Review #26 - Texas Hamburger Co.

Posted by Prefers His Tots Tatered | | Posted On Wednesday, June 24, 2009 at 7:25 AM

Our latest stop in our quest to find the best burger in town landed us at the Texas Hamburger Co., located at 9010 Huebner Road on San Antonio’s northwest side.

Growing up on the northwest side myself, I was particularly excited to revisit an old favorite. You see, decades ago, Texas Hamburger Co. was the pillar of burger excellence…a captain of industry if you will. It seemed that every family on the block owned a classic Texas Hamburger Co. burger at some point. I fondly remember my father lamenting on this durable, reliable, “GMC” (our name for Genuine Mouthwatering Chow).

As we pulled into the parking lot, to my surprise, the place looked nothing like my nostalgic memories. I told Burgermeister Meisterburger, the Navigator for this Expedition, that he must have taken a wrong turn. Unfortunately, there was no mistake, and I must admit, fellow burger aficionados, Texas Hamburger Co. has seen better days.

For starters, the outside appearance looked more run down than I remembered. The place needs a major corporate restructuring, literally.

Comforted by our recent tetanus shots, we entered and ordered at the counter.

Some might argue that the ultimate demise of Texas Hamburger Co. was the huge growth in options. “Back to the burger basics” some commentators argued, and it has been suggested that Texas Hamburger Co. should cut some of its product lines. As you can see from the menu, burgers of all shapes and sizes, along with plenty of sandwich items and even full blown plates inflate Texas Hamburger Co.’s inventory. I tend to agree that cuts are necessary for Texas Hamburger Co. to re-group and re-brand itself as a premier burger maker in San Antonio.

While ordering, Texas Hamburger Co. allows its patrons to get an up close look at the efficient wonders of the assembly line. I mean this place is a well oiled machine.

I would hate to see these hard working folks become just another victim of the down economy. I guess they can always go out and get a job flipping burgers…wait, scratch that. Panhandling? Or better yet, blogging?

Burger – 6.5 out of 10

The burgers were just, ok. There’s nothing structurally wrong with the product, it’s just that the competition has moved ahead. Those foreign burger-makers have flooded the market with their innovation and luxury (Cappycino’s Kobe Steak Burger), their exotic models (Chris Madrids’s Tostado Burger) and efficiency (Five Guys massive staffing model). To compete in this competitive market, being adequate is not good enough anymore.

My fellow bloggers tended to agree with the analysis that the burgers, while alright, just don’t stack up to the stiff competition.

Hamburglar - This burger has potential, but the soggy bun ends up dragging the score down. I ate the burger fairly quickly after picking up my order, but the bottom of the bun quickly became a soggy disappointment.

# 1 with Cheese - I’ve had better at Whataburger, they did get your food out fast though.

Sides – 6.5 out of 10

The Big Three Side-Makers are well represented at Texas Hamburger Co.

We were all happy that the major sides of fries, onion rings, and tots were options on the menu. Again, all three weren’t bad, it’s just that they weren’t special. Keeping in line with its bloated inventory, Texas Hamburger Co. has many other options to choose from (stuffed jalepenos, chili, etc.), but we decided against all these extra bells and whistles.

Here’s what some of the others had to say:

Hamburglar - They have the trifecta of sides (fries, onion rings and tots), but none of them were particularly worth writing home about (or blogging about for that matter).

#1 with Cheese - I’m only a fry guy, the fries were pretty decent, but no comparison to Mr. Madrid and could have been a touch crispier.

Where’s the Beef - I always love places that have the holy trinity of fries, tots and rings. I didn’t try the fries, but the tots were crispy on the outside and soft on the inside- pretty close to an ideal tot. The rings, although seemingly pre-made, were also very delicious. My Blue Bell vanilla shake was also top quality.

Ambience – 6.5 out of 10

The inside reminded me of a Lincoln log house. Lots of good Sequoias lost their life to decorate this place with all the wood paneling.

I will say that the place was nice and clean, but there just wasn’t much character. There is a cool loft area, which is where we decided to dine.

We were unaware that our log cabin surrounding also meant replicating the frozen Tundra. The loft had what I can only guess is a super-charged, turbo fan and AC system that would bring German engineering to its knees. I know it’s hard to complain about being cold in the middle of June, but damn, it was frigid. Texas Hamburger Co. needs to move to a more fuel efficient hybrid system to keep its business. My fellow bloggers tended to agree:

# 1 with Cheese - I guess I’ll buy the “neighborhood joint” philosophy but it was entirely ordinary and, even for SA, the fans were out of control. I did like the upstairs and big tables.

Where’s the Beef - Some typical burger joint signage, but not over the top. Wood paneling throughout created a nice atmosphere. I sat under the fan from hell, though. Other than freezing my butt off, it was a pretty nice place.

As you can see, it is sort of difficult to sum up our experience at Texas Hamburger Co. I guess the best description is average. The scores reflect this sentiment as well with all 3 categories receiving a 6.5 out of 10. In the end, THC could use a little TLC. However, Texas Hamburger Co. seems like a proud bunch and wouldn’t want any sort of a bail out. Besides, from the looks of it, the stimulus must be working.


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