshadowing?

There is plenty of seating inside of the restaurant, but the real draw for Sam's is the outside seating area. Nothing beats a great burger outside on a nice day. Unfortunately, I fear Sam's may not be able to coordinate both of these items at the same time.

Once you draw your eyes away from what I must presume is Sam, the bodiless Elk head to the left of the menu (personally, I'd prefer to see a cow's head, since beef is what I'm eating), you'll find that the menu is fairly straight forward and offers a nice variety of burger options and sides. I was excited to see that tots were on the menu (tots are not available at Burger Boy or orderup.), and Fry Daddy, with his obsession for cheddar (please see the Burger Boy post for his "cheesy" comments), was beside himself when he saw a "Cheddar Burger" listed as the first item on the menu. Because I am an American, I ordered a Traditional Burger with American cheese, while Burger Queen loaded up on jalapenos for her burger. We all sat down outside to enjoy what we thought would be a delicious burger on a beautiful 76 degree December day in San Antonio.

The Burger - 3.5 out of 10

The burger came out with a nice brand indicating that it was the property of Sam's. Unfortunately, in Sam's excitement to place his name on all of his hamburgers, he forgot to add salt and pepper, or any other kind of seasoning to give his burger's some flavor. Needless to say, the presentation was nice, but the burger left a lot to be desired in terms of taste. Sticking with the old adage of: "if you can't say something nice, don't say anything at all," we'll leave the rest of this section blank.
Sides - 6 out of 10

We are of the opinion that there are not enough burger joints offering tater tots, so Sam's gets a bump for simply offering the little golden morsels of goodness. The tots and fries were decent, but nothing to write home about. Honestly, we think the tots and the fries, just like the burgers, could have used a little more seasoning by the cook. We began to wonder if Sam's was expressing its concern for those individuals with high blood pressure by providing low sodium fare, and allowing its other diners to season the sides and burgers to taste. We believe, however, that sides should come out pretty much perfect with no additional seasoning required by the diner, regardless of medical conditions.

Ambiance - 8 out of 10

This is the category where Sam's really shined. The inside of the restaurant is a hodgepodge of you name its, which starts with Sam the bodiless Elk waiting to greet you by the menu, and ends with a montage of license plates worshipping a Phillips 66 sign. Every wall in the restaurant is filled with "flare."

Sometimes it can be a little daunting to find the restroom in a burger joint because of inadequate signage. Luckily for patrons of Sam's, they proudly display a large sign indicating not only the location of the facilities, but a friendly reminder of what one should do upon arriving in said facilities.

Price - Good

The cost of a burger with your choice of cheddar or american (depending upon your nationality and taste) is about $5.75. Seasoning is apparently extra.

Service - Good

Judging by the number of tattoos worn by the gentleman who took my order, I'm pretty certain he may have been branded by Sam. In addition to branding burger buns, we fear Sam my also brand his employees. Regardless, the branding seemed to have no effect on the guy who took my order. Service was good, and the burger came out hot. What more could one want? Oh, that's right, maybe a little seasoning.


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