Pun City In Bullets-Time
Bullets is a fast food chain that was founded in 1991 in Richmond, VA. The chain now has restaurants in 7 states primarily in the Southeastern United States. Their claim to fame would seem to be 100% Black Angus beef in all of their burgers. While on vacation this year, Pun City had the chance to visit Bullets between basketball games. This is its story.
Pros: First off, clearly, the name is really cool. This blog would definitely visit a place called "Bullets" over a place called "Wizards," regardless of any nicknames this blog might have. The restaurant offers chili dogs and chicken fingers, which is a nice option to have. This blog was unfortunately unable to sample those offerings, but this blog doesn't figure you can screw those up too badly. Soda options were alright, Pepsi and Dr. Pepper were the non-diet dark sodas, they also had Mug Root Beer available. The burgers were alright, this blog didn't see what the big deal was with the Black Angus beef, but it certainly wasn't bad. Any condiment was available on the burger, which is a nice option. Used to special orders so it wasn't a hassle to specify exact condiments. Service was pretty quick, place was definitely not crowded so it was easy to get through there. Being a walk-up and drive-thru location meant that not too many people could crowd the place, so it is naturally not crowded and bothersome customers aren't likely to be around long if there at all.
Cons: Burgers aren't really that great. This blog expected a lot more from a place that touts its beef as highly as Bullets does. Beyond this, standard burgers come with tons of condiments. This blog had to ask for quite a few condiments to take out before completing its order. Automatic spicy curly fries with no option of regular fries is a major bummer. Given that they weren't even very good curly fries, this was especially disconcerting. Realistically, could have easily added another dark soda, like a Cherry Pepsi, although what they have is pretty close. Due to drive-in setup, does not lend itself well to getting free refills. This blog is unsure whether they'd give the free refill or not if you stayed long. Service was not particularly friendly, as a newcomer this blog felt like it was putting a major strain on them to ask for less condiments based on their reactions. Obviously locations are not convenient for most Americans, so this is an issue. This blog realizes it's a pretty new chain in the grand scheme of things, but because of this they don't have many locations anywhere much less in widespread regions. Not the greatest value in history.
Overall Ranking: 4.5 out of 10 Fryers. Major points lost for location issues so far. It's only 16 years old, so there's definitely a good chance the location factor gets resolved in the next few years, but the grade's going to reflect current status. Automatic (and subpar) curly fries is inexcuseable. Marching out a really weak regular fry would have even helped. Soda could use some work but altogether not bad. Burgers theoretically would be the highlight of the place, but underwhelmed. Viable options of chili dogs and chicken tenders give menu flexibility. Drive-in style works well in its region, would need to have more sit-down restaurants if they expanded northward.
Burger-Only Ranking: 4.5 Fryers. Too many condiments, overhyped beef. This blog thinks it's possible it visited a bad location for the meat, but given the limited number of locations and the fact this one was in the same city as headquarters, it's hard to imagine this was anything different than you could normally expect. Burger size was nothing to write home about, though cost implied that it should be. This chain is not likely to radically expand nationally because it's just not good enough to justify franchising costs. Hopefully they fix their menu and succeed, it's always good to see a new fast food place in the neighborhood.
Want to see how Bullets stacks up against the competition? Check out these other Fast-Food Reviews courtesy of Pun City:
Jack In The Box