Review # 37 - Abe's Boys Burgers

Posted by Colonel Mustard | | Posted On Thursday, October 1, 2009 at 9:48 PM

For me, the burger seems to just taste better knowing that the burger joint is named after the person actually doing the cooking. Do you see Wendy slaving away in the kitchen in any of the Wendy’s restaurants? Are the Five Guys whipping up delicious burgers, or are they just the typical nameless, faceless investors who think about the bottom line? Do I even need to ask about the descendants of the McDonald brothers (Dick and Mac), who probably only know how to cash their sizable royalty checks. We have also reviewed numerous local establishments that appear to have been named after someone, whether real or not (at least 17 by this blogger's count). In how many of these joints does the actual person whom the restaurant is named after actually participate in the most important aspect of a burger joint -- cooking that greasified goodness we all love?*

*Incidentally, you may be wondering about the Lord’s Kitchen. However, it is this blogger’s opinion that those burgers are so good, the Lord may actually have something to do with them.

Abe's is located at 615 E. Amber St. Abe and his boys not only proudly named their restaurant after themselves, they run the whole show. When we visited, Abe was in the kitchen cooking the burgers and one of his boys was the waiter and handling the register. That's it. Just Abe, his boy and hungry patrons. This restaurant is one of a kind (not to say it is all positive), and clearly the product of Abe and his boys.

Burger - 5.5 out of 10

Abe did not need steroids (see picture on the right) to make our burgers.

For supposedly a 1/3 pound patty of fresh beef, these seemed a bit skimpy -- yes, even considering some of the weight cooks off on the grill. But we applaud Abe's sense of humor, even if it is at the expense of a truly juicy, greasy patty.

As for the menu, it is simple, just how a burger joint is supposed to be.

What truly makes a worthy burger is the meat, and Abe's burgers just fell short. The bun was hot, buttery and toasty, and never in danger of getting soggy in grease. The lettuce, tomato and the like were all clearly fresh. However, the meat patty was indistinguishable at best, leading some to question whether it came from the freezer. All in all, it was just ok, and ok doesn't win any prizes or get to date the prom queen.

Here are what the others had to say:

Fry Daddy - Part of me wants to give this burger a higher rating. The toppings were cool and fresh, the bun was toasted and buttery, and I didn’t even mind the American cheese (cheddar was $1 extra). But the meat was minimally seasoned and possibly made from a frozen patty (though I can’t be sure).

Burger Boy - This was a solid burger, but nothing exceptional. The meat was a little less greasy than I prefer and needed more seasoning.

Hamburglar - A burger with potential, but missing that extra something.

Where's the Beef? - The bun was toasted, buttery, and delicious, but the burger patty itself left me underwhelmed. I ordered the 1/3 pound burger, and was served something that looked closer in size to McDonald’s basic hamburger. The patty itself needed more seasoning. I couldn’t tell if it was fresh or frozen, but I’m leaning towards frozen. Not a terrible burger, but not a great burger either.

Sides - 7.5 out of 10

This is where Abe's shined the most. The fries tasted very fresh, were hand cut and cooked to perfection. Essentially, what the meat patty lacked (unseasoned, likely frozen), the fries seemed to have. There are not many places in SA that can best these scrumptious fries. The onion rings were also very palatable, although they did not get the same ringing endorsement as the fries. Some in the group also expressed disappointment that tots are not offered by Abe and his boys.

Fry Daddy - Abe's had some of the best hand-cut fries we've had so far, and the onion rings weren't bad either.

Hamburglar - The fries were really good and the onion rings were decent, but Abe’s lack of tots brings this rating down.

Burger Boy - The fries were some of the best I've had.

Where's the Beef? - We were told the fries and onion rings were homemade, and they tasted that way. The fries stole the show, and the onion rings were very good as well.

Ambiance - 6.0 out of 10

The service was great by one of Abe's boys, as he was very friendly. Unfortunately, there was a long wait for our burgers, which seemed odd considering there weren't too many people in Abe's. This led to speculation that the meat patties were frozen and took longer to cook. Another plus in my book is how Abe's boy handled a group of ornery customers that did not want to pay the prices listed on the menu. Abe's boy was firm and respectful to them, without causing a scene, and that helped us pass the long wait for our burgers. The decor was mostly Mexican themed art, a little sports paraphernalia, in addition to some random items that don't fit into any discernible category. There is also a jukebox that livened the place up a bit. To me, the building looked like it used to be a convenience store.

Fry Daddy - Abe’s had the feel of a small family-owned operation (which it is), and I’m a sucker for that. I also enjoyed viewing what I assume were Abe’s boys’ high school art projects, which were prominently displayed throughout the restaurant.

Hamburglar - Not your typical burger joint ambiance, but I liked the décor and the jukebox music. Although, when the music wasn’t playing the place was eerily quiet.

Burger Boy - The ambiance was like a cinder block bunker.

Where's the Beef? - There is a difference between a burger “joint” and a place that just isn’t trying hard enough. Unfortunately, Abe’s falls into the latter category. It had a hodge podge of Mexican influenced décor, and just looked tired and old. We were told Abe’s has been open 11 years, and you can definitely tell that it has seen better days. The service was very slow, considering the place was almost empty. Our waiter, however, was very friendly. It was surprisingly expensive, and I shelled out just under $10 for my diet coke, burger and onion rings.

Abe also supports a defensive driving school, although it is unclear if Abe's customers receive any kind of discount.

Abe's is cash only so bring more than your plastic. If you haven't asked yourselves who is cooking your burgers lately, remember that you'll always know that answer at Abe's Boys Burgers.


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