Thirty years ago in San Antonio, Texas the “world’s greatest hamburger” was born when Philip J. Romano founded Freddie Fuddruckers. Later, Freddie was dropped from the name and this burger joint was simply known as Fuddruckers. It has since become a successful chain with more than 260 locations worldwide. Philip J. Romano left the chain in the late 80’s to develop Romano’s Macaroni Grill. Despite his departure, the focus of the chain remained unchanged. Fuddruckers prides itself on using only 100% USDA fresh ground beef, freshly baked buns from scratch and fresh toppings. They believe “there are no shortcuts to perfection”.
I don’t recall the first time I had Fuddruckers. I do remember dining there on occasion as a kid. It was one of the places my brother often chose to celebrate his birthday. Burgers were tasty and shakes were delicious. In my late teens that location closed, leaving only a few locations in the Chicago area. Others were further out so when we did dine at Fuddruckers it was a treat.
Then, there was long dry spell after we moved to Las Vegas; that is until we unexpectedly came upon a Fuddruckers while visiting Anaheim, California. My husband and I missed the burgers so much that from then on whenever we visited Arizona or California we sought out locations before our trips. We plotted out locations on the drive and near our destination so we could stop in for an inexpensive tasty meal. We’ve dined at Fuddruckers in a dozen different cities. Their fresh deliciousness always hit the spot.
Sometime in late 2007 I got word that Fuddruckers was coming to Las Vegas. The first location was opening just a few miles from my house. You can imagine my excitement. We regularly drove by the shopping center near the 215 and Flamingo Road to check the progress. Construction was slow going. We didn’t think it’d ever open. But like all good things, it was worth the wait.
Fuddruckers opened to large crowds on July 16, 2008. We waited in line almost a half hour to get a taste. The staff welcomed us, they offered water and cookies while we waited. Soon we were biting into juicy burgers on soft buns dressed to our liking and noshing on jalapeno cheese fries. We no longer had to travel hundreds of miles for a bite, a location was now in our backyard. Since then, a second location has opened in the food court at The Orleans Hotel & Casino. It is open 24 hours. Take out is also an option and breakfast is served 2:00-11:00am at that location only.
Both, however, serve up their “world’s greatest burgers” as well as other specialties including ostrich ($7.99), buffalo ($7.99), salmon ($7.99), turkey ($6.59) and veggie burgers ($6.59). Chicken and fish sandwiches ($7.99), hot dog ($4.99) and salads ($8.99) are also available. If ordering a beef burger, you’ll choose your patty size ranging from 1/3 lb ($5.59) up to a full pound ($8.99) and they’ll cook it to order. Cheeses and other extras can be added for a nominal fee. All burgers and sandwiches are served open-faced to allow you to add additional toppings at the produce bar. There are also warm cheese sauces available, nacho and jalapeno cheese (jalapeno cheese not available at the Orleans location). It’s the jalapeno cheese that I go nuts over. I put it on my burger and make my own jalapeno cheese fries with it. The cheese sauces and the buns are what set these burgers apart from all others. I can’t say they are in fact the world’s greatest hamburgers but they are indeed one of my favorite.
The Orleans food court location is convenient in a pinch or late-night, but otherwise I recommend a visit to the restaurant on Grand Canyon Drive for a complete experience. It’s also worth a mention that kids eat free on Tuesdays 4pm-close at that location.
4195 Grand Canyon Dr. #101 Las Vegas, NV 89147
4500 W Tropicana Ave. Las Vegas, NV 89103