Sam’s Burger Joint is one of those places in San Antonio that most everyone has seen or visited. Located right off of highway 281 before you hit downtown, Sam’s is smack in the thick of things with the Pearl Brewery development. Additionally, this is one of the places to hear live (non cover) music in town as they pull in many local, regional, and national acts.
The atmosphere at Sam’s is pretty cool; you do feel as though you are in a dive diner. One of my favorite features is the license plates on the cieling from all over the country.
I ordered the special, a half pound Old Fashioned burger with a drink and substituted onion rings for fries (some of my friends got the fries). The special was billed at $7.50, but my ticket came out to $9.15 with the substitution and tax; with tip it was a $10 meal.
First the good. The burgers are branded with “SAM’S” on the bun; have to give them some points for creativity. The onion rings were pretty solid too, having a nice flavor and the fact that the batter held on as you ate it.
Unfortunately, the bad outweighed the good in my mind. For the $1 I was charged to upgrade to onion rings I received, literally, 5 onion rings. I know this because I shared one a piece with my two friends and had only three left. Extremely disappointing. The fries that I ate were lousy too; nothing really to write home about, and I wouldn’t be suprised if they were frozen.
The burger itself was not very good; it was kind of dry, thin, and didn’t have much flavor to it. As one of my friends stated, “Man, this used to be the place to go to when I was a kid; I don’t know what happened.” Neither do I; considering my meal was $10, I could not imagine taking a family a four to this burger joint and running up a $40 tab for a mediocre burger. I think that the meal is more in line with being $5, but even then, the burger wasn’t that great.
I would suggest that you continue to go to Sam’s for the concerts to support local and regional music, but maybe pick up something to eat beforehand.
Value: 4/10 (Couldn’t imagine spending more than $5 on my plate; I was gouged for $10)
Atmosphere: 8/10 (Cool atmosphere, especially the area for concerts, but man cannot eat on atmosphere alone)
Service: 8/10 (good service but limited interaction; they get the burgers out pretty quick)
Taste: 5/10 (Jules would not be happy with the tastiness of this burger, the fries were subpar though the onion rings (although there are few to an order) are delicious)