After a little time off traveling aimlessly around the Southwest, I’m finally back to blogging. And you know if I’m coming back after a long absence that I am going to have to visit either a Mexican food or burger joint. For this return post, I went with a friend who recently discovered a good spot to get a hamburger and fries, Big Bob’s Burgers.
Now, make no bones about it, this is a burger joint through and through. If you are a person that expects a Red Robin type of atmosphere, then don’t bother showing up. This joint is a dive (as all good burger places should be) and as you know, I love this type of atmosphere: low ceilings, shirts and ephemera on the walls, cold beer, and, of course, Big Bob himself.
You can get a lunch special for about $7.50 (with tax) that includes a cheeseburger, fries, and a drink. Not too shabby for a lunch plate and you won’t be disappointed with the quantity of food you get. I found the fries to be some of the best in the city. They were crispy, hot, and well seasoned. Also, Big Bob’s Burgers will give you a side of Ranch to dip those fries in without nickle and diming you for it. The fries are alone worth the price of admission.
I ordered my burger with everything on it along with mustard and mayo; you can choose between three types of cheese and I opted for American. Now, I don’t know if it was a mistake or if it is included as part of “everything” but somehow I got bacon on that burger. I would double check with your server to see if bacon comes as a default, and if not, go ahead and throw it on the burger! It’s crispy (like bacon should be instead of that limp stuff at fast food restaurants) and adds a nice bit of grease/gristle to the burger.
I think that the bacon is important because Big Bob’s hamburger is not all that greasy. I know people have their preferences, and while I tend to favor greasy burgers, I was happy with the flavor of the Big Bob hamburger patty. You could tell there was some seasoning on it that I am sure is a house secret.
Finally, I would be remiss not to talk about the service. Initially, Big Bob was not behind the register (my friend told me that he typically is there to talk with everyone), but the girl working there was very nice and friendly. I later saw Big Bob show up and sit down at a table with an older gentlemen. The older man brought out a bag with fries and a burger which they proceeded to half and share. I thought that this was strange until I realized what was going on — they were doing competitive research to help fine tune their own product. To me, that is awesome that Big Bob is staying abreast of his competitors and constantly trying to improve his product.
As my buddy and I were leaving, Big Bob asked if we liked the food and if everything was all right. Now, I know that a lot of GMs/owners do this at restaurants, but it felt different coming from him; you could tell that he was keenly interested in what we thought, and I guarantee you that if we had a problem he would have immediately found a way to remedy it. That level of service and interest in his customers is enough to keep me coming back. The fries are just the icing on the cake.
Value: 8.5/10 (You are looking at $7.50 for a complete lunch; you will notice that my perspective on value is beginning to change as the expectation of a “five dollar lunch” is fast changing – I need to write an article about this soon…)
Atmosphere: 10/10 (complete dive and I love it; you know it is a good spot where you see a lot of our men and women in uniform stopping by for lunch as well)
Service: 10/10 (super nice service and I really value how the owner takes not only a keen interest in his customers, but also a huge interest in his product to the point that he is conducting competitor analysis/research)
Taste: 8.5/10 (the burger is nice, but what really steals the show are the fries!)
Note: Big Bob’s has moved from their old location on Harry Wurzbach to a new location on Hildebrand in between I-10 and 281.