Most burger joints you’re bound to hit in San Antonio are low key. They offer that “Friday Night feeling” of burgers and fries with your pals, hardly bringing to mind the image of crowds cheering on a single red-faced customer. Most don’t have any prior celebrity attached to their menu other than the local favorites you see here and there. This is where Chunky’s Burgers & More blows the competition away. Located off Callaghan Rd., the restaurant has been serving monster-sized burgers since ’04 and has gained fame and a new fan base from their recent TV spot on Man vs. Food, thanks in whole to its now-famous “Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse” Burger Challenge.
Originally brought onto the menu to one-up customers who wanted something a little spicier, the “Four Horsemen” Burger might be the only thing between two buns hot enough to burn a hole through cement. Topped with the four hottest peppers on earth (the jalapeno, serrano, a habanero sauce, and the infamous ghost chili), customers who order one must down it in 25 minutes then wait another 5 minutes until they are able to alleviate the torment with a glass of cold milk. For your efforts, the meal is free and your picture is slapped on the justly-named “Wall of Flame”. As Man vs. Food host Adam Richman admonished, “This burger is more than spicy; it’s diabolical.”
Now, to me, any burger that offers a “chunk bucket” as an amenity is a burger best left for another day, so I didn’t try the Four Horsemen. What I was treated to by owner Joey Prado and his fantastic cooks were four items just as memorable albeit a little (OK, a lot) less spicy.
First thing served to me were the Fried Pickles. Battered and served with a creamy buttermilk ranch dip, they were were an excellent start, especially with a tall glass of pink lemonade. As I sat on the outside patio, I began to admire the nostalgic summer atmosphere of Chunky’s. Relaxed, hearty and inviting.
A basket of Chunky’s own Garlic Parmesean Fries was brought personally from the kitchen by cook Han Bessey. This dish, as Bessey explained, was concocted by owner Prado. “A real crowd-pleaser,” he continued, “this is a must-have everytime you stop by Chunky’s.” I cannot disagree nor would I want to.
Next up was my favorite of the bunch: The Tejas Burger. This burger is one of the finest in San Antonio, guaranteed. Featuring a small heap of slow-cooked brisket, onion rings and signature Chunky’s BBQ Sauce, this two-pattied masterpiece is the perfect blend of ingredients that compliment each other. Even as I bit into it, my mouth watered.
In spite of how full I was, somehow I moved on to my last sample, the restaurant’s namesake: The Big Chunk. If you’re looking for the more traditional type burger experience, the Big Chunk is the way to go. Topped with the house’s own blend of cheddar-infused “Chunk Cheese,” the Big Chunk got better and better with each labored bite. I say labored because the patty on this bad boy weighs in at a half a pound. The burger is served with your usual accoutrements—lettuce, tomatoes, mustard, mayo—along with a helping of crispy bacon.
Chunky’s is the place to go if you’re in the mood for the freshest—and biggest—burgers that this town has to offer. And if you’re going for the sole purpose of tackling the Four Horsemen, I consider you a brave individual.
Please note that Chunky’s provided Alex his meal on the house.
Chunky’s Burgers, 4602 Callaghan Rd, San Antonio, TX 78228, (210) 433-9960