The Fast Foodie

1639 Broadway
11am–10pm Mon-Fri

San Antonio is stacked with burger joints, or is it Texas in general that’s stacked with beef and buns? Still, if you’ve been to one, you’ve pretty much been to them all. Each decorated with old Texas license plates, beer neons, framed family photos, and the owner’s favorite football team’s jerseys hanging on the wall. It must be a requirement to have classic arcade games and jukeboxes installed in burger joints.

Almost all San Antonio burger lovers  remember Little Hipp’s, and you were probably all devastated when it closed. Good news! Your beloved burgers just moved back to town.

Timbo learned everything he knows about the burger business from Dick Hipp himself. After Hipp’s passing in December 2002, Timbo wanted to continue the tradition of shypokes and beef patties. He opened his own burger joint and named it after himself.

The menu is recognizable if you’ve ever been to any other burger joint in this town. Burgers, chicken, salads, and a good amount of deep-fried options make the choices so easy, although Timbo’s prepares a unique selection of appetizers, which he learned from  Hipp. The ever-so-famous egg-resembling shypokes (round tortilla chips topped with a jalapeño slice, white cheese, and a dab of yellow cheese in the middle — OK, just another form of a nacho) were better than I remember them being at Little Hipp’s, and they were definitely better than the ones served at NIOSA. The chip was perfectly crisp and the cheese lovingly melted. I ordered a not-so-familiar version, ham-and-tomato shypokes. Now I wouldn’t have it any other way.

The burgers, smartly stacked with the veggies under the meat, are just what you’d expect from a big ol’ Texas burger joint — too big to finish, but juicy and delicious. Brave souls can order the “Yellow Submarine,” a 2/3-pound patty stuffed with jalapeños, onions, and cheese — wow.

The only disappointment I encountered was the flimsy fries. They just didn’t stand up to the burger and they were in desperate need of a shake of salt. Wanting a partner for my burger, I ordered the tots.  Redemption is sweet, isn’t it?

Timbo’s is a great place to feel laid-back, drink a “Gimmedraw,” and munch on some traditional Texas-style burgers. Just don’t get lost on your way there. Located at 1639 Broadway, it really lives on the adjacent Pearl Parkway.

— Jenny Herrmann

It’s A Grind
11255 Huebner Road Ste. 100
6am-10pm Mon-Thu; 6am-11pm Fri; 7am-10pm Sat; 8am-9pm Sun

I was on the way to the Huebner Oaks 24 and popped inside It’s A Grind Coffeehouse to get a drink and a few snacks, with the possible intention of sneaking them into the movie theater — assuming of course I could get them past the ubiquitous Daniel Johnston-esque man-child ticket collector found working at most theaters. Ultimately, I chose to enjoy my goods inside the store.

When I went inside I was struck by the generally mellow, amiable atmosphere and that may have been why I was no longer in a rush. The management seemed to be cool with people wasting their day with their laptop, enjoying the WiFi. After I ordered, I found myself kicking back just like everybody else. The crowd seemed like a bunch of med students acting like they were studying.

I tried a small house coffee to get a sense of their brew. It tasted like a medium to light roast, and was better than most of the mud that’s served around town, but it wasn’t exceptionally good, either.

Like most of the clients I observed, I ventured a frozen, blended drink to offset the encroaching summer heat. My Wild Berry with Green Tea Smoothie was thick, cold, and sweet, but it was denser than I could handle. My friend sampled a 50/50, which is orange juice mixed with white chocolate. It tasted like a popsicle to me. It was too sweet for my taste, though I realize I’m probably in the minority on this issue.

For pastries we sampled a scone and a slice of chocolate cake. They were flavorful and fresh, but seemed similar to something that I could have had at Starbucks. In fact, throughout my whole experience at It’s A Grind, I wanted to know how this place was different than Starbucks. Both come across as uniform chains with similar food and drinks, but It’s A Grind is better in that the mood is more inviting and doesn’t feel as rushed. Whether or not that is a crucial difference is in the eye of the beholder.

— Mark Jones


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