A Cheeseburger

March 29, 2009
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Chris Madrid’s Cheddar Cheezy is the best cheeseburger in the entire world, and it better be Macho. Some would argue that Chester’s is the “Best this side of the Pecos” or Hut’s in Austin on 5th street has been the classic burger place since…forever. But when someone takes a bite of this cheeseburger, the debate is done.

On Blanco and Hollywood, Chris Madrid’s sits on the other side of 410 towards the south side of town, and is a sketchy place late at night. As one walks in he notices the security guard in the parking lot and sometimes the odd knife or weapon on the ground. The surrounding neighborhood of rickety old houses and Old San Antonio shanties encircle the restaurant, a white and turquoise 70’s gas station and grill. Finding a parking spot near the entrance is rare, but when one does, he can enjoy the wall plastered with deceptively similar campaign bumper stickers going back thirty years. A place packed with people, the inside of the restaurant is painted with t-shirts from adoring fans from the local Alamo Heights area to Iraq and newspaper articles praising the classic San Antonio tradition. The establishment seats probably two hundred people and was recently equipped with a flashing neon sign which tells you if your order is finally done after the dedicated waiting. The people there are so different it’s like trying to fit a radish and a jalapeño in a pea pod. From a classic cowboy who wears spurs on his shoes to the ‘gangsta’ kids whose shorts give the impression they forgot where their torso ends gives the quaint and nostalgic restaurant a diverse eating atmosphere. If they hadn’t perfected the “San Antonio tradition” motto that adorns their t-shirts and the perfect burger, Chris Madrid’s would have long ago gone broke and lost the chance to change the world through culinary cuisine.

The cheeseburger is a Simon-&-Garfunkel-like creation, with perfect harmony between all its parts, and eventually once it is finally ready, it breaks up and ends up coming together again in the stomach. The Macho, a half-pound burger, is the only way to eat at Chris Madrid’s – the regular is for wimps! The half pound patty is thin enough to not be a steak, but not too fast-food-burger thin. The lettuce, iceberg cold, tomatoes, diced bits of perfection, and the onions, grilled pieces of heaven make up the vegetable and fruit servings of the meal, and a dash of mayo and mustard top off the greatest meal in the entire world framed between two perfectly toasted buns. There is an option to add ketchup to your burger, probably added by some whiny patron, but if you add a single drop of that sugary tomato sludge to the deliciousness that is the Cheddar Cheezy a mortal sin will have been committed and retribution will be swift, harsh, and forthcoming. But the signature ingredient of the Cheddar Cheezy is of course, the cheese! About a block of cheese covers this perfection in an ecstasy-inducing warm coat of cheddary-dairy goodness that would send even Chester Cheeto crying to his momma with tears of joy. It’s served on a plate that could serve eight weaker burgers but can only contain one of these cheesy monsters.

As a customer leaves Chris Madrid’s, they realize they are better people after the great burger and have experienced one of the true wonders of life, an eleventh wonder of the world (the other three are for another time). The Cheddar Cheezy is a angelic song that even Paul Simon and Art Garfunkel would have appreciated and respected as a rival to their world-renowned harmony. It’s an epic occurrence that will lead you across the 59th street bridge and leave you “Feelin’ groovy”.

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