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Good burger in Arboretum area

Where can I get a decent burger in the Arboretum area? I don't particularly like Mighty Fine (they're OK. not Mighty Fine), and Mooyah Burgers is just OK too. Mostly all we have is fast food joints in the area. This whole area is sorely in need of decent restaurants (and I don't mean restaurants that you need a federal bailout to pay for).

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  1. Have you tried the burger at Houston's on Anderson Lane? A chain, I know, but they get it right. Nice lightly toasted sesame seed bun, medium thick patty cooked to order (medium rare is terrific), good fries to accompany.

    1. I find that The Hideout Pub (MoPac on the southbound side btwn Duval and Parmer) has a decent burger. They do have sweet buns which I know some don't care for, but the burger is cooked to order. Also would describe it as a medium thick patty. The fries are hit or miss.

      1. I agree with the rec for Houston's, but also love the house special burger at the North by Northwest brewery.

        North by Northwest Restaurant & Brewery
        10010 N Capital of Texas Hwy, Austin, TX 78759

        2 Replies
        1. re: judiftx1

          Houston's and North by Northwest have both quite good for the neighborhood you are asking about. I haven't had the NXNW burger in quite some time but Houston's does a medium rare burger the right way!

          If you like the skinny burgers, there is Top Notch for a yummy charcoal burger and Waterloo for a burger joint burger. They aren't bad but Waterloo is pretty inconsistent.

          1. re: judiftx1

            I had the one at NXNW yesterday at lunch. It was good, but I wouldn't say great; it was not charred at all and needed more cheese. I looked at Houston's menu, but can't imagine a $14 burger; it had better be sensational for that price! Still, I will probably give it a try one of these days.

          2. Bone Daddy's. Don't laugh - seriously. They have a kickass burger.
            It's just a few minutes north of the Arboretum.
            We jokingly call it "Hooters BBQ".
            I took my wife there for the first time last week, and she gave me a few eye rolls about the waitresses (yes, they wear skimpy outfits), but the burgers are rockin.

            1 Reply
            1. re: gsherman

              I actually have to second this. If you can get past the atmosphere, the burger is quite good, and they cook it to order. Not too many places will do Medium Rare for you.

            2. burgers are good at houstons and no way they are $14.fast food wise culvers makes a good burger too for a no frills place.

              3 Replies
              1. re: nytexan

                Yeah, a cheeseburger there is $13. Plus tax, that's approaching $14.

                1. re: nytexan

                  OK, so I was off $1. Still, a cheeseburger for $13 is a little steep.

                  1. re: danny_w

                    It is expensive but well worth it. And the $14 dollars is because its a hamburger made out of ground ribeye steak.

                2. Not very chowhoundy, but I had a really good burger at The Cheesecake Factory awhile back. I can't remember what made it special. I think I got a bacon cheeseburger and was impressed with the quantity and quality of bacon.

                  If you go up Jollyville, there's BB Rovers. I haven't been in a long time, but they had a decent sausage burger (they mix ground beef and breakfast sausage). We just had terrible service there and that made us not want to go back.

                  I would not recommend the burger at Manny Hattan's. Dry as a bone.

                  7 Replies
                  1. re: stephanieh

                    What's that burger place at Burnet & Mopac, in the shopping center with Tacodeli and Mangia? I thought I remembered people recommending it.

                    1. re: mkwng

                      Gabby's. It is on my "to eat soon" list. Saw a couple of recommendations for it on the other burger thread going on.

                      1. re: missmitzi

                        I forgot about Gabbi's. They are delicious. You might need to know... they are only open for lunch. Also, last time I tried to go, they were closed to do some catering. But, definitely move them up your list. They don't cook to order (so few do), but they are juicy and are on a good buttery bakery style bun.

                        1. re: stephanieh

                          They're open for dinner now as well....at least the sign was still up earlier this week.

                        2. re: missmitzi

                          I ate there today and won't be going back. The burger was OK, but barely. When I ordered I asked about onion rings and the cashier said very weakly "they're ok..." but then suggested to get the fries. They weren't great, but far better than the tasteless greasy burger. I heard the cashier ask everybody as they left "How was your burger?" and almost everybody said (very weakly, as if they didn't want to answer) "ok..."; nobody said "great" or "fine" or even "good". I guess I'm not the only one that didn't like their food.

                          1. re: danny_w

                            Agree. Gabbi's was mediocre on my visit. Dry burger. Boring fries. Nothing special.

                    2. I was so excited to see a new restaurant in the area (we sorely need more decent places to eat) so I gave Elevation Burger a try at lunch today (they are on Jollyville next to Firebowl). I opted for the Elevation burger (double meat/double cheese) and was not impressed. Although edible, there was certainly nothing about it to recommend it. And greasy! Man, I haven't seen so much grease on a burger since the old days. Based on this one experience (and granted they have only just opened) I would rate them well below Mighty Fine, which is OK but certainly not fine. I may give them another try after they have had time to work the kinks out.

                      5 Replies
                      1. re: danny_w

                        Also at Elevation Burger for the first time today (they've been open only four days). Did not find the signature "Elevation Burger" greasy at all, but then I ordered it without cheese; $5.19. This place subscribes to the single, double philosophy; the meat is quite thin and precooked. According to the owner the beef is grain-fed and from Australia.

                        In addition to the standard burger/fries/malt fare they offer two different vegan burgers and a grilled cheese sandwich. Also they have some imagination with the toppings; I particularly liked the "hot pickle relish" on my burger.

                        Service is excellent. Ordering is at the counter but the food is delivered to you at the table, on trays made out of roasting pans. The staff does the table cleanup.,

                        The real drawback is the building; it's all concrete and metal and quite loud; conversations without shouting are impossible. They have a few tables outside, which are much preferable.

                        From a burger place point of view I would rate it at the top of the usual places; Mighty Fine, Mooyah, Five Guys, etc. But it doesn't compare well to the burger at NxNW or many of other restaurants. Of course the best burger I've eaten in Austin is at Trio.

                        1. re: thebodytx

                          How were the fries at Elevation Burger? I'm curious, as according to the Elevation Burger website, they are fried in olive oil.

                          1. re: Ashforth

                            Just had Elevation Burger tonight... the fries were fried in olive oil, which I was skeptical of because I didn't think olive oil could get hot enough to fry. But, the fries were delicious. Fresh cut, shoestring style, crispy, not too greasy (just enough grease to make them good, but not so much they get soggy), and they had seasoned them well... I did add a little salt, but that's because I like fries really salty.

                          2. re: thebodytx

                            Grass-fed, NOT grain-fed. Got to begin proofreading. Sorry.

                            1. re: thebodytx

                              I stopped by there. I tried veggie burger #1. It was good, but it didn't stand out. I prefer the black bean burger at Mooyah's. I did think the elevation fries were interesting. They are extremely thin and quite unlike anything else in the area. I definitely plan on giving it another try, but unless veggie burger 2 wows me, it won't make it all that high in the lunch rotation.

                          3. terra bruger opens next to costco in june.in july 5 guys is coming ti the area too.

                            1 Reply
                            1. re: nytexan

                              Unfortunately, that location is just a drive through. That's no fun...

                            2. I second the Hideout. The sliders are really great. If you want to go a bit more upscale, the Roaring Fork bigass burger is just around the corner at the quarry.

                              1. It takes a south Austin guy to lead you to the best burgers in North Austin. You got to get a little out of the Arboretum Area, but the Frisco burger at The Frisco is very good. The burgers at Top Notch are very good too. They only take cash. These places are fairly close together on Burnet Road. I would like to add that I think The Frisco has the best enchaladas in town, bar none.

                                1 Reply
                                1. re: tuckspop11

                                  I will have to try the burger at the Frisco. I have never been to their new location, but used to like going the the old location.

                                2. I don't like Mighty Fine very much either. I haven't checked to see if the menu is the same, but the Big Ass Burger at Roaring Fork has always been a favorite of mine. They're now next to the Quarry.

                                  3 Replies
                                  1. re: hnewburn

                                    I also don't care much for Mighty Fine; they'll do in a pinch, but they are not my favorite. I need to try the burger at Roaring Fork; I can easily walk there from work. I love their chicken enchiladas!

                                    1. re: danny_w

                                      The Green Chile Mac & Cheese and lamb chop fondue rock. I gotta get over there for Happy Hour.

                                      1. re: danny_w

                                        I have tried Mighty Fine once and found the burger to be pretty good. I don't know what you don't like about it.... It's pretty simple, but that's what a good burger is about. When you start adding strange fixing, well if you like that you won't like Mighty Fine. I still like the Dan's at Ben White and Manchaca and the Fran's on South Congress better, but Mighty Fine ain't bad.