Review #34 - Brenda’s Burgers

Posted by Prefers His Tots Tatered | | Posted On Friday, September 4, 2009 at 5:27 PM

What do Sam’s Burger Joint, Burger Boy, Chris Madrid’s, Uncle Barneys, Five Guys, Big Bobs, Luther’s, the Lord’s Kitchen, and hundreds of other burger joints around this country all have in common…?

That’s right; they’re all named after us furry legged humans—men. I don’t know if it’s some sort of instinctive hunter gatherer thing or what, but it seems like when it comes to carnivorous eateries, well, the Y chromosome half of the population has the market cornered.

Feeling a bit contrarian this week, our blog crew opted for a burger joint with a slight feminine side, which led us to Brenda’s Burgers located at 3837 SW Military Dr., 78211.

Brenda’s Burgers is cleverly named after the proprietor of the establishment, Brenda (apparently, the lack of creative names for burger joints isn’t limited to just male owners). I have to say that our burger blog crew felt such civic pride advancing the cause of female equality with our visit. As Rosie so infamously stated with a flexing of her biceps, yes, woman can do it—which, I guess means that women are in fact every bit as capable of making ordinary, average, mediocre burgers as some of their male counterparts. Now that’s equality. But, alas, I’m getting ahead of myself.

Upon arriving, we were welcomed by none other than Brenda herself, who helps out at the cash register.

The female independence and liberation theme permeated throughout the establishment. Heroes, legends, and other female champions of the women’s rights movement adorned the walls of Brenda’s Burgers...

After admiring the shrine dedicated to these fine feminist movement icons, we all sat down and waited for our meal to be served.

The Burger - 5.5

I have to admit that the options on the menu looked very enticing as some of the burgers came with grilled jalapenos and onions, two definite plusses for most of our group. Unfortunately, our excitement quickly subsided once we received our burgers, which were somewhat of a let down.

I know, from the looks of it, the burger appears pretty tasty. The problem, though, which several bloggers commented on, was the ordinary, frozen-patty-like meat. It was on the level of a fast food burger patty, just a little more dressed up. However, I will say that one feature that really got our reviewers’ blood flowing was Brenda’s buns…even the staunchest feminist would agree that Brenda’s buns are fantastic.

Where’s the Beef - The beef was eerily similar to a McDonald’s hamburger patty- and I’m not talking about McDonald’s new Angus burgers. The highlight of the burger for me was the bun. It was soaked in butter and toasted nicely. I can see why the place is a Lackland/Kelly AFB favorite, but I’m not going to make a special trip to that part of town just for that burger.

Hamburglar – I ordered the double cheeseburger, and I’m glad I did. The pre-made and likely frozen patties aren’t very big, so two of them is a must. The burger is comparable to a fast-food burger, except they appropriately butter the buns and throw them on the griddle which makes for a decent tasting burger.

Justice Warren E. Burger – Very disappointing, but not terrible. The place looked so great, and Brenda behind the counter looked so true, that I was expecting greatness. Alas, this was a Quarter Pounder with Cheese (although I’m not even sure I got a quarter pound). Its saving grace was the bun, which was well buttered and had a nice char on the outside. The real loser was the meat. It was paper thin, with that gritty taste of frozen meat or some meat-like substance.

Colonel Mustard – Below Average. For all you sports buffs, this burger is the equivalent of Mario Mendoza. Know who he is? I doubt it, but you may have heard the phrase Mendoza Line, named after you know who, who epitomized what below average is in baseball lexicon.

Sides - 5

Brenda fared no better when it came to sides. The onion rings were decent even though they were probably pre-made and frozen, but the fries seemed like they came straight out of a bag and into the fryer. The milkshakes, however, were excellent and a huge hit. The rumors are true, Brenda’s milkshakes bring all the boys to the yard.

Here are some of the comments from the other reviewers:

Colonel Mustard – Less than average. Perhaps on the level of Michael Jordan ... when he sucked at playing baseball.

Justice Warren E. Burger – Even more disappointing than the burger. The onion rings were ok, but clearly frozen. The fries were some of the worst I’ve ever tasted. Thin, bland, totally uninspiring. The shake was very good, although I don’t normally get shakes, so I’m not going to let it bring the sides rating up too much.

Hamburglar – Rings were good, but the fries were pretty bad.

Where’s the Beef – The onion rings were quite tasty, but definitely were not homemade. The fries also had the look of McDonald’s fries, but unfortunately had none of the flavor. My vanilla shake was the best part of the trip, and I’m pretty sure they used Blue Bell ice cream.

Ambience - 7.5

Brenda’s Burgers is basically run out of a house-like structure. There is a great patio out front for when the weather is nice, and plenty of room inside.

The interior was eclectically decorated with all sorts of off-beat burger flare. We all loved the burger-themed window treatments. Sorry we don’t have a better picture of them, but you can notice the windows in the background here…

I would, however, like to point out Where’s the Beef’s observation. While most of us noticed, and liked, the burgers on the window treatments, none of us, except Where’s the Beef, knew the precise name for these decorations (apparently, it’s called a “valence” for all you males who actually have a pair). I guess Brenda’s Burgers really brought out the feminine side in Where’s the Beef. Let’s just hope his name stays literal rather than becoming some sort of euphemism.

Justice Warren E. Burger – Despite the so-so food, this place looked great. It was a true burger dive, yet with its own character. As you drove up, the pink old, one story house stood out like a sore thumb, but in a good way. The lady at the front - I’m hoping this was Brenda - came straight out of a 1950’s back country diner, with hair you could sharpen a butcher’s knife on. Well chosen action figures and toy dolls (still in their boxes, of course) adorned the walls. And it was capped off with the ultimate burger dive accessory – burger patterned window treatments. Pity the food didn’t live up to this burger dive heaven.

Colonel Mustard – Extra props for all the military service men and women who dined at this establishment. The decor and cheesy music added something to the experience, albeit offset by the noticeably fast food-ish nature. This place felt sort of like a personalized Whataburger.

Hamburglar – Classic dive burger joint appeal.

Where’s the Beef – Set in what looks to be an old house, it definitely had that down home charm. Interesting sound track playing on the stereo ranging from the Beatles to Lionel Ritchie helped with the atmosphere. I would love to know where they got the burger patterned valences over the windows [emphasis added]

In the end, Brenda’s is a decent place if you’re in the area, so stop by. Despite the tepid comments from my fellow reviews, we still managed to devour our meal.

Girlish figures be damned!


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