Judging by the framed picture in its entryway, Babe's Old Fashioned Burgers appears to have taken as its namesake one of the all time greats, Babe Ruth. The Sultan of Swat led the league in home runs 12 times, slugging percentage 13 times, on base percentage 13 times, runs scored eight times, and runs batted in six times. When he retired, his 714 career home runs were not only the record at the time, but his total was 336 more than the next guy, Lou Gehrig. In other words, the real Babe Ruth never settled for second (or even third) best. Sadly, the same cannot be said for Babe's. This place pointed to the fence, and promptly grounded out to the second baseman.
Babe's is located just inside Loop 410 on Fredericksburg Road, in a nondescript strip mall across from Crossroads Mall (or what's left of Crossroads Mall). Once inside, the classic burger atmosphere is a pleasant surprise.
You order at the counter from an ample menu, and they have lots of other stuff besides burgers. Maybe Babe's needs to get back to basics and offer just a burger and fries (this blog has often found that quantity of offerings does not equal quality of burgers).
The Burger: 5 out of 10. Opinions on the burgers ranged from an 8 ("maybe I was just hungry") to a 3.5 ("truly one of the most disappointing burgers so far"). The meat was fairly bland, and the bun came out soggy for several bloggers. One pickle-loving reviewer complained of getting only one pickle slice, while another reviewer was rewarded with a slop of unrequested and rather "offensive" mayo. This blogger thought it was a decent burger, but definitely middle of the road.
Sides: 4 out of 10. The fries were described by more than one eater as a "soggy mess." Too greasy, with not enough flavoring to offset. The onion rings were "passable." Much like the burgers, the sides were not terrible, but really nothing to write home about.
Ambiance: 6 out of 10. Babe's does look like a true burger joint.
It's got the old wood floors, the crap on the walls, several shelves of cold, bottled beers, and a rather nice patio. A classic burger joint, but again, nothing to make it stand out.
In sum, Babe's is like a solid minor league player. Not terrible, yet definitely not ready for prime time. Mr. Ruth would probably have told Babe's to hang in there, don't give up, and head over to Chris Madrid's if you get hungry.