3.01.2009

Review #30: Koppe Bridge Bar & Grill - College Station, Texas


On any given month, I receive a little over fifty emails requesting reviews of your favorite burger joints. To get to all of them is pretty much an impossible undertaking. There are a few burger joints for which I receive multiple requests. These burger joints grab my attention because obviously there is something worth checking out at these places. Koppe Bridge Bar & Grill in College Station, Texas is one such burger joint. I have received no less than twenty one review requests for this one burger joint. I felt obligated to check this place out. My curiosity peaked this past weekend and I made the trek to College Station to visit this highly recommended burger joint. Would I leave Koppe Bridge disappointed? Was there something to all the hype this place received? Would I find the greatest burger of all time at Koppe Bridge? These questions and more filled my head as I approached the wooden structure known to Bryan/College Station locals as the “Best Big Burger in Town”.

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.



Koppe Bridge Cheeseburger Review
With twenty one review requests received for Koppe Bridge, the numerous Best Burger awards adorning the walls of Koppe Bridge and the “Voted Best Burger 1999-2007” image printed next to the Koppe Bridge Cheeseburger on the menu… the expectations for the Koppe Bridge Cheeseburger really couldn’t have been set any higher. I halfway expected to see lepers rubbing the burgers on their bodies to rid themselves of their illness or maybe see a man walking on water after consuming a Koppe Bridge Cheeseburger… It hadn’t quite reached that level yet but it was rapidly approaching. With all the hype, I couldn’t wait to sink my teeth into one of these burgers and see what all the hubbub was about.

I approached the counter where you place your order, reviewed the menu and ordered. I scanned the interior of the restaurant for a table large enough to seat me, Mrs. TBG and my two little TBG kiddos. While waiting for our order to be called, an Aggie basketball game was being aired on one of the many flat panel TVs in the place. I’ll discuss the atmosphere of Koppe Bridge later in the review but what a fantastic atmosphere this place has!!! All that was needed to complete the scene was a fantastic burger and fries.

As I sat there watching the Aggie faithful witness a dismantling of the Iowa State Cyclones basketball team on national television, I couldn’t help but think about all the readers who enthusiastically recommended Koppe Bridge. I glanced around and read some of the certificates received by Koppe Bridge for their burgers. I couldn’t wait to receive mine. Finally – my name was called and I proceeded to the pickup area to gather my very own Koppe Bridge Cheeseburger. The wait was over. The time was now to find out if this burger was for real.

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

Oooze Factor
Probably since I have eaten more than my fair share of burgers and have now reviewed 30 burger joints, I quickly assessed the Koppe Bridge Cheeseburger as doing really well in the Herd Killer category. The burger was by no means dry. In fact, it looked quite juicy and very tasty from the outside. My first bite confirmed what I suspected... high Herd Killer but low Oooze. It was not dry at all but it wasn’t ooozing much on my hands or on the white paper lining the basket it was delivered in. In fact, no oooze was seen on the paper at all. Not dry but not dripping with ooze either.
Oooze Factor Rating: 6



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Herd Killer
I could clearly see why this burger was ranked “Best Big Burger in Town”. I mean… dude. The patty after it had been cooked was still a ½ inch thick! The picture should show what I’m talking about. I was VERY impressed by the sheer size of the patty. I wonder how many herds were thinned out for Koppe Bridge in any given day… it has to be pretty staggering. With the size of the burger being so large, the creator of this burger should take into account that a bite of the burger will include a huge chunk of meat and with that should also be some vegetables, mustard and cheese. In general, I’d say the Koppe Bridge cooks should consider adding more vegetables, cheese and mustard as the dominant flavor for me in nearly every bite was beef. The flavor of the vegetables and condiment was lost. The cheese was especially outmanned. My burger had one single slice of cheese on this large behemoth of a patty. I strongly recommend doubling up the cheese on the burger to give it more of the “cheesy waterfall” effect that I love to see happening on the side of my burger. Sheer size though is what Herd Killer is all about so I have to give this burger the highest rating possible...
Herd Killer Rating: 10


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Handling
If you can somehow eat the Koppe Bridge Cheeseburger with just one hand… I’d say you have a career in the NBA waiting for you. This is one serious burger with some serious size. Bring a friend. You may need them to help shove this thing in your face.
Handling Rating: 10

Bling Bling
Koppe Bridge offers a Cheeseburger Basket which includes the monster cheeseburger, fries and a drink for $6.95. For my family, we ordered two kids meals, a chicken sandwich and my monster burger and got out of there for about $30 bucks. All in all not too bad considering you probably won’t need to eat for another 24 hours after leaving Koppe Bridge. I was very satisfied with the value.
Bling Bling Rating: 8



Gravedigger
I’m sure eating at Koppe Bridge day after day would probably end your life sooner than expected. There was a lack of Oooze that I have to consider in this category but there was also a heaping pile of cow between the buns as well that would keep me right with my maker should I regularly dine on Koppe Bridge Cheeseburgers.
Gravedigger Rating: 8 Shovels

Overall - I glad I made the trip to College Station to dine at Koppe Bridge. The burger was definitely huge. The fries served with the burger are the natural cut fries that I absolutely love. The fries looked like they have a potato slicer in the back and fryer. If I had to guess, I’d say they make the fries fresh on-site right before serving them. It just doesn’t get better than that if you ask me. The issues with the burger were noted above. I would recommend Koppe Bridge consider evaluating their burger’s flavor more closely as I think the dominant flavor is beef which absent seasoning can be bland. Some added veggies, condiments and cheese could help add some much needed flavor to the mix. I will get into the atmosphere in a second here, but the cheeseburger was really good. If you are in the area and in the mood for a good ol’ fashioned burger joint experience, it’s hard to find a place better than Koppe Bridge.

Overall Koppe Bridge Cheeseburger Rating: 9

Restaurant Review
Approaching Koppe Bridge, Mrs. TBG said it was “ominous" and that it "looks like a club." Before you enter the restaurant, you are greeted with a sign that warns that the floors inside are uneven and to watch your step.


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When I read this I laughed out loud. I quickly thought about Lankford’s Grocery in Houston that has very uneven floors but I don’t think they have a sign warning people about them… Once inside Koppe Bridge it was clear to me why they have the sign posted outside. As soon as somebody walked close to you, you bounced. Literally, the floor was bouncing below you as somebody walked by. That’s just awesome! I don’t care who you are, if you can’t appreciate a place that stays as busy as Koppe Bridge while sportin’ bouncy floors… maybe burger joints aren’t your thing. I bounced to my table and found yet another VERY positive sign that this burger joint was unique. The tables have been carved up pretty handily by previous Koppe Bridge patrons.


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I just love seeing this too. It tells me this place has been in business for a long time and the atmosphere is relaxed and easy going enough that they don’t mind if you bring some woodworking tools with you to lunch. That’s just awesome!

We tried the chicken sandwich and the kid’s chicken fingers. Mrs TBG said the chicken sandwich was awesome. A quick bite of it confirmed her opinion. A sampling of the kid’s chicken tenders also confirmed why both mini-TBGs had clean plates at the end of lunch. Quite possibly the best fries I have had in a while. The closest to these are what are called Bosque Fries. These are homemade fries invented by a close friend of mine in Bosque County. They are awesome. The Koppe Bridge fries are right up there.



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Restaurant/Atmosphere
Koppe has all the elements of a great burger joint. It has a loyal following of customers. It has a very casual atmosphere. It is a great place to just hang out, eat a burger and watch a ballgame. If shooting pool and playing video games if your thing – Koppe Bridge has you covered. It’s a great place to just hang out with friends. You can also sit out on the patio as well if you’d like. The waitstaff was very helpful and polite. Despite being very busy they were able to get my food out pretty quickly and were willing to answer my questions about their menu.


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Directions
Koppe Bridge has two locations in College Station. I went to the original on Wellborn which opened in 1992. Their second site, opened in 2002, is on Harvey.

Addresses
Original Koppe Bridge
11777 Wellborn Road
College Station, TX
(979) 764-2933

Koppe Bridge on Harvey
3940 Harvey Road
College Station, TX
(979) 776-2833

Maps
Original Koppe Bridge

Koppe Bridge on Harvey

Website
Koppe Bridge Website

TBG Overall Rating
Koppe Bridge provided a great dining experience. If you enjoy a good old fashioned burger joint the way they were meant to be, come to Koppe Bridge. The burger was good. The environment was better. I’d go back again and again if I lived closer.

Overall TBG Rating for Koppe Bridge: 9

16 Comments:

At 10:19 AM, Anonymous Jason said...

Nice to see you are still doing these! I've driven past Koppe Bridge numerous times, but never heard that they had such good burgers. Guess where I'm eating next time I'm in BCS? ;-)

-JB

 
At 12:03 PM, Blogger ben said...

Wow! Good to see you're reviewing burger joints again! I live in New York, but always enjoyed reading your reviews, hoping that one day I'll happen through Texas and get to apply them to good use.

 
At 2:31 PM, Blogger Evan said...

I lived just a few minutes down the road back in college. I only had the burger a few times, but the grilled chicken sandwich is easily the best I've ever had. Glad you finally got to check it out!

 
At 4:45 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

In the past year (since your last review0 I have checked your web site regularly for a new review.

Glad to see you are still reviewing and blogging on great texas burger joints.

Keep up the good work....

Hope to see more reviews in 2009.

 
At 6:26 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

great review!

glad to see you back

 
At 2:52 PM, Blogger Neil said...

Welcome back TBG!

You do realise that if you get 50 review requests a month and do one review every eight months then you will never get through them all? :)

Great to have you back.

TBG Fan Club (New Zealand Branch)

 
At 7:39 AM, Blogger randian said...

TBG is back! Yay!

 
At 10:55 AM, Anonymous Albert said...

So glad you're back - your reviews have been missed.

 
At 5:29 PM, Blogger Ctal said...

Glad to see you back! Bring em on!

 
At 4:52 PM, Anonymous KBBG said...

TBG: My husband and I are the owners of Koppe Bridge, and we were thrilled to read your review of our burger joint. We've been in business for 17 years and it's the great word of mouth as in your website that has contributed to our success. Thanks again, KBBG

 
At 12:16 PM, Blogger Midnight Agenda said...

yeah Dude,

Glad to see you are back!
I discovered this site about 6 months ago and imagine my excitement when I realized you were reviewing right here in Houston!!! My Family and I have hit all the North Houston joints in your reviews.... Viva la Mel's!!!

Keep up the good work! I look forward to seeing more Houston **hint hint** reviews this year!

-MA

 
At 1:52 AM, Blogger kip said...

TBG, I was one of the 21 requests. Glad you got around to doing the review and even happier that you enjoyed it! As a former employee of Koppe Bridge (1993 - 1994) I still take pride in the great food they make there.

Yes, the fries are cut fresh in the back, soaked in a little warm water to leach out some of the starch and then dropped in the fryer. As fresh as they can get!

KBBG, please tell Delph that Kip said hello!

 
At 10:32 AM, Blogger katherine said...

I grew up in College Station and since I've moved to Austin for University I've missed Koppe Bridge's fries tremendously! My family has had birthday's, grad parties and so much more here. Glad to see that you liked it.

 
At 3:16 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

sadly Koppe Bridge has recently changed the oil they use for the french fries. I hate it. If I wanted healthy food I wouldn't be going there in the first place. Bring back the good tasting, bad for you fries!

 
At 2:46 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I recently ate at Koppe Bridge and it seems to me that they have copied the burgers from Chicken Oil Company. Even the atmosphere seems pretty identical.

 
At 6:31 AM, Blogger Chris said...

I used to work there while I was in college. The seasoning is salt and pepper in a single shaker. People used to come in all the time and ask what we used. Also to confirm the note, the fries are made fresh on site multiple times a day using a wall mounted fry cutter.

Just an atmosphere fast fact for you, the place gets its name from an actual Koppe Bridge. The bridge was rebuilt and the owner used the wood from the old bridge for much of the floor in the original sections of the building. I went back recently (after many years) and they had expanded quite a bit.

 

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