This week, our burger blog team ventured away from the city’s center and traveled to Biff Buzby’s, which is located at 12702 Toepperwien just south of 1604 on the city’s northeast side. First off, be warned that when you pull up to the place, there isn’t a whole heck of a lot of curb appeal as it’s just another store in the middle of a strip center. But, as we soon discovered, what money was earmarked for the decorating budget was completely exhausted on the interior and the tasty menu.
The owners at Biff Buzby’s picked a unique theme for their restaurant; one you don’t typically associate with your run of the mill burger joint. Aviation.
The whole place is decked out in all sorts of model airplanes and other aviation décor. However, while planes are the central motif, the restaurant is really centered around one man…Biff Buzby.
As you can tell from his picture, Biff Buzby is a polished, colorful male who appears to wear some sort of helmet with goggles. Given all the airplanes hanging from the ceiling, the natural tendency is to think Biff is some sort of pilot. However, this restaurant wants its customers to dig deeper. Upon arrival, patrons are given the ability to come to their own conclusion as to who is the man behind the picture. On the back of each menu is a prompt asking you to come up with your own idea on who is Biff Buzby.
You can even have your essay displayed on the entrance hallway.
So we all sat down and tried to brainstorm some ideas as to who is the man, the myth, the legend, Biff Buzby. I took a quick glance around the place to do some fact finding for my essay. Here are some of the interior shots…
After gathering my thoughts I could only come to one conclusion. That thick 70s mustache, the overcompensating facade as a "lady's man," his panache for accessories evidenced by his neckerchief, and most convincingly, the aptly named special room…obviously, Biff Buzby is the missing member of the village people. I always knew a pilot belonged with that group.
I will say that after all that writing, we were famished.
Burgers – 7.5
While there could have been a slightly greasier patty (maybe they use the George Forman Grill), the bun really sets the burger apart. The rest of the crew had the same thought…
Hamburglar - Nicely seasoned burger with a surprisingly sweet bun. A little lacking in the juiciness department, but that’s one of its only flaws.
Fry Daddy - Maintaining the right proportions is critical to making a good burger. The bun can’t overpower the meat, and the fixings and condiments have to be integral parts of the burger and not just afterthoughts. Thankfully, Biff Buzby’s understands these cardinal rules of burgerdom. The 8 oz. patty on my burger was just right – thick but not too thick, a little pink in the middle, and seasoned to perfection. The bun was fluffy and slightly sweet, in the tradition of Fatty’s, but did not mask the flavor of the ground beef. My burger also came with plenty of lettuce, tomato and pickle (Buzby’s held the onion, at my request) and just the right amount of mayo and mustard (to which I added some ketchup, which I expect will deeply offend burger elitists everywhere).
Sides – 7.5
Here again, Biff’s performs well. While I usually take offense to establishments who fail to include tator tots on the menu, I made an exception for Biff’s since instead, they have homemade potato chips as an option in addition to the usual fries and onion rings. Plus, all patrons receive a small side of pinto beans too, and we at sanantonioburger.com love our freebees.
Hamburglar - Onion rings were great, but the steak fries left something to be desired (I’m not a big steak fry fan). The lack of tater tots was disappointing, but the home made potato chips were a nice tasty surprise and made up for the missing tots.
Fry Daddy - My favorite of Biff Buzby’s sides offerings were the onion rings, which were thin and crunchy. The homemade potato chips deserve an honorable mention, while the fries were fairly standard steak fries.
Ambience – 6.5
As mentioned previously, the ambience is a nice change of pace from your typical burger junk thrown on the walls. The planes were a nice touch and really give you a feel of a fun family restaurant. My colleagues agreed.
Fry Daddy – I wasn’t digging the whole strip mall vibe when we arrived at Biff Buzby’s, but once seated I began to appreciate the ambience more. Buzby’s scores points for thematic consistency, and once I sunk my teeth into my burger I couldn’t have cared less about ambience.
Hamburglar - Who is Biff Buzby? I think he is a man with the ability to turn a strip center burger joint into a unique restaurant/airplane hangar on the inside. The airplane décor on the inside was a nice change of pace from the usual burger joint flare, and I’m sure it is a big hit with the little tots.
In the end, Biff Buzby’s has a great burger, reasonably priced food, and friendly service. I recommend stopping by if you’re in the area.