Some of our recent burger outings having left, quite literally, a bad taste in our mouths, we decided we needed something sweet for a change, and headed to Candy’s Old Fashion Burgers. Candy's is located in the heart of downtown San Antonio, near the Bexar County Courthouse and just around the corner from San Fernando Cathedral, where the remains of Travis, Crockett, Bowie and other heroes of the Alamo lie entombed. Surely, we thought, any burger joint erected in the shadow of greatness could not fail to be great itself.
Candy's may be a small operation, but it was immediately apparent that news of this burger joint had gotten out in a big way. The joint was busy from the moment we stepped through the door until the moment we left. Candy's loyal following is just further proof of that great universal truth - EVERYONE loves Candy.
However, there was only one way for us to determine whether Candy's cult following consisted of independently minded converts or mind-controlled fanatics. We had to try these greasy mounds of meat and bread for ourselves.
The Burger - 6.5 out of 10
The general consensus among the reviewers was that Candy's serves up a solid but fairly standard burger.
The double meat and cheese burger which I ordered (advertised as having over half a pound of meat) was definitely a two-hander. The well seasoned patties protruded from the bun and, although thin and a bit crispy on the outside, were slightly pink and moist on the inside. The burger was served piping hot, the flavor of the melted American cheese melding nicely with the meat. The fixings were fresh, and the bun was big and slightly greasy, just the way I like it. Overall, Candy's serves a good burger - maybe a little run-of-the-mill, but definitely solid and satisfying.
Burgermeister Meisterburger, whose burger came loaded with jalepenos at his request, noted that by the end of the meal he couldn’t distinguish the burger from the fries from the onion rings from an old sock. "My fault, not Candy’s," he gasped, between gulps of ice water.
Sides - 4.5 out of 10
Candy's sides offerings were the one sour part of our otherwise saccharine dining experience. The fries, while handcut, were greasy and limp, and in my opinion a bit underdone.
The onion rings were dark and crispy but "nothing special," according to Prefers His Tots Tatered (who was noticeably bothered by the absence of tater tots on the menu). In our best estimate, the rings probably came pre-packaged.
Ambience - 7.5 out of 10
Candy's is a classic burger joint, both in the sense of having tons of assorted junk adorning the walls (like so many other burger joints we've been to) but also in that most of that junk hails from the 1950's classic rock era (or from one of its neighboring decades). The 50's music playing on the restaurant's sound system was proof that the decorating job was not haphazard but rather part of a grander thematic plan.
Here are what other reviewers had to say:
Hamburglar - It was a small place, but had definite burger dive appeal and every table was full.
Prefers His Tots Tatered - Candy's had a certain charm since it was a tiny dive with good music and an overall good vibe. I will say, though, that they could use some better ventilation. As I write this review, I smell like old grease from just sitting in the restaurant.
Burgermeister Meisterburger - With a name like Candy’s, I was expecting to see a few more women of loose morals hanging around. However, Candy saved herself by maintaining a thematic consistency. Candy made sure we felt like we were in a fifty’s-style joint (very much unlike the Malt House) from the golden oldies tracks to the anteek kitsch (old food tins, etc.) on the walls. Also, the price was very reasonable.
Overall, this classic mom and pop burger joint with a 50's twist won us over, if not by serving up stellar hamburgers, then by its noncommercial feel and nostalgic charm. So next time you are paying your respects to Davy Crockett or taking a break from jury duty at the Bexar County Courthouse, be sure to drop by Candy's for a good burger in a great setting.