So, finally decided to give in and try out the burger at Hut's. For some reason, the burger was exectly what I expected- totally unimpressive. Still, I was surprised at the lack of flavor, boring bun and overall blah-ness. I did have a burger at Chili's recently that was darn good! The meat was perfectly charred, the bun was great. Laugh all you want, but it was yummy.
Why does Hut's continue to win so much praise?
Oh, and the fries were sad too.
Mostly because of the length of time it's been around and it was one of the only games in town for a while. Personally, if you're going "institution" I like Dirty's much better. Hut's is basically for the touristas
Have been to Hut's several times visiting family in Austin and gotta say it has a fun vibe. But the burgers are mediocre and the highly-touted onion rings are exactly the opposite of what I like. Hut's has big, wide, highly corn-battered honking onion rings -- crispy, yes, but the huge onion rounds come out almost raw and the coating is thick. I much prefer a thinner onion with a more liquid, delicate, almost tempura-like batter where the onion gets cooked and even caramelized a bit.
I have to agree with you, I'd love to love Hut's and have given them multiple opportunities and they just aren't good, dry, flavorless, they consistently overcook and the fries are horrible. For my money give me Casino el Camino, the Tavern or Jo's, all have much, much better burgers tha Huts.
As a rule, I'd say Hut's hardly gets any love from 'hounds who post regularly. Someone usually chimes in to mention the place when there is a thread on burgers or shakes or the like, but they seem to have gotten in the habit of going there when they or their children were UT students. It really does not seem to be a tourist hangout, especially given the dearth of hotels in the neighborhood.
It's probably the best burger joint within 5 blocks, but a Chowhound with bus fare would be better off at CeC or Top Notch.
I have to agree about Hut's. It's just not good. However, I love a Theta burger (Johnnie's Charbroiler in OKC wins that award though), and Hut's is the only one I've ever found in town. I tried the veggie burger there the other day and it tasted like sand. Not a good taste for sure.
Other than Casino though, I have yet to find a really great burger in Austin.