Monday, December 15, 2008


Restaurant: Fuddrucker's
Address: 7059 Dodge Street - At the corner of 72nd and Dodge.
Genres: Burgers
Check Constraints: Short-order.
Chain: Yes. | More Omaha Locations: Yes.

  • #2 Combo ($9.29)
    • 2/3rd Lb Burger
    • Fries
    • Drink
  • Black & Bleu Specialty Burger ($1.00)
I admit to feeling guilty each time we review a large chain restaurant for this blog. In some sense the restaurants clearly fit within our bailiwick, since they are restaurants, they are in Omaha, and you could eat at them as easily as we do. But on the other hand these places are already well-reviewed and, excepting quality issues, they're pretty much homogeneous between locations. On the gripping hand, however, we could look at these reviews as sacrifices, of a sort - us throwing ourselves on the hand grenade of food construction manuals and paper hats, screaming "Find somewhere else to eat!"... or perhaps a less dramatic metaphor would work.

Regardless, we went to Fuddrucker's this week. We have eaten here before - in fact, before we'd started the blog - so we weren't going in blind. The location is slightly new, though. They revamped the building, and in the process they seem to have decided that the solution to the parking problem in that entire retail corner was to add more stores alongside it. It might be because I was trained as an engineer, but that seems hardly ideal.

But we are here to review the food, and so we shall. Mecha ordered some nachos, which arrived early as an appetizer should, but which were thoroughly underwhelming. In fact, you might call that the theme of the meal itself. I initially attempted to order a 2/3 lb buffalo burger, but they only do the buffalo and turkey patties in the 1/2 lb sizes, so be forewarned. It also turns out that you can add special toppings to the meals for not much, so doing that's a better price option than trying to assemble a combo around a specific burger. The order-takers will helpfully do this for you - at least, ours did. As is usual at Fuddrucker's, ordering was a pretty painless process.

I only wish the same could be said for the burger. I recieved a heaping helping of blue cheese on top of a large patty of beef, with a sparse scattering of caramelized onions on top. It sounds like a delicious combination, doesn't it? That's what I thought, until I bit into the burger and realized that the whole deal was mostly tasteless. Once I got to the midpoint of the cheese pile, where it was roughly half an inch deep, I finally got some rather empty blue cheese flavor which completely overpowered the already-weak beef. I didn't put any ketchup on the thing, and I'm glad, because if I had I would have tasted little else but ketchup.

It was probably a mistake to review this place with the memories of Brewburger's so fresh in our minds - certainly when comparing it to, say, Burger King, I'd claim that Fuddrucker's wins without a moment's hesitation. But it suffers from the inconsistency and lack of quality ingredients that a lot of chain restaurants have, without really dropping its price point much.

  • Bacon & Swiss Chicken Sandwich($9.29)
    • Fries
    • Drink
  • Strawberry Shake (3.50?)
They forgot to give me a flasher, and took my recipt when I went to get my food, so I'm a little fuzzy on the prices, but this sounds about right. Mecha ordered some chicken nachos as an appetizer. I think we all sort of regret that. The chips were on the stale side, the chicken had an undertone of fish, and didn't have much taste otherwise, and the cheese sauce was awful. I didn't try any of the other assorted toppings, but given the way they continued to sit on the pile of untouched nachos, they can't have been much better.

As far as the fries go, they're solid fries, and I identified the spice coating them liberally as Lowry's seasoning salt, or a variant thereof. They're very sturdy fries, about halfway between 'fries' and 'steak fries', and frankly, they were one of the best parts of the meal, especially given Fuddrucker's excellent selection of things to dip them in.

The shake was a classically prepared one, rather than from a fast food shake machine, which is a tick in their favor. It filled the glass and had plenty left over in the metal shake cup, and was made with real strawberries, putting it in the "worth the money" class of shakes.

Unfortunately, that takes me to the sandwich. It is very, very difficult to get a chicken, bacon, and swiss sandwich wrong, but somehow, Fuddruckers managed it. the swiss cheese was fine, their toppings bar was fine, but the bacon didn't taste like bacon, and the chicken didn't taste like chicken, and both of them were hard to get a solid bite out of, making the sandwich a tasteless chore to eat. For the price I paid, I'd much rather have gone back to Brewburgers and tried another meat that I've never had before.

That's pretty much the conclusion we reached halfway through the meal. Fuddruckers costs about the same as Brewburgers, but has worse appetizers, worse burgers, worse drinks, and a worse atmosphere.

  • 1/2 lb Chipotle BBQ burger meal ($9.59)
    • Fries
    • Drink
I had actually forgotten about the nachos, and that's about all I have to add about them. The poor burger looked so small in the giant bun it came with. It had a little bit of "chipotle" bbq sauce and a couple strips of bacon on top. I ordered it medium-well, and it came with no pink in the middle, which is fine with me. I threw on some lettuce, pickle, and pico de gallo from the topping bar. The ketchup pumps were out, but they still had some bottles of ketchup there. The burger itself was decent. I didn't really taste the chipotle part of the chipotle bbq. The fries were decent steak fries with a little seasoning. For the price, I wasn't impressed. It's a little more expensive than an equivalent burger at some place like Applebee's or Chilli's. I didn't go to Brewburgers, so I can't compare there. I suppose the draw for Fuddrucker's over another chain with burgers would be the number of options and speed. You can get any burger (well, beef burgers, apparently) anywhere from 1/3 to a full pound and can order it at your preferred level of doneness. There are plenty topping options as well. I would eat here again, but it probably won't be my first choice.


  • Tricked-Out Chicken Nachos ($7.??)
  • 1/2 lb Chili burger meal ($9.59)
    • Fries
    • Drink
Okay, need to get this done. Moogle and the others are right, really, on the nachos front. They were just not that good. Standard 'tough to get stuff' problems. Very meh. Figured we should give it a shot, though.

The chili burger isn't on their online menu list that I can find, so I'm guessing on the price. The chili on the burger actually kinda looked decent, but the flavor was awful weak. Tough to get a good consistent bite of flavor on it. Not unlike the fries at Brewburgers, in that respect, but the difference is that this is a big mouthful of burger, not a fry trying to pick up a meaty cheesy chili. It should be more flavorful or consistent. The fries were okay, but just fries. The actual burger was solid, to my tastes, but... well, I didn't just get a burger, I got a burger with stuff on it. I think it had cheese on it, but I don't remember much about it.

The overall is more or less how ND put it. Coulda gone to Brewburgers and gotten better for the same cost. I remember the place as much better before the change.  The big plus here is the easy basic fixings addition, and that's nice, but.. yeah. If I go again for whatever reason, I'm getting a bog standard cheeseburger, putting some normal stuff on it, and calling it a day.