Celebrate National Cheeseburger Day In Austin Texas By Visiting Players On MLK

The byzantine financial wranglings of the University of Texas and the McCombs School of Business in their purchase of Players on MLK is almost indecipherable.

Of course we're simple folks who like working with our hands, so we often level a "dog staring at a physics book" gaze at such things.



Best Hamburger In Austin Part 18: Hill-Bert's Burgers

That $5.61 I'll never get back

Hill-Bert's Burgers website trumpets accolades from Texas Monthly, Austin Chronicle and KXAN. "...Mmmmm, a few bites of burger heaven"....and "...a legend" so when business carried us to north Austin recently we decided to forego a visit to Top Notch and take the measure of "the legend."

Legends fall.



Best Hamburger In Austin Part 15: Driskill Hotel's 1886 Cafe And Bakery

Walking into the grand old dame of Austin hotels you can feel the history. More appropriately, it should be stated, you can smell the history. We quickly ask for patio seating as the mildew odor inside is reminiscent of old aunt Hazel whose basement was given to flooding.

Outside, hard-up against 6th street, the veranda is pleasant. RL Burnside is blasting out of the speakers from Wild About Music across the way, cougars and sabre-tooths are afoot-toddling down the sidewalk in strappy sandals, and a nice Autumn breeze is lilting its way down the canyons formed by the skyscrapers.



Best Hamburger In Austin Part 14: Workhorse Bar

We love the Workhorse Bar, let's get that out of the way right now. Just sitting in the space brings back many, many pleasant memories of being falling down drunk and watching Scott H. Biram tear down the joint at his Monday night residency a million or so years ago when the building housed The Parlor.

Workhorse must have some serious brain power backing up the concept too. They've shoehorned a maddening amount of beer taps on a wall the size of a typical kitchen cabinet. And they're not your typical bullshit draws that pollute most tap walls in Austin either. They went heavy Texas on the selection with all the local brewers from Adelbert to Live Oak to Real Ale. Not a dud in the bunch.



RIP: Rest In Peace: Barron's Hamburger Haven

In an article titled "Dust-up In Milam County: RL Reeves Jr Eats At Barron's Hamburger Haven In Thorndale. Avoids Jail time" I related a tale of how trying to get a hot plate lunch up in Thorndale, Texas almost resulted in a visit to the Milam County hoosegow.



Best Hamburger In Austin Part 13: The Dart Bowl Steakhouse

The Dart Bowl Steakhouse is one of the great old timey diners in Austin, Texas. When our daily affairs carried us to the Brentwood neighborhood last week we dashed in and had a refresher course on why we love this old bowling alley/cafe.

There's a good little crowd of day bowlers pounding beers and hollering as we make our way inside the room. Pre and post Vietnam war-era veterans are scattered about as is the custom of bowling alleys all over the USA.

The crowd is rough and tumble as befits the little time worn burger joint that squats down in one corner of the old room.



Don’t Call It A Comeback: Randall Stockton’s Back In The Game With Sputnik

In much the same fashion as LL Cool J, Randall Stockton has exhibited typical resilience with the announcement of his latest venture: Sputnik, a burger and hot dog shop located in the old room that hosted The Good Knight.

He faces considerable challenges with this venture.



Best Hamburger in Austin Part Twelve: G's 183 Pit Stop Saturday August 6th 2011

It's rare that we visit a restaurant on the first day they've opened.

We much prefer to give the staff and management a few months to sort things out, shed the inevitable kinks and get the machine running smoothly.

But we have no way of knowing today is the first day of business for Gary Figueroa's little food cart; G's 183 Pit Stop on the side of US 183 just south of the Hwy 71 Interchange.



Does The Onion AV Club Have A Time Machine? Casino El Camino Gets Perfect Score On Burger

In The Onions' A.V Club hamburger review series; Cattle Crawl, writer Erik Adams has given Casino El Camino a perfect score of four stomachs.

We wonder if he he has some sort of time machine that has transported him back to the late 90's when Casino was still punching their own french fries, slicing their own buns and putting out high quality hamburgers?



Best Hamburger In Austin Part 10: The Shack Corner Store Friday July 8th 2011

The workers at The Shack Corner Store are determined to keep the shop spic and span.

Very determined.

As I place my order for a burger, one gentleman begins knocking the tops of my boots with a broom.

I shift a foot or so to the side.

"Sorry man I gotta clean."

Back in Alabama you don't want to ever sweep around a Black man's feet. According to lore that means you're trying to get him sent to the pen.



Best Hamburger In Austin Part Nine: Cafe Del Sol

Every cafe has an identity and while it's certainly true that the standout comestibles at this tiny luncheonette are the tacos of Alma and Maria, the ladies also turn out an accomplished burger.

I go for the full hamburguesa style here with bacon, pico de gallo, queso blanco, avocado and salsa verde. The patty is the thin, flat top style so extreme garnish work is recommended.



Best Hamburger In Austin Part Eight: Cherrywood Coffee House

When New Orleans native Ryan Marks bought Quacks Maplewood a couple years ago he inherited a huge mess.

The cafe was broken.

I love ramshackle, old, beat up joints, but they have to have a certain charm, however rugged that may be.

Quacks was charm free.

The patio was gross with old, rickety chairs featuring nails poking out everywhere, a few tiny, resolutely uncomfortable pic nic tables and sightings of racoons that exhibited all signs of being rabid or perhaps suffering from distemper.



Best Hamburger In Austin Part Seven: Arkie's Grill Tuesday June 7th 2011

Arkie's Grill, open since 1948 on Austin's lower east side, has fallen on hard times.

I've always been of the opinion that the little diner is about 5 or 600 miles too far west.

It's really more of a southern restaurant what with all the butter beans, fried chicken and biscuits and gravy on the menu. That is until you order sweet tea and are handed a few packets of sugar to go with your tumbler.

If that don't knock you out of your Deep South reverie nothing will.



Best Hamburger In Austin Part Six: Moe's Lounge Sunday June 5th 2011

It's rare that I invoke the memory of my grandmother when I'm eating in a honky tonk. But such is the case at Moe's Lounge.

Walking in at lunchtime the smell is invigorating. Potatoes frying, hamburgers sizzling and just a touch of Pall Malls off in the distance. It reminds me of old times...before the puritans came along in Austin and a lot of other places. Thankfully the good folks of Taylor are enlightened and have kept the doctrinaires out of their bar owners' affairs.



Best Hamburger In Austin Part Five: Top Notch

When the Stanish family opened Top Notch in 1971, Richard Linklater was a snot nosed kid growing up in Houston Texas over two decades away from making Dazed and Confused, the film that followed Slacker's putting Austin's profligate lifestyle of sleeping all day, smoking weed and eating tacos....lots of tacos-on the national map.

Dazed and Confused also put Top Notch on that same map with Matthew McConaughey's pivotal scene providing a rallying point for cinephiles to this day, almost 20 years later.



Austin Daily Photo: Best Hamburger In Austin Part Four Wednesday May 25th 2011

Often times when you're in serious research mode you have to travel afield to glean the finest prospects of the given category.

While the history of the building Randy's Ice House dwells within goes all the way to 1950 you've only been able to kick back with a cold beer since 1977.



Best Hamburger in Austin Part Three: Lion's Muncipal Golf Course Monday May 23rd 2011

A very nice place to enjoy the best hamburger in Austin.



Austin Daily Photo: Best Hamburger In Austin Part Two: Old Times Bar Saturday May 21st 2011

Sometimes the search for the best hamburger in Austin may take you far afield. Which is how I find myself on a country road 15 minutes outside of Austin proper.



Best Hamburger In Austin Part One : The Dogwood Tuesday May 10th 2011

I eat way too many burgers. I like the thin, flat griddled patties at Sandy's Custard. I like the charcoal burgers at Top Notch up on Burnet Road. I like the old timey burgers at Mike's Pub in downtown. I used to love to ride my bike down to Del Rio and eat wood fired burgers at TB's.

Making my own burgers at the house is so involved I have to get my meat grinder, scales, clarified bacon fat and cake flour out before I even consider doing it.