Tuesday, July 16, 2013

A Texas Lunch Time Tragedy

Stone Werks
7500 Broadway St.
San Antonio, TX

I’m giving up burgers.

Yep. You read that right. Suit757 is swearing off burgers.

I know. That’s like the Pope giving up Catholicism.

Or Obama giving up Socialism.

Or John Mayer giving up snaking hot chicks.

But after choking down one of the worst burgers I’ve ever eaten in my life at Stone Werks in San Antonio, Texas…

…I’m done.

Finished with hamburgers. At least in restaurants.

Why is it impossible for restaurants to properly cook a slab of ground beef?

I know, I know. Some blood sucking lawyer out there will sue the restaurant if every microscopic trace of bacteria isn’t incinerated.

But if you insist on incinerating my meat into a dried up, hardened block of Texas sun-scorched cow dung, why don’t you just take it off the menu? Just stick to things that are supposed to be incinerated like chicken fried steak.

But don’t charge me twelve bucks for a burger and then ruin it.

You’ll just tick me off.

What especially ticked me off is I asked for it “medium.” You know, the way God intended a burger to be cooked -- a little char on the outside, pink on the inside and plenty of juicy goodness dripping onto my plate.

But almost no restaurant in our lawyerphobic American society serves burgers like that anymore.

It’s gotten so that I purposely order my burger rare -- even though I don’t want a rare burger. Just in the hopes that I can avoid a bone-dry hockey puck.

Of course even that doesn’t always work.

But here I am deep I the heart of cattle country and I make the mistake of thinking this place might actually know how to cook a mound of beef.

My “medium” bacon and smoked Gouda burger was nothing but a hard clump of grey meat.

Even the bacon was overcooked.

There is a fine line between the savory smoky flavor of good bacon and the bitter taste of burnt bacon.

The obnoxious flavor of charred bacon completely camouflaged the smoked Gouda. I’ll take their word for it that it was even on my burger.

Tasteless cheese. Burnt bacon. Dry overcooked beef.

This burger desperately needed some condiment salvation.

Unfortunately, none was provided. Except a ramekin of cocktail sauce.

Cocktail sauce?

Yeah, the bartender gave me cocktail sauce instead of ketchup for my fries. And then proceeded to run off and disappear for 15 minutes.

I’m glad I didn’t dump it on my burger. Of course, as bad as it was, it might have been an improvement.

The fries were a tedious bore -- even after the waiter reappeared and fixed his ketchup mistake a quarter hour later.

Okay. So far we have crappy, over-priced, over-cooked food. Lousy fries. And inattentive service.

Not a great way to earn a top Suits in Strange Places rating.

The only good thing about Stone Werks was the beer selection.

The place had a pretty decent range of tap handles from both national and Texas craft breweries.

The Lone Star State is not known for good beer, but being a good Suit, I knew I should try the local brews.

First up was Wild Hare, a pale ale by Shiner -- that little brewery in South Texas more famous for its bland Shiner Bock.

Unfortunately, Wild Hare is pretty bland too, confirming my theory that good breweries make good
beers across the board -- and vice versa.

Not that I want to slander Shiner Brewery.

I’ve done the brewery tour several times. It’s fun. Their beers are a nice alternative to the ubiquitous Coors Light cans decorated with the Texas state outline.

But, the fact is, Shiner just doesn’t make very flavorful beers.

Next I tried the locally brewed Ranger O.P.A., which stands for Oatmeal Pale Ale.

Now that’s something different.

I’ve tried oatmeal stouts. But never an oatmeal pale ale.

This one was smooth and creamy with sort of a fruity, bready aftertaste that pushed the hops normally associated with a pale ale to the background.

Not really a fan.

I guess I’m giving up on Oatmeal Pale Ales -- along with restaurant burgers.

I’ve never left a bar so depressed.

Is my backyard really the only place in America I can trust ordering a good juicy burger?

If I want my burgers done right, do I really have to do it myself?

How am I going to survive a burgerless life on the road?

How can I endure the indignities of modern day travel in America without my one redeeming red meat pleasure?

As I drove my rental car out of Stone Werks suburban hell parking lot and tried to make my way to the San Antonio Airport, I contemplated what a tragic experience this lunch had been.

I mean, it's not like Suit757 hasn't reviewed some pretty bad meals before.

But this was different.  The road ahead for Suit757 will never be the same.

Stone Werks -- you have ruined my life!

Rating: Clean Grill with Shirt.

Stone Werks on Urbanspoon

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