Tagged: griddle RSS

  • Chris 8:56 am on May 7, 2010 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , griddle,   


    Made it out to Culver’s on Braker/Kramer for the first time in a few years.  Used to go fairly often when my office was closer.  Decided to check up on them.  Still the same–good quality fast food burger, weak fries, no Coke, Pepsi.

    Culver’s is a chain based in Wisconsin, with two Austin locations.  Their claim to fame is the “ButterBurger”, which appears to be a regional burger style from the midwest.  Sollys Grill in Milwaukee seems to have invented it, and unlike at Culver’s, butter plays a very prominent role in their burger.  Photos of Solly’s butter burger show the burger practically floating in a pool of butter.  I found no evidence of butter on my Culver’s burger, so I guess they are paying homage in name only.  But they do boast fresh, never frozen beef, and burgers are cooked to order.  Plus they have cheddar, which is a rarity at QSRs.

    The burger reminds me quite a bit of Freddy’s, another chain that has recently entered the Austin market.  Both offer pretty thin/smashed patties, with the default offering a double patty burger.  Freddy’s does not have cheddar though.

    Overall, a quality fast food burger.  Pluses: cheddar (did I mention that already?), roomy booths (room for six), table delivery, clean environs.

    Minuses: weak fries, no Coke, Pepsi.  And still a fast food burger.

    But I’m a fan.

    Further details and reviews found at auslunch.com.

    Culver's Austin Cheeseburger


    Culver's Austin Cheeseburger

    Cheddar (but wish it were a bit more melted)!

    Culver's Austin Cheeseburger

    Edge Detail — a Bit of Crisping

    Culver's Austin Cheeseburger

    Under the Hood — Weak Tomato

    Culver's Austin Cheeseburger

    Cross Section — Bottom Veggie Placement

    Culver's Austin Fries


    • Paula 10:41 am on May 7, 2010 Permalink | Reply

      Tip from a Wisconsin girl: order the root beer at Culver’s, they make their own.

      • Chris 11:32 am on May 7, 2010 Permalink | Reply

        Now that’s some good info there. Thanks for the tip Paula!

        • Frayton 9:13 pm on July 5, 2010 Permalink | Reply

          I go there for the fried cod. Best fried fish I’ve found in a fast-food place. Fries are, as you noted, kind of middle of the road, but at least they’re the crinkle cut. I go to the one out on Wm Cannon and Brodie and walk up to the convenience store for a Coke and sneak it in (the Midwestern-accented lady manager winked at me and said I could do this, she’s used to it apparently).

          • Chris 9:31 pm on July 5, 2010 Permalink | Reply

            I’ve also had the fried cod a few times and it is good. Nice tip on the Coke Sneak. Thank god for Dr. Pepper is all I can say.

    • Andre 2:13 pm on November 16, 2010 Permalink | Reply

      Next time, skip the fries and get a side of cheese curds with your combo instead. They’re essentially bite-sized mozzarella sticks and worth every second you’re losing from your life for eating them.

  • Chris 9:00 am on March 15, 2010 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: griddle   

    A Visit to Mighty Fine 

    Hit Mighty Fine in the horribly designed Arbor Walk shopping center for lunch Friday.  Surprisingly the Mighty Fine line was quite manageable (not true of the line to exit the shopping center).  Burger was good as usual.  Nothing transcendent, but a good solid fresh griddled burger, albeit a touch dry.  Fries good but not as good as P. Terry’s.  Too thin here, not enough potato meat on the fry.  Like many other newer burger joints in town, Mighty Fine touts fresh beef, fresh cut fries, etc.  So a decent burger experience.

    Urban Planning Fail
    There is a major flaw in the layout of this shopping center.  The last few times I have been, the line of cars waiting to exit is crazy.  It took us maybe 15 minutes to get out.  There are two exits at the far ends of the center, and when the place gets a bit crowded, the exits clog up and a line of cars forms at both exits.  It’s ridiculous, and is enough of a deterrent for me to avoid Arbor Walk at all costs.  Will have to try the newer Mighty Fine in Round Rock next time.

    Mighty Fine Burgers Austin Interior

    Kuntry Interior

    Mighty Fine Burgers Austin Beef Prep room

    The Beef Room

    Mighty Fine Burger Austin

    Jr. Burger

    Mighty Fine Burger Austin

    A tad dry, plus Dry Bun Syndrome

    Mighty Fine Burger Austin

    Sub-Patty Vegetable Placement

    Mighty Fine Burger Austin Fries

    Fresh cut fries

  • Chris 11:19 am on February 16, 2010 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: griddle,   

    Finally Tried P. Terry’s 

    Finally made it to P. Terry’s.  Now that they have the location north of the river, it’s somewhat convenient.  P. Terry’s, to their credit, was one of the first (if not the first) local joints to go au naturel with the fresh hormone-free, antibiotic-free etc. beef.  Nowadays that’s the norm it seems for new burger places (see TerraBurger, Hat Creek, Elevation).  Everyone is touting their grass-fed french fries and other Earth-friendly ingreendients (I just made that up).

    So, made my way into the retro-stylish building on Lamar.  Here’s the upshot:

    Pros: cheap cheap cheap!  Combo meal comes in under $5.  Fries are GREAT.

    Cons: burger ho hum and dry.  No cheddar.

    Patties look quite juicy sizzling on the griddle, but by the time they arrive at the table they somehow lose all that luster (they also seem to be impregnated with birdseed–see photo below).  Mine was dry.  Fairly close to the harsh description given by one poster on Chowhound–“gray, flavorless hockey pucks,” although I thought the burger did evidence some decent flavor.  But overall it was pretty much a ho hum burger.

    Loved the fries–fresh cut, crispy, well-cooked.  Very tasty.

    Lastly, what’s up with their food pix online?  The burger photo on their website looks like they are trying to emulate the generic corporate mass-produced fast food burger look, with the airbrushed bun and the perfectly stacked components.  Frankly, it looks awful.

    So, overall I was not impressed with the P. Terry’s burger, but would definitely stop in again for fries if in the vicinity.

    3303 North Lamar Blvd.

    No exterior bun toasting

    P. Terry's Burger

    Uh oh, Dry Bun Syndrome. Parched patty fissure forming.

    P. Terry's Burger

    Cross section--note squished bun and dry patty, as well as inverted veggie placement

    P. Terry's Burger Patty

    No crust to speak of, but lots of speckles

    P. Terry's Burger Patty Detail

    Patty surface detail. Looks like birdseed. Not sure what is up here. Must be some secret seasoning (their website states that they "inspect and season each patty in our store").

    P. Terry's Fries

    Loved the fries

    P. Terry's Interior

    Funky fresh interior

    P. Terry's

    Funky fresh exterior

    P. Terry's Sign

    Cool sign

    • Aaron 4:15 pm on February 16, 2010 Permalink | Reply

      I agree that they can be too dry, add some cheese and it helps. Their shakes are quite yummy with their fries as well!

    • chascates 11:04 pm on February 22, 2010 Permalink | Reply

      I think their chilcken sandwich is better than their burger. And go at a peak time to make sure you get good fries rather than matchstick overcooked ones.

  • Chris 4:12 pm on January 12, 2010 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , griddle   

    Moonie’s on Anderson Mill & 183 

    Stopped in for lunch at the new Moonie’s location today.  They have only been open six days.  The place was busy, almost all the tables were full.  No problems with service though.  Looks like they have it down.  Order at the counter, they bring you the food.  It’s a large restaurant (seems larger than their Cedar Park location).  Nice space on the corner of the strip mall, so lots of windows.

    Burger and fries were about how I remember them from my first visit to their Cedar Park location almost two years ago.  Bun is sweet.  Patty is 6oz., griddled.  Cheddar available.  Fries are crispy-coated frozen-ish fries.  Bun top-toasted.  Overall, burger was OK, but very dry unfortunately.  Bottom bun suffered from Dry Bun Syndrome, which did not help.  Fries are good for what they are.  Onion rings looked good but I did not try any (pricey at $2.99).

    So overall, a decent but not great burger in a pleasant atmosphere.  A nice option at least to have up here in North 183 Land.

    Moonie’s Burger House
    13450 Resarch Blvd (183 & Anderson Mill)

    Moonie's Burger Basket

    As delivered to the table

    Moonie's Burger under the hood

    Under the hood--note very nice bun toasting

    Moonie's Burger House Bun

    Top-Toasting Detail--a nice touch

    Moonie's Burger House Burger

    Cross Section...too dry!

    Moonie's Burger House Burger Patty

    Too dry, too round, weak crust

    Moonie's Burger House interior

    Pleasant digs

    • Hamburglar 3:03 pm on January 13, 2010 Permalink | Reply

      Looks a little sparse on the mayo. Do you feel obligated to leave a tip since they bring the burger out to you?

      • Chris 3:16 pm on January 13, 2010 Permalink | Reply

        No tipping required. Mayo level is a tad sparse, especially considering the overcooked patty, and bottom bun suffering from Dry Bun Syndrome did not help there.

    • Marty 7:38 pm on January 16, 2010 Permalink | Reply

      I concur with the mayo portioning. A little on the light side so the burger was a little dry but then I added ketchup, which I always love on a burger and it moistened it right up. I would have gone and asked for a little mayo but the line was too long. My only real drawback is the single register. The place was packed at lunch on a Saturday and they really could have used another at least for the rush. Although the line was long, it did move pretty well but they lost a lot of potential customers because they saw the line and went elsewhere. But the order to table time was quite reasonable.

    • Christina 3:00 pm on January 25, 2010 Permalink | Reply

      I went to the new location friday night and the place was packed. They did seem to fix some of the issues with wait time. They had 1 person writing orders and another ringing them. The line moved quickly and the food came out in less than 10 minutes. That was nice to see. As usual I thought the food was terrific. I also enjoy cheddar so I ate the bacon/ cheddar burger which was too much for me :) The taste was exceptional and i do love their fries. I had the burger, fries and a huge drink all for $7. I felt no obligation to tip. I would agree the atmosphere in the new one is very cozy !

    • Debora 10:09 am on February 25, 2010 Permalink | Reply

      I like the atmosphere and the singing trio on Wednesdays is unique. Management needs to do something about the long line during peak hours by adding a second register. There should also be a To-Go pick up line for orders that were called in ahead of time. The line is definitely the biggest issue and I’ve been there twice in peak hours and seen several potential customers leave due to the long wait in line.

    • Keli 1:16 pm on March 10, 2010 Permalink | Reply

      I guess I am the only one that found the fries to be not so tasty.

    • Laura 11:17 am on June 12, 2010 Permalink | Reply

      Wow, I disagree….my entire family loves Moonies. One of the better burgers in Austin.

    • Cindy 10:23 am on October 13, 2010 Permalink | Reply

      I was a huge Moonies fan…then the Moon Pies disappeared! And the onion rings went to the wide side, not the nice 1/4 inch thick ones they had been serving…so I had to toss the entire order as they were much too wide. I love the Western Burger and the bun has a great flavor…but please bring back the original onion rings and MOON Pies…its is MOONies after all!!

    • Kathryn 8:20 pm on December 20, 2010 Permalink | Reply

      Yeah, Chris, I was less than impressed. Coke stations were flat and needed carbonation. Sweet tea wasn’t fresh. The burger was cooked somewhat on the rare side and the fries were greasy, greasy, greasy — made my stomach curl. Just not used to eating that much grease on a whole. Had the chili cheese burger and the chili cheese was cold and the onions were miniscule, if existant that the menu stated that it had.

      Only went there to meetup with my daughter and granddaughter. It’s not something that I would go to because I love to eat there. It’s okay. The environment inside has potential for a happening place to be, but they have to really get their act together on the cooking mode.

  • Chris 10:28 am on December 21, 2009 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: griddle,   

    Little Red Wagon Hamburgers 

    This place is not too far from work now that we have the zippy new toll road.  Has a good rating on Yelp so thought it might be something special.  Not so much.  It’s not terrible, but it’s not worth a special trip by any stretch.

    I got the combo meal deal.  Two patties with cheese, fries and a drink.  No cheddar available, so I skipped the cheese.  No Coke, Pepsi.

    Burger was not bad, just a decent griddle burger.

    Fries were run-of-the-mill forgettable frozen fries.

    The woman taking my order seemed a bit grumpy.

    Ketchup was bad–too sweet.

    Atmosphere was kind of dingy.

    So, overall, the burger is decent, fries are OK, place at least has some character (but not much charm).  I don’t anticipate going back, but if you happen to go, you’ll do OK with the burger.


    Little Red Wagon Hamburgers
    1207 E Palm Valley Blvd
    Round Rock

    Under the hood

    Under the hood

    Kinda Squished

    Kinda Squished, Kinda Dry

    Boring Fries

    Boring Fries

    Ketchup of an Unknown Provenance

    Ketchup of an Unknown Provenance

    Somewhat Dingy Interior

    Somewhat Dingy Interior

    Might Ought to Have Heeded the Billboard

    Might Ought to Have Heeded the Billboard



    • Tommy Ates 8:52 pm on December 24, 2009 Permalink | Reply

      White collar workers beware! Somehow, I think Little Red Wagon hamburgers is Texas old school. It doesn’t care about Austin glitz and glamour to sell a burger.

  • Chris 7:21 pm on November 25, 2009 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , griddle,   

    Elevation Burger Still Juicy 

    Popped in to Elevation for lunch today. Got the meal deal at $6.99 for cheeseburger, fries and a drink. I like the Elevation burger–it’s juicy, tastes fresh and comes with real cheddar. Fries are very good also. The burger is nothing amazing, but it’s a solid griddle burger.

    Imagine eating one of these with 10x the meat and cheese…see previous post for contest details.

    Disagree with veggies down under...but good burger nonetheless

    Disagree with veggies down under...but good burger nonetheless

    Vagues signs of crust formation, plenty of grasa

    Nascent crust formation, ample grasa

    Love their fries, cooked in olive oil

    Love their fries, cooked in olive oil

  • Chris 9:48 am on November 4, 2009 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , griddle,   

    J & J Barbeque & Burgers 

    This place replaced the Bear Rock Cafe, on Parmer.  Just learned that it is the second location of a Cedar Park outfit.  The main focus seems to be BBQ, but they do have “burgers” in their name, so had to give it a try.  I was intrigued to see some crazy signage re “the cheddar pour” as I pulled into the parking lot.

    J & J Cheddar Pour


    I only just recently learned of this technique via a video I found online, wherein it is referred to as a “cheese skirt“.  The Squeeze Inn in Sacramento has been doing it for 30+ years.

    The Squeeze Inn cheese skirt looks a bit more appetizing than J & J’s, because it still has the bun and you can eat it like a normal burger, more or less (watch the video).  Also, the name “cheese skirt” just sounds a bit less raw than “cheddar pour”.  The guy at the counter at J & J explained how they make their version — pile tons of cheddar on the patty as it is cooking on the griddle, throw some ice on the griddle and cover, just like the Squeeze Inn does.  But they don’t serve it with a bun* (in spite of the signage on the truck above, which does show a bun), and it looks like theirs ends up with quite a bit more skirt to deal with.  He said he likes to fold the skirt up over the meat and eat it that way.  The J & J cheddar pour looks like too much cheese for me, so I opted for the regular cheeseburger.

    Burger was just ok, nothing special.  It was much heftier overall (with all the toppings and whatnot) than the 1/4 lb patty size would make you think, and I did get a bit of a cheese skirt on there, which was a definite bonus.  The flavor of the burger was pretty bland.  Fries were actually quite bad, covered with some kind of breading.  So all in all, not a great burger.  The cheese miniskirt was the most appealing part, and I will give them kudos for piling on the veggies, and for the whole cheddar pour idea, as well as the insane amount of signage at the place.  It’s certainly a unique place, and they do offer BBQ and breakfast, which might be worth a try.


    J & J Barbeque & Burgers
    4005 W Parmer Ln
    http://www.jj-bbq.com/ (pretty horrendous website, warning: obnoxious music will play when you visit)

    * Cheddar Pour Update: have found a few references online to J&J’s cheddar pour, and they appear with a bun on the burger, so not sure if the counter guy was right.  This blog post includes a photo, and there’s a nice flickr photo of a cheddar pour burger here.

    Was not tempted to try this

    Was not tempted to try this

    Note inverted burger upon delivery

    Note inverted burger, as delivered from kitchen

    Inverted burger

    Strangely Inverted burger

    Burger came with a cheese miniskirt

    Burger came with a cheese miniskirt!

    Cheese miniskirt detail

    Cheese miniskirt detail

    Fry detail--not very tasty

    Fry detail--not very tasty

    They are fond of signage

    They are fond of signage

    I think they're open!

    I think they're open!

    Do you dare?

    Do you dare?

    • Bill 9:01 am on November 14, 2009 Permalink | Reply

      I second that – burgers are quite ho-hum. Fries just terrible (how about a fry that tastes like oh, I don’t know – potato?) Took exactly 20 minutes to get my order during the noon hour.

    • Me 6:19 pm on November 20, 2009 Permalink | Reply

      I miss Bear Rock! OK that ssaid, they have the best bfast taco your gonna find. And the price is just awesome at $1.65 or something like that, and they are HUGE. I got 3 on a buy 2 get 1 free deal and gave the third away, and was stuffed til well beyond lunchtime. As far as the BBQ I’ll get back to that after today. I’m picking some up on the way home.

  • Chris 9:01 am on October 29, 2009 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: griddle,   

    Freddy’s Steakburgers in Cedar Park 

    Noticed this place recently so decided to give it a try.  There are only two Austin-area locations, both way up north, and both opened earlier this year. I went to the one near the 1890 Ranch development in Cedar Park.  Looks like a standard fast food box, and is just that for the most part.  Freddy’s attempts to invoke the 50’s diner vibe with predictable decor and music.  There are scratchy black and white photos of “Freddy” in various stages of his life throughout the restaurant.  All of which is kind of funny since they started operations in 2002 according to their website.

    Anyway, all that cosmetic stuff aside, Freddy’s offers up a pretty tasty fast food burger combo, especially for a national chain. They serve paper-thin patties and super-thin fries.  The patties are smashed to a few mil thick on the griddle.  Their regular combo meal (#1) consists of two patties, which equals about one regular burger anywhere else.  I got the #1 combo and it’s a reasonable deal coming in around $6.

    Patties are cooked until kind of crispy on the edges and are cooked to order.  No heat lamps here.  So the burger tastes pretty good.  Fries are super thin and good enough.  No cheese options (only American).  No Coke, Pepsi.  And they seem to be pimping their fresh custard as well (much like Culver’s, another pretty decent fast food burger), but I did not give it a try.

    Oh, they also suffer from the Dry Bun Syndrome, which will be expounded upon in a future post.

    Freddy's Steakburger Combo


    Crispy-Edge Detail

    Crispy-Edge Detail

    Razor-Thin Patties

    Razor-Thin Patties

    Faux 50's Fast Food Box

    Faux 50's Fast Food Box

  • Chris 2:49 pm on October 16, 2009 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , griddle,   

    Hat Creek Burger Co. Open on Burnet 

    I read online this morning that the drive through at Hat Creek’s new location on Burnet (in the home of the old Arby’s) was open for business.  Have been looking forward to checking them out.  They have a trailer near campus, but I’m rarely down there so have never tried their burgers, and have been awaiting the opening of this new location.  It did not disappoint today.

    Service was quick, no sign that they aren’t even fully open yet.  I opted for the “Big Creek Burger”, which consists of two of their 1/5 lb patties.  Burger was extremely juicy and tasty.  Fries were great.  All-in-all, a delicious burger combo.  Looking forward to the full opening.

    Full review at auslunch.com.

    Hat Creek Burger Co

    Big Hat Burger with Cheddar

    Big Hat Burger with Cheddar

    Fry Detail

    Fry Detail

    Burnet Road

    Burnet Road Setting

    • Hamburglar 4:37 pm on November 1, 2009 Permalink | Reply

      Had the same as pictured above. Agree that the burger is quite tasty, although it does not travel so well. By the time the burger arrived home, the lettuce had become flat and limp, same with the meager slice of onion. The pickles held up well, were good, and of an appropriate quantity. The cheddar added a nice sharpness to the overall burger taste. Don’t recall much detail about the bun, other than it seemed to hold up well throughout the meal. All and all a good burger that is probably better enjoyed hot and fresh on the premises.

      The standout to the meal were the french fries. Thin sliced, with plenty of evidence of the skins being left on, they were perfectly crisp on the outside. Unlike the burger, they traveled well and were still in great condition upon arrival at home. Only complaint would be the average size of each fry, as we tended to end up with many small pieces that were not as conducive to ketchup dipping.

      Hat Creek would become a go to burger stop if not for the stiff competition of both Hillbert’s and Top Notch, both of whom are less than a mile from the house. Hat Creek’s burger does not stand out enough to have me go the extra mile past the above mentioned burger joints. I will surely drop in from time to time, but location and proximity of other burger favorites will preclude me from becoming a Hat Creek regular.

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