BUCK AND OZZIE'S LAST CHANCE
It’s depressing when the most delicious thing to be had in a restaurant isn’t even on the menu. Such was the case on a recent visit to Buck and Ozzie’s Last Chance, a barbeque and burger emporium located on Texas Highway 46 just east of U. S. 281 near New Braunfels.
As we walked into the rather nicely done rustic structure befitting a forties style barbeque house we couldn’t help but notice the rather large county deputy dining on his dinner. There is a myth, or maybe it’s fact, that truckers always know the best places to eat. Ever see a crowded truck stop feeding place? The drivers seem as large as their rigs. Must be the food, right? Well, this was one large deputy, so one would think the food here to be filling. It’s a BYOB establishment (for you non-Texans in the crowd that means Bring Your Own Bottle). We carried in a bottle of red in hopes of washing down good burgers and barbeque.
As you might have guessed by now I am somewhat obsessed with finding a place that will do a proper burger, so, once again, I had high hopes. Have I mentioned I’m also a Texas Ranger fan? I’m beginning to believe the Rangers will appear post season before I find a proper burger in this part of the state, but I digress.
We were seated and handed menus by the cutest little thing who told us her name was Morgan and this was her first day on this new job. She was perky, effervescent and extremely friendly. If she didn’t know the answer to some of our questions she sought out the answer from others longer there than she. One of our first questions was “could we meet Buck and Ozzie?” Imagine our disappointment when she informed us Buck and Ozzie were not real people. I felt cheated and violated. How would the owners of this sham like it if I invited them over to my house for dinner only to have them discover that I and the child bride of nearly four decades didn’t really exist? Oh, well…I still had Morgan to keep up my hopes and dreams.
I rolled the dice and went for broke by ordering the B and O Burger loaded (all the veggies) with mayo and no mustard and a side of fries. When asked about that “medium-rare” thing I have Morgan went to the kitchen and got assurance from the cook that, yes indeed, it would be cooked as I wanted -- medium-rare. Hallelujah…there is a god in the kitchen after all. Friend and his more significant other (yes, it was he whom, once again, had dragged me kicking and screaming into the bowels of culinary hell, but being the Texas Ranger fan that I am all was soon to be forgiven…assuming I was going to be sinking my crowns and bridge into medium-rare heaven. Friend and his more significant other went for the conservative approach and each had the sliced beef brisket sandwich.
Let me cut to the chase and just say the side of fries was the best part of my order. They had a light, crisp floury crust on them making their texture sublime (pardon my use of the snobbish) and far above your standard fries. Once again, I had been lied to. I was told I would get my burger as ordered, medium-rare. Apparently more and more restaurants are doing this (lying to the customers) only as a ploy to get your money. Their thinking must be that once the food gets to the table the customer is so hungry he or she won’t bother to complain and for the few who do, the establishment can absorb the loss from those who refuse to pay. It’s not a matter of not paying for me. I will always gladly pay for what I have eaten. In this case I should have only paid for half of the burger, for even with the wine we brought I could only choke down half of the hockey puck on a bun I was served. Friend and his more significant other had to ask for extra sauce…no, make that just sauce, for their sandwiches came bone dry on the bun.
Overall, I can only rate this dining experience as extremely lame. My companions’ barbeque was ordinary and my burger was nothing more than a tire patch. Only the fries rose above the mediocrity of the place…just another ordinary hash house by the side of the road. If only Morgan had been on the menu, I might now be dining on some jail house fare far better than the crap we had at Buck and Ozzie’s.