Review # 52 - Cullum's AttaBoy

Posted by Fry Daddy | | Posted On Wednesday, December 7, 2011 at 2:13 PM

Cullum’s AttaBoy isn’t a burger joint. In fact, it’s not any kind of joint. Sometimes materializing in downtown San Antonio in the form of a converted Airstream trailer, at other times setting up shop at Tucker’s Kozy Korner on E. Houston Street, Cullum’s AttaBoy is more of a burger lifeforce that sweeps around San Antonio, latching at times onto unsuspecting people and inanimate objects and filling them with delicious greasy goodness.

On a recent sunny afternoon in a park downtown, our group of bloggers became temporary hosts to the AttaBoy lifeforce. Lining up outside of the trailer, we took turns ducking our heads under a string of colorful flags advertising alcohol to give our orders to the heavily tattooed cook. As we waited, the smell of our cooking burgers mingled with the wonderland of odors that is a downtown park. It was a magical moment.

Cullum’s offers a variety of burger options, as well as sweet potato and regular fries. Here’s our take:

Burger – 7.5

In my opinion, the Cullum’s burger is DYN-O-MITE. The meat, cooked medium to medium well, was well-seasoned (specifically, it had a distinct peppery flavor, although that may have been partly due to the bacon). Cheddar, thinly sliced onions, thick bacon and a delicious (flax seed?) bun all contributed to a satisfying experience. This burger is JUICY, so anyone afraid to get their hands dirty will want to stay away.

Here’s what other reviewers had to say:

Hamburglar – A great burger pumped out from a converted Airstream in downtown San Antonio, who would have thunk it? The burger was exquisitely greasy and juicy with a fantastically toasted bun to boot. The cheese was perfectly melted via the chef’s special technique, which resulted in a patty that was perfectly covered with cheese. I guess one word sums it up –AttaBoy!

WTB – Liked the “hipster” choices on the menu. Mine had some kind of onion-bacon marmalade. Great bun, toasted and buttery. Very greasy, but I view that as a positive.

Burger Boy – The burger was an absolute grease-fest. And I liked it. I also gave this burger an extra bump for having a fried egg on it (i.e., the “bird on a bun”).

The burger had one detractor – Flying Dutchman (a.k.a., Negative Nancy) – whose general disdain for all things wholesome and good has finally tainted his ability to appreciate a delicious burger. Upon finishing his burger, he commented in disgust, “Much like the women Hamburglar dated in college, this burger was greasy and there was nothing special about it. Unlike the women Hamburglar dated in college, this Burger was expensive.” After saying this, he left the picnic table on which we were seated to go and try to buy drugs off a nearby park-dweller.

Sides – 5.0

The sides got mixed ratings from our group. The tempura fried sweet potato fries looked oddly familiar but didn’t quite do it for me, although Hamburglar and Where’s the Beef liked them. The regular fries received only lukewarm reviews.

Here’s an overview of the comments:

Hamburglar – I was impressed with the tempura style sweet potato fries that resulted in a unique taste somewhere between a funnel cake and a French fry. Unfortunately, the regular fries were fairly ordinary.

WTB – This place succeeded where Bunsen Burgers failed – tempura-coated sweet potato fries. They were excellent, but also very greasy. The regular fries were pretty good too. Had some kind of different seasoning on them – nutmeg perhaps?

Flying Nancy – I ordered the regular fries and they were entirely tasteless. They lacked salt and flavor, but compensated with calories. I also tried the sweet potato fries, but even these were only marginally better.

Burger Boy – The fries were tempura-style. I must confess that I don’t like tempura fries. This was my second encounter with them (Bunsen Burgers being the first), and the situation hasn’t improved. They always seem to need more flavor (my code word for “salt and pepper”). Since condiments were scarce (we each got 1 or 2 packets of ketchup), there wasn’t much I could do to improve the fries myself.

Ambiance – N/A

Since AttaBoy isn’t exactly a restaurant (we ate on a dirty park bench near the trailer), it doesn’t seem appropriate to give it a separate rating for ambiance. As Burger Boy put it, “This burger is prepared and served from a gulfstream trailer that had alighted during our lunch by a park downtown. Since we ate with a number of other folks who weren’t working (and from the looks of things, hadn’t worked in a while), I don’t feel right giving a rating for ambiance – though the cigarette butts and Q-Tips strewn around under our park bench were a nice touch.”

While most bloggers were willing to adjust to the atypical locale and seating arrangements, Nancy the Flying Dutchgirl felt it necessary to air some grievances: “I get that it’s a food truck, but it’s inconveniently located near a park and adjoining hospital. Your seating options are limited (we were fortunately able to snag a picnic table).” After saying this, he punched out an elderly man who was walking by with his dog.

Overall, AttaBoy left us (or those of us not already deeply entrenched in a pattern of negativism and self-destructive behavior) happy and our bellies full. So next time you see a trailer pull up next to a park downtown and you smell tantalizing odors coming from inside (and you verify that it is not just a mobile meth lab), pull up a park bench and treat yourself to the delicious goodness of Cullum’s AttaBoy.

NOTE TO THE READER: A few things about AttaBoy were vaguely familiar to those of us who have been part of the SABB since its inception – the tempura sweet potato fries, the homemade buns adorned with an indeterminate variety of seed, the bearded head chef inside the trailer.

It was only upon our return that we chanced upon an article on (in particular, photo #2 and the accompanying text).

Yes, San Antonio, AttaBoy is the phoenix that rose from the ashes of Bunsen Burgers. While the move from a prime retail strip mall location to an old trailer may seem like a step in the wrong direction, it appears to the SABB that AttaBoy is better for the experience – wiser, more mature, and – let’s be honest – a whole lot more delicious. While SABB stands 100% behind its previous review of Bunsen Burgers, we bear its former proprietor no ill will and are delighted to partake in the tasty results of his new venture. All we can say now is: AttaBoy, Cullum. AttaBoy.


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