When you're packed, and you've been around doing burgers since 1977, you must be doing something right. And they're doing at least two things right at Chris Madrid's in San Antonio: burgers and nachos.
The "macho" tostado burger made George Motz's book, Hamburger America, and the author's 25 Essential U.S. Burgers Checklist. Chris Madrid reinvented the Texas beanburger (hamburger, refried beans, Fritos, and Cheese Whiz), which is said to have been created at the now-defunct Sil's Snack Shack in San Antonio, by subbing in Cheddar and housemade corn chips.
The bun is soft and toasted crisp inside, but the weight of the burger and the moisture of the patty, beans, and cheese presses down on the bottom, condensing it, making it sweet. So you have that sweetness, the juiciness of the burger, the comforting refried beans, and cheese flowing out all over. What a burger. And for these reasons this dish made my list of most memorable meals of 2011.