“In every battle there comes a time when both sides consider themselves beaten then he who continues the attack wins.”
— Ulysses S. Grant
Hand me the mic U.S. Attack.
We spent 2 months ramping up to this past weekend’s Scrumptious Chef pop up restaurant. It was number 11 in the last 11 months. Effort ran high for 8 weeks as the historical permutations of the American hamburger had to be sorted through most thoroughly.
In the words of the Texas lion, Frank X Tolbert, it was “sweat-neck research”
When the dust had settled we cherry-picked the four strongest claimants to the title “inventor of the hamburger”
Being assiduous, we sourced condiments, toppings, and cooking methodology til we were reasonably certain we were recreating spot-on duplicates of the four claimants.
Plus, we added yet another dish to the Texas pantheon: RL’s Texas Hot Guts Bull Meat burger. A Texas hot link deconstructed into its most basic form: heavily seasoned beef cooked on a char broiler. While all the sandwiches received strong acclaim, this was the one that people freaked the fuck out over to the highest degree.
Proud papas y’all.
At 7pm we flung the doors open, and a horde of hungry eaters filed into Tamale House East. We had a strong crew running a 3 man line so we were more than ready for whatever the crowd could throw at us.
RL pitched in his cast-iron cooking skillet collection to beef up the mammoth 6 burner range that anchors the Tamale House kitchen.
Our beef supply came courtesy of Branch Ranch Natural out of Plains, Texas (save the bull meat which we sourced via O’Brien Meats in Taylor) . Our tomatoes were tilled from the fertile soil of Boggy Creek Farms in Austin. Burger project buns came out of the ovens down at Easy Tiger.
Sourcing is our pride and joy.
The first burger to sell out was the Kaelin’s Restaurant (est.1934 in Louisville, KY) cheeseburger. It was a beauty, and did our country boy hearts good to see a Kentucky sandwich receive such strong attention.
The next 3 hours were a blur. We rolled through 60 pounds of meat, 50 pounds of potatoes, a sack
of Texas sweet onions and a host of accoutrements. Our giant pan of Texas Peach cobbler was absolutely decimated. Accompanying music was all the Doug, Willie and Ernest that you could hope for or need.
Saint Arnold’s Summer Pilz helped to fuel the revelry.
In the past year of throwing these roving food parties we’ve learned a lot. Most importantly, that people are more than happy to pay a couple bucks extra per plate for local meats, dairy, vegetables and baked goods.
We’ve got a list of local purveyors that rival the finest guilded halls of dining anywhere in Austin, Texas.
The most common comment we received all night long was along the lines of “that was the best hamburger I’ve ever eaten.” It ought to be. When you spend 2 months working on hamburger recipes you should be reasonably certain that you can bang out a good one.
If a bomb would’ve fallen on Tamale House East during the shin dig, the Austin blogging community would’ve been sent back to the stone age. At one point, we looked out across the dining room and realized that we’d achieved 100 percent penetration. Every single eater was furiously writing, taking pictures and chewing with abandon on the big plates of chow.
Thanks y’all. We’re working in our 1 year pop up anniversary party and will relay details in this space soon.