8.18.2007

Review #28: Wallbangers - Corpus Christi, Texas



Recently, I found myself in Corpus Christi on business. As I was checking into my hotel, my stomach started speaking to me. I glanced over to a rack of brochures. There, sitting on the rack was a brochure for a local mom and pop burger joint named Wallbangers. The name intrigued me and the pictures on this brochure intrigued me as well. It seemed like a good find but I wanted confirmation. I checked with a friend of mine who grew up in Corpus and he concurred. The hotel concierge also concurred. Wallbangers is a well known producer of big nasty burgers. That was it - my mission had been changed from visiting the original Whataburger (Corpus is where Whataburger was started) to visiting Wallbangers. In just a few short hours I wanted to find myself seated in the Wallbangers restaurant chowing down on some Corpus Christi bovine. It wasn't long after this that turned into the parking lot of Wallbangers. Nestled at the end of a strip center... Wallbangers was unusually busy for my 2:30 pm arrival. It was simple on the outside. Good sign. It was busy. Another good sign. It was recommended by the locals. Yet another good sign. Things were looking good but there is only one way to find out if Wallbangers is worthy of a good TBG review or if will go down as just another burger place.... let's eat!!!



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.

Wallbangers Cheeseburger Review
As I gazed upon the wall size Wallbangers menu, I quickly noticed how "custom burger" seemed to be the theme of this place. It smelled to me like a Fuddrucker's copy. One look to my left where I discovered the place where you dress up your burger (ala Fuddruckers) and I had cracked the code on this place. It was a Fuddruckers model. Now don't get me wrong - I LOVE Fuddruckers but Fuddruckers model works for Fuddruckers. I have been to 4 other burger joints that have desperately tried to perfect the Fuddrucker's experience but have sadly and in some cases WAY WAY missed the mark. Nevertheless - this was a new day and a new burger joint. I remained hopeful - although skeptical at the outcome of this experience. I loved the way the menu was laid out. You select your patty, how you want it cooked, your cheese, your sauce, and any add ons like bacon, mushrooms and jalapenos. It was all I could do to stick to ordering the standard TBG Cheeseburger for my review. My coworker ordered one of the "Stuffed Burger"... more on that later. I ordered onion rings and fries as well. Have to try it all out.


After a brief wait, my number was called and I made my way to the fixins bar where I dressed my burger up just the way I like it. Upon returning to my seat I looked at my coworkers burger and felt "Outwhataburgered". Man that thing was awesome looking. My burger didn't look all that shabby either. But... looks aren't everything... how would it rate???


Here is how I see the Wallbangers Cheeseburger ranking in the TBG categories:


Oooze Factor
Hidden underneath this monster homemade bun was the main course... my patty. It definitely had the shine going on from the oooze in it. I have seen many shiny burgers that ended up being dry inside the patty. This one turned out to be pretty good. I didn't have anything running down my arm - just an excess of trimmings I piled on the burger by mistake. Overall - about average oooze.
Oooze Factor Rating: 7


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Herd Killer
This burger would strike fear in many a cow's heart. It was nice and big. I knew I would have trouble getting it all in my stomach. The big question mark for me was would it have good flavor. After my experience at Arnold Burger in Amarillo - I am very aware that the bigger the patty - the more seasoning is needed to avoid a tasteless burger. Well - they didn't quite hit the mark as the patty was so big - it just didn't have a lot of flavor to it. The trimmings made up for some of it - but you can't really replace that sought after meat flavor. It was big - but just not as tasty as I like em.
Herd Killer Rating: 6


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Handling
Hands down a two handed burger. The patty itself should have its own Handling rating of 10 or 11.
Handling Rating: 7

Bling Bling
Given the amount of food you get complete with unlimited refills on your drink, I paid a good rice (don't have exact amount) for my burger. It was around 6 bucks for the burger combo. I wasn't too alarmed at the price.
Bling Bling Rating: 8



Gravedigger
Maybe not my burger - but my coworkers burger would receive a high Gravedigger rating. My burger was big and mean - just not as scary as some others that I have had. Maybe its me - but a Fuddruckers burger just doesn't scare me any which is what this burger reminded me of.
Gravedigger Rating: 5 Shovels




Overall - it was OK. I enjoyed the burger and the side items. I enjoyed the atmosphere more than the food I think. The Fuddruckers model works good for Fuddruckers. The burger was good - but not great. If you are in Corpus and have a hankerin' for a good homestyle burger - Wallbangers is a safe bet... just don't expect too much.


Overall Wallbangers Cheeseburger Rating: 6




Restaurant Review
One of the things that makes mom and pop burger joints great is their creative menus. Wallbangers had on their menu a "Stuffed Burger" which I had never seen before. I encouraged my coworker to get one of those things just to see what it's all about. His burger is shown below in the pictures. It looked like an explosion of meat, cheese, mushrooms and bacon. My heart ached at the site of it. After a few bites he commented that it was really good. Their onion rings were good. I always enjoy loading up my plate with melted cheddar cheese at Fuddruckers. Wouldn't you know it that Wallbangers also had melted cheddar cheese. I loaded up my plate and enjoyed their onion rings which to me were just OK. Nothing special. The fries were curly fries which I like. I bet if they had chili and cheese on the curly fries - they'd have a winner. If you like your heart and want to see your grandkids grow up - you also have the option of making your own salad at the 60 item all you an eat salad bar. The bar sits on its own 1 acre lot... or so it seems anyway...


"Stuffed Burger" with Mushrooms, Bacon and Swiss Cheese

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Heart Attack on a Plate

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Restaurant/Atmosphere
In a town known as the home of Whataburger, Wallbangers delivered an enjoyable experience. The inside of Wallbangers is cozy. They have high backed wooden booths around the perimeter and tables in the middle of the restaurant. Lots of tables. They also have video games which would make this a cool place to hang out if I had the time... All in all - the name Wallbangers is creative. The menu was creative. The atmosphere was just right. My only complaint was the burger was just so so and the Fuddruckers model that they were following. Besides that - its a great place. The staff was nice and extremely helpful. Great atmosphere!


Click to enlarge

Directions
Exit Staples Drive off South Padre Island Drive. Go south on Staples.


Address
4100 South Staples
Corpus Christi, TX
(361)855-8007

Map
Wallbangers Map

TBG Overall Rating
Wallbangers provided a good dining experience. I would have liked more flavor from my burger but I did get melted cheddar cheese with my onion rings so it wasn't a total loss! If I am ever back in Corpus I'll probably look for another place to try.

Overall TBG Rating for Wallbanger's: 7

22 Comments:

At 3:03 AM, Anonymous imelda said...

I worked here for a few months while in high school. I ate the salads because I don't eat meat but my husband likes the burgers.

 
At 3:48 PM, Anonymous Texas Blues said...

TBG...good review bro. Over at AHT they talk about a joint up north ala MN or WI where they have a burger with american cheese formed between 2 patties and then cooked. Called the Jucy Lucy. That's what I initially thought of upon seeing Wallbanger's stuffed burger. Can't wait for your Whataburger review!
Cheers

 
At 2:15 PM, Blogger Adam Ross said...

Man, that is a beautiful looking bun!

 
At 2:15 PM, Blogger Adam Ross said...

Man, that is a beautiful looking bun!

 
At 8:14 PM, Blogger Short Sale Real Estate said...

Now that's what I call a burger!

 
At 4:38 PM, Anonymous Bitsy said...

Wallbangers originally started in Lombard, IL in 1990. Granted, Fuddruckers was created in 1980. However, I'm not sure it made its way toward the Windy City until after Wallbangers initial conception.

 
At 7:22 AM, Anonymous Mandy said...

I love Wallbangers it is by far one of my favorite burger joints. Wallbangers was also here in Corpus way before Fuddruckers made its way here. I recommend you go there and try out their burgers whether the good old fashion burger or the stuffed burgers its all good!

 
At 9:47 PM, Anonymous Mrs D L Rose-Lydon said...

You've got to be kidding me! It was well established before I graduated in 1990 . . . I worked there, too. I lived in Corpus for 25 years and this is only one of the elite that I would recommend to ANYONE who has tastebuds. I came on the internet to find out if they had a site so that I could suggest them to The Food Network's 'Diners, Drive-Ins & Dives' and THIS is what I find? Whilst employed there we tried to franchise to another US city, but failed due to how unique we were. Let me add, we all wanted to go and try. This is nowhere near the over franchised Fud-what-ever(s)! Been there ~ YUCK that! I'm sorry your visit led me to this review of your #28. You might consider tyring again. And, while your at it, check out Land & Sea on Leopard ( steak also the way you want it prepared, but in a firepit oven ). If you need all the details on the specialities of Wallbangers - let me know. In addition, if you are interested in a more Corpus-beach-type atmosphere . . . guts it up for Snooopy's under the Kennedy causeway, DUDE! Lastly, I will discretely divulge the nightlife hotspots if you "Pass the TBAC test" & check your rice spelling on the price comment - they've always been on the high end ( Wallbangers that is, ya'll )for your every day average "guy".

 
At 3:08 PM, Anonymous Corpitos Home Boy said...

The original Whataburger? Hate to break it to you, but that doesn't exist. The original Whataburger was on Ayers, but hasn't been there in decades. The one all the tourists think is the original, the two story one downtown, is actually pretty new...

As far as the history of Wallbangers, I know it has been there since the 80's. I do not know where it started, but I seem to remember something about it starting in San Antonio. I think the only locations are or were in SA and CC.

 
At 5:36 PM, Anonymous Carlos Lerma said...

There's one of these in McAllen, TX (right by the border). I ate the one stuffed with cheddar and it was so big, I left the place with a headache! LOL I also made the mistake of eating one of these before going to a local famous strip bar. Everytime I had a girl come up to me asking what my name was, I was burping! LOL I still like the flavor of Whataburger better than Wallbangers but the one stuffed with cheddar sure hits the spot.

I think this place is a Texan chain of restaurants. I'll tell ya something: I got my masters' degree in upstate New York and there isn't a single place up there that can match a Texas burger. Not to mention you'd miss the 'ol mom and pop burger joint but they don't even have Whataburger or Jack in the Box to satisfy your craving. The closest I had was Johnny Rockets.

A Texas burger is the way to go. I'm not even from the United States, but I've been to many places and Texas burgers are the best.

 
At 12:11 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

My family loves Wallbangers!! There bugers are so big and juicy...always cooked just right! The restaurant is always clean and the salad bar is always stocked! Love there cheese sauce! dee

 
At 12:11 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

My family loves Wallbangers!! There bugers are so big and juicy...always cooked just right! The restaurant is always clean and the salad bar is always stocked! Love there cheese sauce! dee

 
At 10:23 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

OMG!!!!!!! WallBangers is still open and running!!!! Congratulations to the Wallbangers family. I used to work there when they first opened back in spring of 1984. Wow! Is Joe the manager still working there. He was hot!!!!!!!!!!! I remember his brother working there during one summer. He was also hot!!!!!!!!!!His brother and I use to go riding on his motorcycle after work before I left for home. Hhhmm! Memories!!!!! Happily married for 17 yrs. Thanks for the memories!

 
At 7:33 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Oh, my! Wallbangers is the best! We live about two hours away from Corpus, but go at *least* once a year for one purpose: to go to Wallbangers! It's a great mom and pop hamburger joint. The food is great and the place is fun!

 
At 6:18 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Very unpleasant experience at Wallbangers this evening. Paying for the 6 burger and fries and drinks order, I was told "No Discover Credit Card". Then I attempted to pay by check. I was told, "We do not except checks unless the check number is over 1000. I asked if that was posted, he said, "I don't know." Then he says "No." Someone else in my party had to pay the charges, since I did not have a $50 bill on my person. I will never go back!!

 
At 1:19 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wallbangers is pretty good. The staff are helpful, even when a customer is being a jerk. The burgers are slightly above average. They are huge and taste great, but there is so much grease you have to keep your elbow above your plate to prevent grease from running down your arm and onto the table.

The salad bar has a lot of things on it, but is a breeding ground for gnats. Go in on the wrong day and they won't even have a salad bar because there were so many gnats and things on the food.

 
At 12:49 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

just had a cheeseburger from there.
very disappointed. I had a choice of a whataburger but for a dollar more I chose wallbangers.and the meat patty was every bit as thin as a whataburger.
in the past I would look forward to a filling meal with wallbangers.but not this time. I even showed the burger to a few employees who agreed it did not look like the third burger patty.but then the shrugged it off.
so I am releasing my dissatifaction here. and let you know it will be a long time before I return. for the money and the product should have stuck with whataburger

 
At 9:43 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ok, Texas Burger Guy...I have some advice. You mentioned several good burger places in Corpus: Wallbanger's, SPI burger company, bull chicks, and herbs...but you should check out the new "5 guys burgers and fries off of SPID and staples (by target)...they have the best burgers I have found in Corpus. I have yet to try out executive surf club;s burgers, but I hear good things, too.

 
At 9:45 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Piece of advice...the original Whatburger no longer exists. It was on Ayers, and it hasn't been there in a L-O-N-G time. There is the #2 store, however...but why go there when so many burgers are better?

 
At 3:03 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Best placed in Corpus for a down, home greasy burger is at International Westside Pony League snack bar, especilly if Janie is at the grill. The scent of the burger wrapped in tissue paper is awesome. Last time I was there, cheeseburger was $2.50 and order of fries, $1. located at the corner of Greenwood & Horne Road. Good thing they have Winter baseball going on!

 
At 9:03 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Try "Bighouse Burgers" Alice or Kingsville TX. Ole fashion goodness and big, too! Try the fried pickels.... Mmmmmmm good! You get them in the "Cactus Bowl" along with cheese sticks, fies and other goodies!!! There are only two places (in my opinion) to eat when in Alice and Bighouse Burgers is one.

 
At 3:14 PM, Anonymous Alias said...

Some one Asked If Joe was the manager lol hes def one of the co owners. im one of the cooks in the back and i can honestly say we have one of the most legit burgers ever everything is always fresh we bake our bread grind the meat (never Frozen) 100% chuck beef the salad bar is taken care of by our ladies and you can see all the items we use on top of a rack along the produce bar. we dont hide anything about our burgers. there are only two wallbangers one in corpus christi down staples in front of sutherlands and on in mccallen tx. there has been rumors about expanding to san antonio but who knows. personally i dont think we got the rating we deserve i will wear my shirt to austin on a trip and ppl stop and tell me how much they love the place.

 

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