Amid the gourmet-burger revolution of the past few years, it’s taken us some time to get to Bridgeville for Bubba’s Gourmet Burghers & Beer. Rightly or wrongly, we tend to assume that restaurants started by zany morning-show radio personalities aren’t likely to offer much beyond pub grub and some fleeting contact with fame.
Boy, did we underestimate Bubba. Turns out that Marc Snider, as he is formally known, comes from a family of butchers, so when burger expectations soared beyond the fundamental question of sirloin-or-chuck into the stratosphere of proprietary blends of three or more cuts of beef, this burger chef was in his comfort zone.
Not only that, but Snider has been involved in service-industry ventures before, so Bubba’s has the basics in place. The strip-mall storefront has a sports bar’s worth of flatscreen TVs, but lighting suitable for all-ages dining. We ate alongside a Little League team, a lone gentleman, another family and a table of young men getting their wings on. Surprisingly, for a Wednesday night with no game on TV, we had to wait for a table; as the broad clientele attested, there’s plenty of demand for burgers in Bridgeville.
The menu doesn’t beat around the beef, either. There are starters, salads and sandwiches, and that’s it. The dozen burgers can all be had with grilled chicken instead, plus there are a few non-burger sandwiches like pulled pork and grilled portobello. In short, the kitchen stays focused, but there is, as they say, something for everyone.
The wing list was dizzying, with sauces and rubs abounding, so we kept it simple with Buffalo. The wings were good-sized, crisp and juicy; a solid appetizer option.
Onion rings were extraordinary, a far cry from the onion-flavored batter rings that most recipes produce. Bubba’s onions themselves were thick slices with a tender-crisp texture that would have been enjoyable on their own, but were extra-tasty wrapped in crunchy, flavorful Yuengling-based batter that was a touch heartier than tempura but not heavy. The accompanying horseradish mayo was also great.