|7th Best Burger in the USA? Really?|
Item Reviewed: Buckhorn Burger, Fries
Price Paid: $5-10
Was Recommended By Locals
While in Ruidoso I asked a local retailer if there was any places they recommended I stop at on the way up to Albuquerque. They said "have you ever eaten at the Buckhorn?". They told me the Buckhorn was on an episode of "Throwdown with Bobby Flay".
Ranked 7th Best In USA
I went online that night at the hotel and looked up the Buckhorn Tavern, and found out not only did the owner/chef beat Bobby Flay in a throwdown, but that the Green Chili Cheeseburger was voted 7th best burger in the entire United States.
So after reading this and watching a few clips on YouTube, we decided it was our lunch destination the next day.
Located about 5 minutes east of I-25 in San Antonio, NM its a 2 hour drive from Ruidoso. We were told if we were going to eat there, not to be in a hurry, Average time to be seated is sometimes an hour, and at least 30 minutes to get the food. The restaurant has a gravel parking lot, is located right in the middle of town directly across the street from the Owl Cafe which has also won awards for their burgers.
We drove up to a small building I had passed at least a dozen times in the last couple years. On the door was a sign advertising that they were ranked 7th best burger in the nation. We entered and to our surprise only 3 tables were full. We were seated immediately, and our food was out in less than 20 minutes.
Now your probably thinking that all the talk about the wait was just hype, but they actually had signs, at the door, "if your in a hurry, come back when your not" or something like that. The menu said "good food takes time". We ate at 2pm on a Monday.
Inside the restaurant was a wooden decor, the walls decorated with photos and banners from the Food TV Episode, the napkin holders had pictures of Bobby Flay and the Chef Bob Olguin. A small bar on the side wall inside, and wooden tables and flooring made the insides look like an old fashioned saloon or cabin.
Sadly, From the changes in elevation, from 300 to 7000 feet, my sinuses were really messed up. When the food came it looked awesome, the smell was awesome and the burger had good flavor (all this with my congestion). The burger was overflowing with toppings, the green chili had a little spiciness to it, but all the toppings on the burger blended together really well. The meat had fresh flavor, not like a freeze dried patty.
I've had burgers that were close to the flavor of this one, but they aren't that common, and when I do find paces that have awesome burgers they are packed with people.
We wanted to order some onion rings, but they were out. So we got a basket of fries. The fries were $6 but it was a pretty big basket, and they tasted great. We never imagined we would finish the whole basket, but at the end of the meal every single fry was gone.
I would definitely make a return trip, as good as the food was the first time round I can only image that a return trip where my taste-buds are working might yield one of the best burgers Ive ever had.
Variety: American, Bar, Burgers, Homestyle
Pros: Not Super Expensive.
Cons: Small Town Location.