Review #44 - K Burger

Posted by Fry Daddy | | Posted On Monday, January 11, 2010 at 2:30 PM

K Burger, located at 2456 Harry Wurzbach, has occupied an inconspicuous spot near the bottom of our list of as yet unreviewed San Antonio burger joints for a few months, and until recently we at the San Antonio Burger Blog knew next to nothing about it. When a little online research turned up the fact that the “K” in K Burger stands for Korean, this relatively new burger joint shot to the top of our must-try list.

It should come as no surprise that San Antonio’s diverse cultural climate has produced a wide assortment of burger options. Of course, many of these, such as Chris Madrid’s Flaming Jalapeno and Tostada Burgers, are inspired by Mexican culture and cuisine. While you don’t have to look hard in San Antonio if you want beans, jalapenos or guacamole on your burger, on our city-wide burger search we have also encountered other imported burger concepts, such as Gourmet Burger Grill’s Caprese and Tropical Burgers and Bobby J’s Bavarian Pattie Melt. However, before setting foot in K Burger, we had not yet experienced an Asian, and more specifically a Korean, burger.

Burger – 6.5 out of 10

K Burger’s signature burger is . . . (drum roll) . . . the K Burger. K Burgers can be ordered in beef, chicken or pork, but what really makes a K Burger a K Burger is a special sauce known as bulgogi, which to untrained tastebuds (like mine) tastes a lot like teriyaki. As Where’s the Beef (who shall henceforth be stripped of his Italian heritage and known only as Where’s the Bulgogi) astutely informed the rest of us, bulgogi is more typically used to prepare a kind of Korean barbecue (a fact confirmed by that most authoritative of all sources, Wikipedia). K Burger also offers a spicy burger (available in beef, chicken or pork), as well as a traditional American beef hamburger.

In order to maintain some basis for comparison with other burger joints, we all opted for beef hamburgers, some of us ordering K Burgers and others ordering American burgers. Wanting to try both variations, Hamburglar and I shared a K Burger and an American burger with each other, thus subjecting ourselves to ridicule from the group.

K Burger claims that all meat is ground onsite. The meat did taste fresh and the patties were generously sized, but those who ordered American burgers noted that they still had a tinge of the bulgogi flavor, probably as a result of being cooked on the same griddle as the K Burgers.

Reviews of the K Burgers were mixed. While Burger Boy stated that he “was not disappointed with the exotic Asian flavorings,” Where’s the Bulgogi was less enthusiastic: “I like the Korean-American fusion idea, but some things just don’t work that well together. Korean BBQ seasoning and American style hamburgers are two of those things.”

On a positive note, everyone liked being able to customize their burgers at K Burger’s topping bar, pictured below.

Sides – 5 out of 10

All agreed that the onion rings at K Burger were off. Hamburglar thought they were undercooked, while Where’s the Bulgogi found them to be “simply atrocious.” Personally, I fear that the onion rings were not the work of K Burger at all, but were rather part of a plot by the North Koreans to punish K Burger for taking part in the great failed capitalist experiment.

Happily, though, democracy and free enterprise carried the day, and all thoughts of the abysmal onion rings were put aside when we tried K Burger’s tasty french fries, which were obviously fresh fried from hand-cut potato slices.

K Burger also offers egg rolls as a side – nice in concept but, according to Where’s the Bulgogi, who ordered one, lacking in execution.

I should note, however, that we found the soup (which was offered free as part of a special on the day we visited) to be quite tasty.

Ambience – 4.5 out of 10

K Burger’s ambience, like to some degree its burgers and sides, suffers from a failed attempt to unite Eastern and Western cultural forces in an appealing way. Burger Boy, in his usual succinct fashion, put it best: “This restaurant was an odd combination of burger joint style dive and Asian restaurant.” Clearly, yin yang, the Taoist concept of complementary opposites, is not operative when it comes to burger joints. (Okay, I know I’m applying a Chinese concept to a Korean restaurant, but you get the idea.)

I’m really not sure whether to add or deduct points for K Burger’s children’s play area, pictured below.

Price – Good

Burger Boy (who is a royal cheapskate) gave K Burger bonus points for price, primarily “because of the plethora of ways this restaurant gives you to trim your bill. Mention Yelp, get $1.00 off your combo. Ask for soup, receive a free bowl of soup. Ask for cheese and get it free. Ask for more fries and receive them free. Basically, if you know what to ask for, there’s a good chance it is free.”

Although mildly bewildered by some of what we found at K Burger, in the end we couldn’t help leaving with an overall positive impression of this little burger joint that could (or, at least, really tries to). While to some extent K Burger’s unique concept gets lost in translation, this atypical burger joint is still worth a visit.


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