Back when I was a starving student in Houston in the late 1980s, there were two outstanding burger joints. The first was Fuddrucker’s, which was way out on the west side of town, and the second was the Mexican joint that later became Goode Company Hamburgers and Tacqueria (I’m pretty sure they didn’t call it a Tacqueria back then). Both had burgers that were by the standards of the times, enormous. They offered a freshly cooked burger and you could choose your toppings, and boy did they serve lots and lots of toppings. I was a little partial to Goode Company’s burger because they were much closer to where I was living, and they served up a mean pico de gallo. And I do love some pico on my burgers.

Understand, however, it was close. And please also understand that getting out to where Fuddrucker’s was.. well, the people in the establishment in those days were all pretty affluent. They wore good clothes. They drove sedans. The section of town was nice,  and a bit upscale for a starving student. It was a bit of an “it” place back in the day.

These days the half pound burger, far from being a rarity, is a commodity. In particular there was a burger arm’s race 2-3 years back that led people to offering 2/3 pound burgers and more. Places I can think off of the top of my head that serve large burgers include Chili’s, the English pub in Norcross, Smoky Bones, Applebee’s, The Georgia Diner on Pleasant Hill, Red Robin, Ted’s Montana Grill, Hardee’s (Monster Thickburgers), and Burger King (triple Whoppers). It isn’t the rarity it once was. These aren’t the days when McDonald’s announces the Quarter Pounder because it’s actually a large burger for the times.

So, a lot of the novelty of Fuddrucker’s is gone, stolen by other chains in the ever-ongoing fast food arms race. But its base formula is still there: burgers cooked for you, toppings that you choose, big meaty french fries and nice desserts, if you want them. It doesn’t have that cachet that it did, but then again, I’m no longer a starving student either. What it does serve is a quality burger at a fair price, with beer if you want. And the store in Snellville has video games these days, which leaves my daughter begging for quarters.

The Fuddrucker’s in Snellville can be found at the corner of Ronald Reagan Boulevard and Scenic Highway. It’s in the same mall area as Target and Publix, and it’s adjacent to the Applebee’s.

Fuddruckers on Urbanspoon