Mighty Fine Burgers - Arbor Walk
Ventured in today for lunch, as the choices in this neck of the woods is pretty miserable.
First off, you can tell this is a Rudy's sister store from the decor, to the way you order, to the staff behind the counter. I will also say that Mighty Fine is to burgers what Rudy's is to bbq.
Let me also say this place was PACKED!
You line up like you do at Rudy's with the switchback and folks behind the counter holler for you to come up. You have a choice of a regular (1/2 pound) or a junior (1/4 pound) with or without cheese. Then pick "yellow" "white" "red" or a combination of condiments. Lettuce, pickles (which are crinkle, but then sliced into strips), onion, tomato are all complimentary with a small fee for jalapeños or bacon. In-store, hand cut crinkle fries are the only side option.
I opted for the junior, cheese, loaded, yellow and crinkle fries. My order was written on a bag and then went through a circular assembly line of workers. They have a large refrigerated room where two men were forming the fresh-ground patties.
Took it to go, but ambiance is that of Rudy's with large picnic tables and instead of bbq bottles they decorate with ketchup, mustard and mayo jars. There is Tabasco, sea salt and Lawry’s season salt on the tables.
Plump (but just a little dry) burger was well made and, although a little on the bland side, (would have easily been fixed had I stayed and put a smidge of Lawry’s on it) came with very fresh veggies (haven't seen a tomato that red in a while), better than average American cheese, and a lovely toasted bun.
Crinkle fries were very good (I did season those before I left) and were very thin, which made them crisp on the outside and tender in. Lovely fresh flavor, not too greasy and more than enough to share with two other office workers.
Although I didn't have one due to the cold weather, the fresh squeezed lemonade (in a clear container at the front of the line) smelled wonderful as I passed and I saw more than a few homemade chocolate shakes coming out.
Total for my meal was the typical $5 rule and for the price was certainly worth what I got.
Will I go back? Absolutely, considering I'm basically across the street. Will it beat out Casino el Camino or Fran’s? No, but I now can trade off between Top Notch and Mighty Fine for a burger option in this area.
Thanks for the detailed report. I've been waiting for this place to open and I'm looking forward to trying the fries.
Very good review, AmySue. My only question is if they will cook to other than medium or well done. Most places won't but some do.
ASH, thanks for your report. My son was talking about the place yesterday. He likes it and he is cranky. Liked your comment about swapping off btwn Top Notch, right at my front door, and this place. Your comment about MF burgers being to burgers what Rudy's is to BBQ sort of threw me though. I think Rudy's is the pits, and not in the culinary way, of BBQ joints, excepting PoKeJo's. For me you are always pretty much on target.
I like Rudy's for what it is to me - a place to pick up some chicken and some (crappy) sides on the way to the lake. Rudy's wouldn't be a destination place for me, but it's better than eating fast food, per say, and I find the chicken and the sirloin to be just fine for lunch. However, I really don't like any of the sides. It's just a place for meat, onion, pickles, sauce and white trash bread. Again, it's not bbq proper, but it's good for what it is.
bbq proper would be Coopers. Rudy's was proper bbq when it was just the one place in Leon Springs. Like I said, I enjoy the chicken and it's all fine, just not a destination place when I'm thinking "I want bbq". Feel the same way about County Line (and it's within walking distance). It's okay, but just not what I'd call "real" bbq.
I popped over during lunch today. You are right, the place was packed even at 11:30 am. Still, don't let that deter you as they crank the burgers out. However, my visit was more disappointing than yours. My burger was pretty dry and as mentioned bland and I thought the fries were over fried so that I couldn't taste the potato at all--obviously could just be my batch. More than anything the place reminds me of P. Terry's and that's not a compliment. Also note, the menu is very limited. Burgers, Chili Dogs, Fries and Milkshakes.
I've done one burger across the parking lot at Specs and that burger is far superior to the Mighty Fine one--though my Specs burger had so much guac. on it, I had to shove it to the side. The Spec's burger was juicy and had a nice beefy flavor.
Speaking of across the parking lot, it looks like a bakery has opened called Just Desserts, and Tino's Greek Cafe and a pizza place are opening soon.
re: Carter B.
You know, I never even thought of spec's for food. I don't know why that place flies under the radar for me. Thanks, Carter! I'm sure you're right about the burger being much better there (although more costly). With the sheer volume of people in Mighty Fine, I still don't see them having any trouble surviving.
I completely agree with you about PTerry's. I had the worst burger I've ever had there, but people seem to LOVE that place. Go figure.
No, I actually did enjoy the fries. They were done perfectly. However, because they're so micro-waffled, I can see how just a few seconds long in the grease could make a world of difference from soggy, to perfect, to blech.
Nice to know a Tino's is opening closer (although it would be a toss up from my office if the Bacones one might be faster due to the horrible planning on getting out of Arbor)
Hope the pizza place offers toasted subs and such...and ISN'T California Pizza Kitchen (double-blech)
There's another thread on the board talking about which sandwiches to order at Specs. I've only done the burger, though. Eating inside grocery stores seems to be something Austin does well: Whole Foods, Central Market, Grapevine, Specs, Asia Market...
I didn't catch the name of the pizza place, just briefly saw I sign as I drove out.
re: Carter B.
I had the pork cubano a few months ago and liked it okay. Didn't blow my socks off, but I can see how it would someone with different tastes. They are on the high side, but the sandwiches didn't look skimpy.
When I was there, it was right before Thanksgiving and after I'd ordered, a lady asked to invent her own with what was in the counter and they agreed. I was jealous of her turkey, cream cheese, stuffing, cranberry on lightly toasted sourdough...
Checked out Mighty Fine Burgers for lunch today and came away unimpressed.
It definitely is an attempt to clone In N' Out in a Texas-sized way (bigger burger, bigger fries, bigger prices). Unfortunately, as others stated, the meat is bland and if you get the normal size there is way too much bland meat.
I suggest getting the junior burger and dressing it up with as much stuff as possible -- bacon? jalapenos? Yes, yes. Red, yellow, and white (ketchup, mustard, and mayonnaise) will all help out a bit as well.
The crinkly fries were good for the first few bites but wore out there welcome after they quickly got cold which brought the greasiness factor out too much so I just stopped eating them.
As others mentioned, the army of workers there is overwhelming. They easily outnumbered the customers. That and the cool hand sanitizing machine were the biggest impressions this place made on me.
I won't be back until summer to give the milkshake a try. Maybe they'll make the burger more interesting in the meantime.
re: Mike B
I have to completely agree with your assessment. I found Mighty Fine to be Mighty Bland. My first impression upon biting into my burger was "lettuce". All I tasted was the veggies on my burger. I added some seasoning salt to improve the taste a bit, but it seemed like all I was doing was salvaging a bad, blah burger.
I didn't like the fries at all. They were too skinny, like shoestring fries. Nice when they are piping hot, but terrible when cold. And they're just a pain to eat when they're that small and skinny. You either grab a small handful to eat at once or else have to tediously dip them one by one.
The army of workers wound up angering me. My cashier kept having to say "What? Huh?" because he couldn't hear me over the din of noise created by the 5 or 6 workers standing to the left of him chatting loudly.
I think I'll stick to Top Notch for my out of the way burger joint and Riata Bar and Grill for my workplace lunch hour.
My experience mirrors Verily's almost exactly at 1:30 today. Only thing worse, it was over-run with kiddos who were allowed to run freely. I acknowledge that the "fixings" seemed very fresh but, other than that, absolutely no reason to ever go back again. I'm sorry, but $17 + for a junior, regular, fries, and soft drinks? Whataburger or Wendy's is better... as is Top Notch and Waterloo... and none of those save for Top Notch is particularly distinctive. No thanks to Mighty Fine on this end.