Archive for the ‘Burgers’ Category

The burger pantheon now includes two: Father’s Office and the Breslin Burger. That’s all that needs to be said here. That and the fact that we ate a combined total of five of these in three days.


Okay, I’ll say a little more. Having eaten several of these, I’m amazed at how consistently awesome they are. It’s kind of like with a McDonald’s hamburger: you know exactly what you’re going to get. Except instead of feeling shame, you get the urge to start writing love letters.



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A lot of people who write blogs apologize to their audience when they aren’t able to post as frequently. But I figure I get more enjoyment out of this thing than anyone else, so when I blog less often, I feel the need to apologize to myself. Of course, given the size of this blog’s audience, perhaps there’e not much of a distinction there. At any rate, I haven’t been blogging much lately. And now that I’m writing about my most recent stint in New York, I realize that I neglected to write about a highlight of our trip there over Christmas: DBGB.

Now that it’s in the eighties most days in Austin, it’s becoming hard to recall how cold it was in New York at this time. But what I can clearly recall is that this was one of the most satisfying meals we’ve had in some time.


Country style pâté.


Rabbit rillette.


Sausage with lentils. I wish I remember exactly which sausage this was.


Eliza had the burger, which (in another example of my experience with fancy burgers) didn’t actually knock our socks off. But, the fries… Oh, the fries.


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The first issue that needs to be addressed is price. Minetta Tavern’s “Black Label Burger” costs $26. So let me start by saying this: Not unreasonable.


It has occurred to me that I write about New York restaurants more than anything else on this blog. “Then why not move to New York?” you ask. Well, friends, burgers cost $26 in New York and that’s ridiculous.

You see, I love burgers. I eat them a lot. And if I moved to New York, there would be no money left for the rent. That’s why I’ve chosen not to live there. (Not just because of the burgers, but you get my point.) Still, when visiting New York, you go for it. You order the $15 cocktail for crying out loud. And next to the $15 cocktail, what’s $26 for a burger? You can’t live on cocktails, as far as I can tell.

Anyway, the more significant cost of eating at Minetta Tavern is elbowing your way to the bar. I recently found my way to a seat with my friends Rob and Peri. Here was the view from our perch amid the mêlée.



Here, I catch Peri making a classic Peri face.


We started off with a truckload of bone marrow.


And look at this magnificent burger.


I’d been looking forward to this burger for quite a while. Jeff can’t stop yammering about it, so I figured there must be something to it. And was it good? Yes, it was great. Was it worth the stress of warring for a seat at the bar? Absolutely.

But was it one of the best burgers I’ve ever had? Not quite. Here’s the deal, folks: I like cheap burgers. I’ve tried plenty of the fancy ones, and apart from this one, I always seem to prefer the little guys. I’m not opposed to the idea of a $26 burger. It’s just that if given the choice, I’d probably for go for a double from P Terry’sDan’s, or Billy’s over anything from a proper restaurant.

So, having experienced the $26 burger, I’m feeling even better about heading back to Austin and eating a week’s worth of burgers for the price of just that one.

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Our New Year’s Eve was pretty tame this year. We stayed in for the evening, but we did manage to get out early in the day and try Hopdoddy, Austin’s answer to the unstoppable high-end burger trend.


While walking past Hopdoddy’s entrance a few weeks ago, I actually overheard someone say “This place is Austin’s first burger bar.” Maybe I missed something, but isn’t pretty much any bar that serves food a “burger bar”?


Not that I’m going to judge the place on marketing or aesthetics. What I care about is the food. But before we get to that, it is worth pointing out that the ordering process is a little strange here. Without getting into details, I’ll say that it worked surprisingly well given the large crowd they had.


OK, I really don’t want to digress about their marketing, but come on: t-shirts with puns? I’m starting to feel like I’m in Applebee’s.


So what about the burgers? They’re great. Even better, the basic burger comes at the more than reasonable price of $5, a buck extra for cheese. And like Burger Tex, they even bake their own buns. Look at that beauty.


I find that some of these high-end burger places have buns that are a little too airy and fluffy, but as you can see, Hopdoddy’s buns compress nicely in your hand. They also make milkshakes with homemade ice cream, obviously a can’t-lose proposition.


The people behind Hopdoddy have clearly put a lot of thought into the place. And no matter what you call it, I’ll be going back for more.

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I’ve always heard that the Mexican food in San Antonio is great. Unfortunately, most of my San Antonio meals happen on the trip between there and Austin. Recently, some co-workers and I found a location of midwesten burger chain Freddy’s Frozen Custard just off I-35.

I went with the patty melt. It was a good choice.

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