Review #19: Fuddruckers

Posted by Justice Warren E. Burger | | Posted On Tuesday, April 28, 2009 at 9:50 PM

According to the Fuddruckers website, this national burger chain started in 1980 in San Antonio, by a man who "hungered for perfection in an imperfect world", yet "all he found were warmed-over compromises between bland slices of bread. Finding mediocrity unacceptable, he took a wrong and made it right. He took the frozen and made it fresh. He built his own burger and his own burger place right in the heart of San Antonio, Texas." If this guy is still out there seeking burger perfection, he needs to head back to the heart of San Antonio and clean up the mediocre mess that has become the original Fuddruckers.

Tucked away behind aging office buildings near Loop 410 and Broadway, the original Fuddruckers is a place that many burger bloggers remember from their childhood. But unlike a fine wine, this joint did not get better with age.

Burger: 6 out of 10. This rating seems high, given that most of the bloggers' reviews were negative. In Fudd's favor is a large condiment bar where you can make your own burger. One blogger said, "It's hard to go wrong with a do it yourself burger, but somehow Fuddruckers just misses the mark." Also appreciated was the hot melted cheese. Several bloggers commented on the soggy bun. My bun was admittedly soggy, but I think that was because I slopped about a gallon of melted cheese onto it. Mmmm, melted cheese.

Sides: 5 out of 10. The fries were very average - thick, with a decent amount of seasoning, but also not very hot. The onion rings were the frozen kind. They were also thick, but with little to no seasoning.

We should give Fudds props for a great milkshake that was housed in quite possibly the perfect milkshake glass.

The tots were nonexistent, which is becoming an alarming trend with SA burger joints. The burger blog probably needs to put this issue to the San Antonio voters in the future. As with our inadequate public transportation system, the City of San Antonio will never able to compete as a global city unless it improves its quantity and quality of tater tots.

Ambiance: 4 out of 10. Sticky floors, harsh lighting, and a pungent odor come to mind - Fudds ambiance was pretty bad. Prefers His Tots Tatered observed, "It seemed like they were going for a sports theme, and then just got lazy and threw some crap on the wall." Or maybe, "the other Fuddruckers raided this location for decorations," wondered Fry Daddy. Burger Boy, eloquent as always, said "In my opinion, it was dirty and smelled funny."

The bloggers did appreciate the video games, especially Galaga.

Now, the burger blog does not have a formal category for price (although most of my fellow bloggers seem to consistently forget this fact). But for this place, I had to include price as a category, because it was so outlandish. The price was variously called "insane", "expensive", and "ridiculous." Prefers His Tots Tatered also smartly observed, "I don't know if I understand the price ratings."

Fudds did have a great combo, but its greatness did not lie in the price, but rather the fact that you could substitute a beer for a soft drink for no extra charge. Perhaps that's the new Fuddruckers strategy: "Our burgers are bad, but our beer is cheap." Now that's a burger innovation to be proud of.


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