Tagged: thin-patty RSS

  • Chris 11:44 am on January 3, 2012 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , thin-patty   

    Flippin’ Burgers Visit 

    Saw the sign for this place a few weeks ago, and found out it was open from some positive reviews on Urbanspoon.  The phrase “tater tots are made from scratch” had my interest piqued, not to mention in-house ground beef.

    The place is way up north at 183 and 1431 in Cedar Park.

    Got the combo meal.  The menu lists fresh made-in-house everything pretty much.  Burger was thin patty, griddled; cheddar available and procured.

    The purported Tater Tots® (registered trademark of Ore-Ida, inventors of the Tater Tot®) are tots in name only. They were more like “battered home fries” to me–small chunks of potato with some breading/crust.  So not even close to what I know as the Tater Tot®–cylindrical potato composites, à la Sonic.  So tot-lovers don’t be fooled, I wouldn’t call these tater tots.  They were tasty nonetheless, however I would definitely try the fries next time.

    Dublin Dr. Pepper on tap, as well as Maine Root Cola.

    All in all, a good burger with quality accessories.  It’s a bit far afield for me, so unlikely to visit again soon.  But if it were more convenient, I could see making it a regular stop.  Definitely need to get back and try the fries and onion rings.



    Flippin' Burgers Austin Burger and Tots

    Cheeseburger and "tots"

    Flippin' Burgers Austin Tots

    "Tots" detail -- tasty, but not "tots"!

    Flippin' Burgers Austin Burger

    Edge Detail

    Flippin' Burgers Austin Burger

    Lacking crust, plus Dry Bun Syndrome (but very nicely toasted bun)


    Filppin' Burgers Austin

    Salt/pepper burger

    Flippin' Burgers Austin

    Check it out

  • Chris 10:45 am on May 2, 2011 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , thin-patty   

    Dan’s Hamburgers–Good 

    Went to Dan’s recently, an Austin institution.  It’s a reliable favorite.  Griddle patty, frozen faux fresh fries.  Very good onion rings.  Nicely toasted buttery bun–they do the Standard White Bun very well.  Cheddar available.  Overall, a solid griddled thin-patty burger.

    Dan's Hamburgers Austin

    Order at the counter

    Dan's Hamburgers Austin

    Ambiance is a bit lacking

    Dan's Hamburgers Austin

    Medium burger and fries

    Dan's Hamburgers Austin

    Under the hood

    Dan's Hamburgers Austin

    Cross section--typical thin-patty action

    Dan's Hamburgers Austin

    Fries ho-hum frozen variety

    Dan's Hamburgers Austin

    Dan's Hamburgers Austin

    North Lamar location

  • Chris 1:03 pm on June 7, 2010 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , thin-patty   

    Steak ‘n Shake Thumbs Up 

    Yes, another chain, but this place gets props from Respected Burger Heavyweight George Motz of Hamburger America and the venerable burger blog A Hamburger Today, so have been wanting to try it.  So out to Round Rock I went, via the shiny new 45 Tollway.

    First, a little background, gleaned from the above posts and the Steak ‘n Shake website–their beef is fresh, never frozen.  They have been around since 1934, based in Illinois.  They cook the burgers on a griddle using the smash technique, resulting in razor thin patties with some crispiness to the edges.

    I was surprised when I walked in to see that it is a sit-down restaurant with waiters.  Was expecting the typical fast food experience.  Then I was double surprised to see my food served on a real plate.  I mean a real porcelain plate.  Not a paper-lined plastic basket, not a school-cafeteria style bakelitey plate, but an actual breakable plate.  Nice touch.

    I opted for the badly-named “Cheesy Cheddar Steakburger ‘n Fries”.  I had to get some clarification before ordering it because the picture and description on the menu led me to believe that the “cheddar cheese” would be that liquified type of cheese glop, the kind you see at concession stands at sporting events that is spooned out of a hot vat with a ladle.  The waitress explained that they take actual grated cheddar, melt it in a cup, and then add it to the burger.  Thumbs up.

    Burger was quite delicious for what it is.  Cheese was plentiful and cheddary.  Meat-to-bun ratio good.  Fries were ok–frozen thin cut fries.  Good for what they are, but I always prefer fresh cut fries.  They were very similar to the fries at Freddy’s Steakburgers, or should I say that Freddy’s fries are very similar to Steak ‘n Shake’s…I can now see where Freddy’s got its “inspiration”.  They should have also taken the cheddar idea from Steak ‘n Shake (no cheddar to be found at Freddy’s).

    So, thumbs up to Steak ‘n Shake.  Just wish they had a location closer to central Austin.  There’s one down south and one in Round Rock.

    Steak 'n Shake Austin

    As delivered...real plate!

    Steak 'n Shake Austin

    Cheesy Cheddar Burger

    Steak 'n Shake Austin

    Fries OK

    Steak 'n Shake Austin Cheesy Cheddar Steakburger

    Cheesy Cheddar Cross Section

    Steak 'n Shake Austin


    Steak 'n Shake Austin

    Their Famous Slogan

    Steak 'n Shake Round Rock

    Round Rock Location

    • sean 10:09 am on August 30, 2010 Permalink | Reply

      Their burgers are frozen and thawed for use. Wendy’s is the “fresh, never frozen” boaster.

  • Chris 8:56 am on May 7, 2010 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , thin-patty   


    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 11:19 am on April 15, 2010 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , thin-patty   

    Top Notch 

    Made it out to one of my favorite burger places for the first time in a long time, Top Notch on Burnet Road.  It’s a rare original in Austin, going on 40+ years now.  There’s a very family friendly feel to it with the mother-daugther combo usually running “the front of the house” (I learned that phrase on Top Chef).  The burger is flame-kissed over charcoal briquettes, thin patty.  Fries are frozen.  Onion rings are made in-house and are tasty.  The fried chicken is good.  The classic signage is great.  They offer curbside service in addition to a dining room.  They bus your tables for you (you pick up your food at the counter).  Coke, not Pepsi.  There is nothing not to like about Top Notch.

    One thing that resonates with me about Top Notch is the configuration of the #2 with cheddar.  It’s the burger I always order, and it’s so perfectly conceived that I don’t have to alter anything about it–comes with grated cheddar, mayo, lettuce, tomato, pickle and diced onion on a toasted bun.  That’s the perfect cheeseburger setup in my book.  The fact that Top Notch has this precise burger configuration as a standard menu item indicates a harmonious concordance between my burger psyche and Top Notch that’s hard to deny.

    The beef at Top Notch cannot boast a hormone-free grass-fed antibiotic-free etc. provenance, like so many of the new burger spots, and the fries are not fresh cut…but it has something special about it that more than compensates for any of those shortcomings.

    Map of Top Notch.

    Top Notch Burgers

    Flame kissed

    Top Notch Burger Austin

    Standard American Burger Specimen

    Top Notch Austin Burger


    Top Notch Austin Burger

    Cross section

    Top Notch Austin Fries

    Ho hum fries

    Top Notch Austin Onion Rings

    Onion rings--very tasty

    Top Notch Austin

    Dessert available

    Top Notch Austin

    Old school interior

    Top Notch Austin Sign

    Great sign (tshirts available inside)

  • Chris 11:19 am on February 16, 2010 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , thin-patty   

    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 10:15 am on February 8, 2010 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , thin-patty   

    Dave’s Hamburgers 

    This post finds me inside a mall eating at a food court.  That’s how sad the burger scene is here in North Austin.  Learned of this place just the other day so decided to give it a try.  It’s a local mom-n-pop joint in an unlikely spot–the food court at Lakeline Mall, next to the Chick-Fil-A and the Subway and the other generic food court eateries.

    My low expectations (given the locale) were exceeded by the friendly staff (defninte mom-n-pop feel to it) and the good enough burger.  I got the 1/4 lb. combo.  They use fresh beef and cook it on a grill, so there was some flame-kissed flavor.  Cheddar cheese is available, which is a plus. The bun reminded me of Moonie’s–a tad sweet tasting.  Top and bottom bun toasting in evidence.  Both buns were slathered with ample mayo–no DBS (dry bun syndrome) here.

    Fries were ho-hum frozen seasoned fries.

    So not bad for a food court.  Friendly mom-n-pop spot.  Conveniently located across from Frederick’s of Hollywood.  Certainly not a great burger, and I wouldn’t make a special trip to the mall just to eat there, but it’s worth a stop if you need a break between Dillards and Spencer’s.

    Dave's Hamburgers Lakeline Mall

    Dave's Hamburgers Lakeline Mall

    Note top-toasting

    Dave's Hamburgers Lakeline Mall

    Ample toppings and mayo

    Dave's Hamburgers Lakeline Mall


    Dave's Hamburgers Lakeline Mall

    Cross section

    Dave's Hamburgers Lakeline Mall

    No Dry Bun Syndrome here!

    Dave's Hamburgers Lakeline Mall

    Bottom bun exterior toasting--a nice touch

    Dave's Hamburgers Lakeline Mall

    Boring fries

    Lakeline Mall Food Court

    Typical food court setting

  • Chris 10:28 am on December 21, 2009 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , thin-patty   

    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: , , thin-patty   

    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: , , thin-patty   

    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.

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