More Burgers Near Downtown

Oct 6th, 2011 | By | Category: Central/Downtown, Featured Articles, Food

All of these burger joints are within easy reach of downtown San Antonio.

Most locals in San Antonio will know about places like Chris Madrid’s, Chester’s and Hard Rock Cafe, but there are some other burger joints worth checking out that are easy to get to from your downtown hotel.

Timbo’s

Long ago, there was a burger joint on McCullough called “Little Hipp’s”. This place was fantastic, but when the owner Dick Hipp passed away in 2002, the restaurant that fed hundreds of thousands of people big fat burgers closed down. The building now houses “Armadillo’s” that boasts 3lb. burgers–but we haven’t tried that yet. That review will come soon. The end of “Little Hipp’s”, however meant the launch of Timbo’s near the Pearl Brewery. Timbo’s is owned by ‘Timbo’ and Teresa Lang, who both worked at Little Hipp’s for years.

 

The atmosphere is an attempt to recreate Little Hipp’s with stuff and old signs hanging from the walls and ceiling. Timbo’s is a lot brighter because Little Hipp’s did not have windows as I remember. I am not sure whether this makes Timbo’s any more cheery. The server was efficient and I didn’t have to wait too long for my food.

The Mini Yellow Submarine From Timbo's

My visit to Timbo’s was in the late afternoon, when I knew the place would not be crowded and the cook would not have a whole bunch of orders to fill. I ordered the ‘mini-yellow submarine’ for $7.50. This is a smaller version of the ‘yellow submarine’ that is hamburger stuffed with jalapenos, onions and cheese.

While this burger was thoroughly cooked, I am not convinced that stuffing a burger is a good idea. While the onions and jalapenos were sauteed beforehand, the cheese was melted inside the burger during the broiling. I thought it was, well, chalky tasting. It did not taste like cheese that normally comes on top of a burger.

This is probably a gimmick that old Timbo should put to bed sooner rather than later, especially since he has such a great reputation for other items on the menu.

Timbo’s is located (officially) at 1639 Broadway, San Antonio, Texas, 78215. If you’re a newcomer, you’ll want to use the google map because Timbo’s is tucked away off the main road in towards Pearl Parkway.


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Luther’s Cafe

This place is an old gas station converted into a burger joint. It’s been a landmark for years. It was originally owned by a guy named Luther. He’s dead now. The new owners have embraced the flavor of the neighborhood. Read the menu and history and you’ll understand completely.

They haven’t received the best of reviews over at Urbanspoon and Citysearch, but I try to keep an open mind. I always visit places like this in the late afternoon, after the rush and before the dinner and bar crowds arrive. I know the cook will not have a lot of distractions at this time of day. From what I understand, the place has a great atmosphere at night with lots of ‘activities’ in which to participate. This is a fairly lively area of the city at night.

My waiter was a rather cheerful fellow named Sal, who is apparently a massage therapist in another life. I sent him this picture and he liked it. As I waited for my burger I was allowed to take photographs of the place and the crowd. They all seemed to be enjoying themselves and their food. I ordered the special of the day–the pizzaburger. This burger was not stuffed like a pizza, it was topped like a pizza. I got fries with the burger this time. I’m not often thrilled with fries, but these were good.

I am sure there must be some marketing or money reason why burger joints come up with these specialty burgers. I came away not being any more of a fan of the ‘pizza burger’ than I am of the ‘mini-yellow submarine’.  The burger this time was a little over done. It had pizza sauce and mozzarella cheese on top of the patty. Taste? It tasted like an overdone burger with pizza sauce and mozzarella on it. On a bun. You don’t need an imagination. Luther’s menu does have “stew” on it. Maybe next time.

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Big Bob’s Burgers

Robert Riddle used to have a location on Harry Wurzbach, but he closed it and has opened Big Bob’s Burgers at 447 Hildebrand just west of San Pedro Avenue. He’s next door to a new Papa Murphy’s Pizza location. The strip used to be full of what I considered to be nondescript and uninviting businesses. I could never understand how those folks stayed in business as long as they did.  When we’ve driven by the place together, my wife said the sign out front looks likes “Big Boobs Burgers”–one can dream. My first thought was that it would be a lousy location to put a burger joint–but lots of folks shop for antiques, trinkets and knick-knacks along that part of Hildebrand and this may be just the place to stop for a burger and a beer.  It was, again, a late afternoon and this time I didn’t order some specialty burger–just the standard quarter pound cheeseburger.

 

The waitress was engaging and efficient and I didn’t have to wait long for my food to arrive. It was very appetizingly presented. The burger was a little on the dry side and the veggies a little too shredded for my liking–but there were a lot of them and I skipped the fries this time. There was a nice chunk of cheddar on the burger that seemed to really enhance the patty. I don’t think the beef was hand-pattied, but you never know. Looking at the photo, the bun looks a little burnt, but I didn’t notice at the time.

The restaurant itself was very clean and well kept, although galvalume as decor is getting a little old. There is an outdoor patio coming from what I understand, and there couldn’t be a better month than October for that to happen. After all, October is one of the better months to visit San Antonio. Bob’s has other stuff on the menu: hot dogs, coney dogs, grilled chicken sandwiches, wings and the other usual suspects–nothing unpredictable.

Bob’s on Harry Wurzbach had regulars and some of them are stopping by the new location. Most of the folks who were there when I visited seemed to be happy with the food, service and the general atmosphere of Bob’s. Some folks seemed to linger on chatting well after they’d finished their food as they added an additional beer to the tab. I may be mistaken, but I think I overheard live music coming? I’m open to correction, but for the neighborhood that may not be a bad idea at all. Bob’s is open til midnight Friday and Saturday nights.


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