Our hopes were high as we approached Big Bob’s Burgers at 2215 Harry Wurzbach Road. It had the classic burger joint look and feel on the outside. It had a yellow tarp sign, a full parking lot and appeared to be housed in a double, no make that a single-wide, trailer.
As you enter the vestibule (who knew a single-wide could have a vestibule?), you are immediately greeted by a menu showing Big Bob's wares . . .
a bulletin board displaying things important to Big Bob . . .
and a sliding glass window behind which Big Bob himself was grilling up the meat!
However, as we snapped away at pictures, we began to draw attention. As I approached a second glass window which serves as the ordering counter, Little Bob (the cashier, who I think may be Big Bob’s little brother or son) says, “Why the hell are you taking pictures? You and your ilk can get the hell out of my restaurant!”
Actually, that only happened inside my head, which seems to create conspiracy theories very much on its own ever since the group went to the communist watering hole “Che’s Chicken and Burgers” (only pinko-commies would serve chicken at a burger joint). In reality, Big Bob displayed a mere curiosity about the reasons for our picture-taking. Nonetheless, my suspicion radar was up, so as I explained our desire to find the perfect San Antonio burger and our corresponding world-renowned burger blog, I quickly implemented a second-level of identity protection, by developing aliases for our aliases.
“I am ‘Kevin Bacon Cheeseburger’ (Burgermeister) and these are my friends ‘#2 with Cheese’ (#1 with Cheese), ‘Scallopini’ (Prefers His Tots Tatered), and ‘Mad Cow’ (BurgerGal). We would like to sample and evaluate your cuisine.” That seemed to satisfy Big Bob and he went back to his grilling duties with a smile on his face.
Ambiance - 5 out of 10
We placed our order and went out to the back patio, seeing as how it was a glorious San Antonio afternoon. Our hearts sunk as we found this first glaring fault of Big Bob’s. Their outdoor dining options suck!
Justice Warren E. . . . . whoops, I mean “Peppermint ‘Beef’ Patty” put it best when he/she wrote:
“They need to . . . work on the outdoor patio, which was probably the worst patio I've ever experienced in my life. I didn't think it was possible to screw up a patio that bad. The door was falling apart, the air conditioner was spewing water (making one of the tables uninhabitable), and there was no roof or even umbrellas - so the sun was beating down in your face. There were also tons of flies and ants, and a generous amount of bird crap on the table we settled into. To top it off, it was surrounded by a tall fence, and stuck in the middle of an ugly parking lot. The only reason I didn't give the ambiance a lower rating, was that it failed so spectacularly that it did qualify as a great dive. If you are going to be a hole in the wall, you might as well swing for the fence.
"Overall, I would go back here, but only if I never ever have to go outside to that patio again. I can feel the swine flu coming on already. Cough, cough…”
We moved back inside. While the single-wide theme would make for great burger joint ambiance, I noticed that it was nearly devoid of wall décor. I think it is due to the fact that Big Bob sold all the décor last Christmas and put it into Christmas lights (which are still up) and a giant flat screen TV that was hanging on the far wall.
Burgers – 7.0 out of 10
There was quite a bit of discrepancy on the burger ratings (I think this was due to the fact that some burgers were undercooked), but on average the rating came out pretty high. In terms of seasoning, bun, fresh toppings and presentation, the burger scored high. So close, Big Bob; just cook the damn things!
Scallopini - “Now that's a mighty tasty burger. Meat was not frozen and cooked to perfection and the buns were nicely toasted with a slight grease coating. Plus, all the trimmings tasted very fresh. The burger is definitely one of SA's best.”
Where is the Meat of Cow for My Mouth? (a.k.a. Where’s the Beef?) - “My burger was pretty good, but I don’t think this place belongs in the upper echelon of SA burger joints. Amazingly, even though it was a thin-style burger, the burger came out a little undercooked. Thank God we’re only dealing with swine flu, instead of cow flu…”
I got the same undercooked burger (even though I requested mine to be medium well done), but I have to admit the first bite was quite tasty, and I devoured the entire burger with pleasure, all the while knowing that my stout German gastro-intestinal system would likely suffer for it later in the afternoon.
Below is a picture of a well cooked Big Bob’s Burger:
Sides – 9.5 out of 10
The best combination of sides we have come across so far. They scored perfect 10’s from several reviewers and nobody rated below an 8.5. Scallopini (who is quite an eloquent young man – at least when it comes to discussing meat and fried foods) summed it up the best:
“You know you're in for a treat when upon entering, you watch the cooks hand batter the onion rings in the kitchen. I can honestly say that not only are these onion rings the best so far in our burger blog journey, but they just might be the best I've ever had. Plus, the hand cut fries and tater tots were cooked to perfection and seasoned nicely.”
The tots were so good that even God shone his light down on them:
One last point about Big Bob’s. It is right next to Fort Sam and has a steady following of our troops.
I figure that any place that caters to and pleases our armed forces deserves the benefit of the doubt. So I suggest our readers make the trip to Big Bob’s, order a full complement of sides and their burgers WELL DONE, and find a seat INSIDE. While you’re there, I also suggest you buy a round of rings for a table of men and women in green to thank them for their service to our country. God Bless America and Big Bob’s Tots and Rings!