WACO, Texas –This week we went to Waco where we found a place that’s got a magical mixture of meat, Captain Billy Whizzbang’s. Since 1977, this wicked burger joint off Lake Air and has been a groovy place for some grub.
Trent Neumann now owns this fun, funky fresh fixture that’s all about building burgers.
“We’re the burger fixer-uppers I guess,” Trent said.
Trent took over Whizzbang’s back in 2009 and wanted to get back to the basics of what made Captain Billy’s such a staple, so he got in touch with the man who started it all, Mike Barton.
“I just wanted to get some history on it,” Trent said. “I’ve talked to, you know, one or two of the previous owners and they didn’t really know a whole lot as much. And I knew that he would know a lot, because all anyone’s ever told was, ‘Oh when Mike had,’ and, ‘Oh Mike did this.’ So I was like I’d like to get a hold of this guy.”
Mike passed along the storied tale of how Captain Billy Wizzbang’s came to be. Legend has it in the early 1900’s Captain Billy took off in a hot air balloon from San Francisco hoping to make a cross country venture to New York, instead he crash landed near Waco, and started selling hamburgers. At least that’s what Mike and his buddies came up with during a poker game in the mid 70’s.
“It’s kind of a wild story, but they made that whole story up that night as well,” Trent said. “I just kind of tell [people] to read it and believe it. I don’t know.”
While the Captain lives on, Trent took Wizzbang’s and gave it his own whirl with a burger known as the whizz-pigg. The burger patty is a 50/50 combo of beef and bacon.
“We sell a lot of them,” Trent said. “People love them.”
The grill at Captain Billy Whizzbang’s made the trip from Waco drive to Lake Air and is season to perfection according to Trent.
“When Mike stopped by he asked me what gill I had, and I said oh it’s a Wolf,” Trent explained. “He said, ‘Aww that’s the same one.’ He’s like, yeah he wanted to come look at it, and so he was like, ‘yeah it’s the same one.’ Nothing tastes like coming off this grill.”
Trent gets the Wizzpig off the ground with two special made two-third pound patties of fresh beef brought in everyday from a local meat market and in house ground bacon.
As soon as it hits the grill, the aroma of bacon fills the air and the color of the patty starts to change.
“So, we have to kind of warn people beforehand that the patty is going to look kind of reddish pink because the bacon is kind of, you know when you cook bacon it turns kind of red or pink,” Trent said. “We’ve definitely had people who’ve brought them back and said, ‘oh it’s not cooked,’ or, ‘oh it’s too pink.’ We promise it is cooked.”
The buns are toasted and the bottom bun gets the mayo, mustard, pickles, lettuce, onions, special wizzbang sauce, and tomatoes. Once the burger is assembled it’s time to pig out.
Unwrap it from it’s wrapper and already you can just smell the bacon, the cheese, and that whizzbang sauce coming up at you.
After a few rolls around the tongue, I was squealing with excitement. Normally when you get a burger with bacon you have to kind of search for that bacon, but with the whizz-pigg it’s in every single bite.
The locals know that this burger is nothing to snort at.
“I used to just get the regular, but then they introduced the whizz-pigg, and you can’t really find that in a lot of places and I like bacon,” Richard, a Waco local, said. “So, you can’t go wrong with that.”
Needless to say, the whizzpig at Captain Billy Wizzbang’s in Waco, Texas is well worth a stop on The Texas Bucket List