Review #24: Chris Madrid's - San Antonio, Texas

I know my next review is going to make a lot of people happy. Chris Madrid's is one of those places for which I received TONS of review requests from readers. I have to be honest, I was hesitant to make the drive to San Antonio for Madrid's because they have a website. (www.ChrisMadrids.com) Typically mom and pop burger joints don't have the funds or the know how for a website... and after looking at the site, I thought Chris Madrid's might be an upscale joint. Nothing is worse to me than a mom and pop burger joint that is all fancied up to look like a chain burger joint. Well... suffice it to say that as I turned off the interstate into Madrid's neighborhood... those worries started to subside. When I actually saw the physical building... all worries of this being a chain burger joint wannabe disappeared completely. I am happy to say I was equally impressed with the burger I was served at Chris Madrid's. All in all - this place has all the right stuff....

IMPORTANT: If you haven't already, please read the Texas Burger Guy terminology post. That will help you understand the terminology I use in this review.

Chris Madrid's Cheeseburger
Every good burger joint has a loyal following. These people come in frequently and as a result, they know "the drill". The drill includes things like where, how, and what to order, favorite places to sit, etc. When I walked into Chris Madrid's, I could feel the looks from people because they could tell I didn't know the drill. In fact, it took me a few minutes to figure out exactly where the front of the place was to order. I tracked a lady that came in a different door for me and followed her to the place to order your food. Along the way I was soaking up the atmosphere in this place... and it was awesome. You want character? Chris Madrid's has got character deluxe. I knew that a place with this much character in the restaurant itself had to have a fantastic burger to go with it... boy was I right?!?! This is how I see the Chris Madrid's Cheeseburger ranking in the TexasBurgerGuy categories:

Oooze Factor
The first thing I noticed when I went and picked up my burger was the shine coming off the bun. I thought if the bun was shining... surely the meat was equally shiny. I opened the buns and lo and behold I saw a really shiny and ooozy patty. After the first bite, I saw ooozy drippings coming from the burger as well. Add to that the yellow paper that was made transparent from the oooze and this cheeseburger scores really high on Oooze Factor....
Oooze Factor Rating: 9

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Herd Killer
I'm really kicking myself for not taking another picture of this beauty. The patty was hanging out the sides of the bun. The patty was big but not so thick that it wasn't cooked all the way through. I really enjoyed the size and flavor of the meat. It was not so big that a entire herd was thinned out for this burger but suffice it to say some Bessies didn't come home because Madrid got his hands on them...
Herd Killer Rating: 9

The Cheeseburger was nice and big. It wasn't as hard to handle as some other burgers I have eaten, but it was still pretty big... a 2 hander all the way.
Handling Rating: 7

Bling Bling
I paid 5.25 for the Macho sized Cheeseburger. That seems like an OK price considering the size of the burger. However, I really wish it came with fries. The fries were a separate item all together. Once you add in a Macho size fries with the burger... you are approaching 8.50 which is a bit much for a burger and fries in my opinion. BUT... I did leave there hating life because I was so full... And I was also very happy with the meal I just ate.
Bling Bling Rating: 6

Now for the great equalizer among the TBG categories... the infamous Gravedigger category. It occured to me as I was taking one of my last bites of the burger that if given the opportunity to eat one of these burgers day after day - I would definitely be taking some days off my life. The grease pooling up on the yellow paper reinforced this thought. The shine from the bun, the shine from the fries, the shine from the patty.... all these images still haunt me well after I put that burger in my belly. I can honestly say I left just a little scared for my life.
Gravedigger Rating: 7 Shovels

Overall Chris Madrid's Cheeseburger Rating: 8

Restaurant Review

Chris Madrid's Menu
One of the things I love about mom and pop burger joints is that they have the freedom to develop their own custom burgers. You could never go to Chili's and order a "Porky's Delight" or a "Squealer". Those burgers can only be found on the menu at a mom and pop place. Chris Madrid's has a few of these specialty burgers on their menu. One of the requests I received from a reader asked me to try the "Cheddar Cheezy" burger. Since I try and order the same burger at every burger joint, I went ahead and had the regular cheeseburger. But - Mrs TexasBurgerGuy tried the Cheddar Cheezy and I got a few bites of it as well. It was EXCELLENT. (see the picture below) WHEN we go back - I am getting one of those bad boys for myself.... We also ordered some nachos - again off a recommendation from a reader. They were excellent! The kids will eat just plain cheese nachos. I was pleased with how crisp the chips stayed even after having been saturated in grease from the cheese that covered every inch of the chip. Highly recommend the nachos! Also - the fries are the natural cut variety which are awesome! A must have in my opinion... All in all - everything we tried at Chris Madrid's was excellent!

Link to the Chris Madrid's Menu: Link

Chris Madrid's Cheddar Cheezy Burger, Fries, and Nachos

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When we arrived at Chris Madrid's, it was at the end of a pretty long drive from Houston to San Antonio. The drive up to the restaurant is always a moment filled with much anticipation as I wait to see if my TBG readers made a bad recommendation. What we found was a textbook example of a mom and pop burger joint. Chris Madrid's had it all. Very nice and helpful waitstaff, extremely unique atmosphere which means lots of character... good menu... great food... the list went on and on. One thing that stands out in my mind is how it looks like they have added on a few times to the original building. That means they have established a presence in the neighborhood and instead of picking up and moving - they just keep adding additional room to the building. The floor is uneven which is awesome. They have a nice outdoor area. (see picture below) You can purchase Madrid's T-Shirts and look around at all the regulars that have left autographed shirts on the walls. Its quite a site and one that I thoroughly enjoyed. We will be back...

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Exit I-10 on Hildebrand Ave - go east. Take a right on Blanco. Madrid's will be on your left.

1900 Blanco Road (Blanco & Hollywood)
San Antonio, Tx. USA 78212
(210) 735-3552

Chris Madrid's Map

TBG Overall Rating
One of the readers that submitted Chris Madrid's for a review said that if I would go, they would guarantee that Madrid's would be in my Top 5. Well... I went into it very skeptical, but I came out a big fan of Chris Madrid's. This place has it all... I REALLY enjoyed it! I HIGHLY recommend Chris Madrid's if you are in the San Antonio area and in the mood for a good burger!!!

Overall TBG Rating for Chris Madrid's: 9


At 1:52 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

OMG!! When I lived in San Antonio, Chris Madrid's was like burger mecca. The Macho used to be so big that it was hard to finish, so maybe they've downsized since the 80s, when I lived there.

Also great is Luther's Cafe on Main St. Actually, I preferred it at the time. It was run by a coupla guys who looked like bikers, but dang, they knew their burgers.

At 7:27 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wow! Just stumbled on to this blog (Gogling info on Mel's in Tomball.) Chris Madrid's absolutley rocks!! That's one of the biggest things I miss about leaving San Antonio 20 years ago! Nothing better than a Friday after work, grabbing an ice cold beer and a Macho! I'm going to have to put them on my list for my next trip over to SA.

At 6:36 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I get together twice a year with 5 guys from my wedding party for a “boys weekend.” This last weekend we gathered in San Antonio. One of our "traditions" is to eat local or ethnic in each city. At the advice of my boss (a true blue, lone star Texan), I was directed to the TBG with a recommendation to try Chris Madrid's. It was everything promised and more. While in line, we met several couples from other states that were on return pilgrimages (impressive and a very good sign). When I was debating which burger to get, a local in line with me suggested to that I go “half & half” with one of my buddies so I could try both. I was an outstanding call! Great burger, good time! And with thanks to my boss and the TBG, my friends accorded me Food-Stud status for the weekend.

At 10:11 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I happened upon this site as I was checking reviews for Chris Madrids. I wanted to send one to some friends up north and this is a really good review of the place I frequented so long ago when I was going to Trinity. It was much smaller back then. This place was definitely burger heaven. It's too bad Carlos isn't around anymore or his mom for that matter. They made you feel so at home all the time.

At 7:56 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Just ate here last night with some co-workers. I got the Tostada burger. It comes dressed with chips, refried beans, tomatoes and cheese. It was pretty tasty. Very messy. These were unlike any burgers I had ever had. Very, very good.

On a side note, a friend at work and myself have begun rating hamburgers around houston and love looking here for a reference point.

At 9:31 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I love this blog!

I live in San Antonio, and Madrid's is definitely in my Top 3. The problem with Madrid's is the long lines, the extra charge for sides, and extra charge for refills. If you are going to serve that much food, you got to have something to wash it down with.

The last time I went to Madrid's, it was a bit of a disaapointment, though not terrible by any means. Honestly, the best SA burger I have had was a Chester's chesseburger on poppyseed roll. Chester's probably isn't the Mom/Pop that the Burger Guy would like, but it is a small operation and their product absolutely delivers.

Also, I came across some great burgers at Lucky's in SA (NW Military at West) and at the Honey Creek Cafe on Hwy 46 near Bergheim, Texas.

Great site and you are dead on about Madrid's. Do the muy macho; do the jalopenos; do the cheddar cheesy - and you will leave happy.

At 3:13 AM, Blogger Aquaria said...

Funny, when I've been at Chris Madrid's this past year (after not going for a while after my initial visit in 1999), they had a refill bar for drinks (main dining room), and you could load up on all the salsa type stuff you wanted in the order area.

I've lived all over the Western U.S. and this is bar none the best hamburger I've ever had. Yeah, you're digging your grave pretty fast if you eat there every day, but there are enough restaurants in San Antonio to keep you alive longer.

Okay, that's only true if you can stay away from the Tex-Mex, but to even think that is blasphemy.

At 3:16 AM, Blogger Aquaria said...

Oh, and I don't like Chester's. Their burgers are too thick, too smoky tasting or charred or something, and they're pretentious, like they're trying too hard to be a great burger. Hate the atmosphere (too cramped and loud) and the staff isn't very friendly sometimes.

Just my take on the place.

At 8:47 PM, Blogger Unknown said...

A classic mom and pop is Lord's Kitchen in San Antonio. I do love a macho cheddar cheezy though. Big'z is a great (fancy) joint and Bobby J's is delicious. San Antonio isn't hurting for good burger places for sure!

At 12:58 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ate there last Friday and was a bit disappointed. The cheddar cheezy was just okay, not bad not great. It is an interesting place to eat for sure, great atmosphere and a bit crowded, but they get the food out pretty quick. I will try it again next time I'm in SA, but will order a different burger next time.

At 11:20 AM, Blogger fastpitch said...

Disappointed with Chris Madrids. The burger was okay, not bad, not great. It is an interesting place for sure, crowded, but a great atmosphere.

At 9:27 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

i was very excited to try madrids as my cousin and friend highley recommended it. sadly i was dissapointed =0( the fries seemed like they had been sitting out for a few hours, very dry with no flavor. the burger was pretty good but not great. El Paso,Tx has 2 burger joints that would easily trump this san antonio mecca. Roscos and Friscos. just my opinion. but if you do make a wrong turn and end up in Hell Paso please visit 1 of those 2 burger joints.

At 6:38 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Just ate there yesterday afternoon and I'm still full. I ordered the Cheesy Cheeseburger w/0 mustard and onions. The burger was good well above average. I liked the shredded lettuce and diced tomatoes instead of the slice you usally get. Fries were fries nothing special. Overall a B+. The best burger I ever ate was at the Original Fuddruckers.

At 1:12 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

We live in New Mexico, so when we go to San Antonio that's the first place we want to go eat at Chris Madrid's we love the Macho Cheese Burger.SEE YOU SOON!

At 8:24 PM, Blogger Jaunna said...

Tried Chris Madrids tonite. YUM. The tostada burger was amazing!

At 2:07 PM, Anonymous Ex-San Antonian said...

Honestly, Chris Madrid's isn't the best burger joint in San Antonio. It's probably the most overrated burger in town, but certainly not the best. I'd personally say that honor goes to Cheesy Jane's off of Hildebrand. That place knows how to make good burgers and fries.

At 12:27 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I eat at Chris Madrid's at least twice a month. My rehearsal dinner was there.
I love the place and Fudruckers too.
I am sorry to hear of the loss of Chris Madrid. He will bemissed


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