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Jun 12, 2009 11:14 AM

Elevation Burger - Arboretum Area

A few people have reviewed this new spot in other threads, but I thought it would be nice for it to have its own (I'm pretty sure it doesn't have one and the search function isn't working, so here we go).

I stopped in for the first time last night at about 8:00. I had eaten dinner and was craving some ice cream. It was warm inside and they had a sign up about having problems with the A/C - a bad break for a place with a brand new buildout and an outdoor temperatures approaching 100 degrees. There weren't many customers inside, but there were at least eight employees sort of milling around behind the counter. They looked confused, and I noticed that when one of them delivered an order to a table, she didn't bring the fries. She ambled back to get them and meandered back to the table. Not very confidence-inspiring. Maybe it was a mass training session, but no one appeared to be in charge.

I got a chocolate malt with bananas and strawberries, and it took a little while for it to get made. I used the time to watch the staffers try to figure out what they should be doing and peruse the menu and prices. Yes, this place is pricy. $2.50 is a lot for an order of fries, with no alternative for a smaller serving. $5.99 is a lot for the recommended "regular" burger. Maybe if they de-staffed a little, they could afford to lower the prices a tad...

I thought it looked like the young lady making the malt was whipping it to death, but it was handed to me thick and very tasty. The fruit was completely disintegrated but I could taste it. At about $4, it was reasonably priced for the size and quality.

I'll go back to try the burgers and fries. I don't eat those very often anyway, and I don't mind paying a higher price than typical fast food joints if the quality and taste merit it.

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  1. They haven't fixed the air conditioning yet? I was there for the first time day before yesterday for an early lunch, and it was uncomfortably warm and stuffy then. My opinion: completely unimpressed with the place, and echo Ashforth's observations about the lackluster attitude of the disinterested employees. My bill was $9.06 for a cheeseburger, fries and soft drink - I gave the cashier a $10 bill, and she handed me back $10.94 in change. Being an honest fellow, I pointed out this error to her, and she didn't even thank me as she took back the $10 - no reaction whatsoever, in fact.

    The burger reminded me of Mooyah or Mighty Fine, but just a tad greasier - not greasier in a bad way, though, because in my opinion I think that MF is sometimes a bit dry. Still, it was not particularly impressive. And the fries.....the only option for french fries on their menu is a $2.49 order? They were okay, but were about twice as much as I wanted - why not offer a half-order for $1.50 or so? Not good menu planning.

    We have an ever-increasing number of burger options these days in Austin, but none seem to match up to Sandy's, one of my all-time favorites anywhere. I really don't plan a return trip to Elevations.....

    1. I went when they first opened, and although the A/C was working I was not impressed overall, but chalked it up to having just opened a few days before. My burger was very greasy (not in a good way) and rather tasteless. I would rate them a step below Mighty Fine, which is not saying much. The atmosphere was plain (OK) and loud (not OK), and is much smaller than MF. To be fair I want to give them another try, but don't want to sweat with no A/C.

      1. We had a similar experience, but I thought it was just because they'd only been open a week. A/C was working that day, but their computers weren't. Tons of employees, all of them trying, all apologetic, but also clueless, and sort of "deer in headlights". When orders were ready one of the kids had to walk around to tables asking if it was your order. They comped our meal, I think it was because they didn't know how to ring us up with the computers down... we hadn't complained or anything.

        It's expensive, but I did like the burger and loved the fries. I will probably go back, but not frequently. I liked them much better than Mighty Fine, but not quite as well as Five Guys, and probably about the same as Mooyah. Of all of those, Elevation is closest to my home and work, so they'll win on that count some nights. That is, assuming they work out their kinks.

        1. Had Elevation for lunch this week and the AC signs are still up. This was a totally underwhelming expereience. The single patty burger is $3.99 and is about the same size as a Whataburger Jr. or Whopper Jr, and has about half the taste. I don't think I tasted anything at all. I didn't order fries because I consider $2.50 for fries to be outrageous. I did try to order "three small cookies" for $1.19 or something like that and was told they were out. $3.99 is an outrageous price for this burger, I don't care how organic the cows were.

          I wouldn't consider this burger even close to Mighty Fine or Mooyah. Mooyah, while soaking with grease and tasting like a grease patty between a hamburger bun at least had some flavor from the toppings. Mighty Fine, even though no one here likes it, is still the winner for this North Austinite. It has the freshest tasting beef and uses quality toppings.

          Of course, Dan's and Fran's beats them all. I won't be back to Elevation.

          3 Replies
          1. re: TheBadWolf

            Apparently a huge number of people agree with you about Mighty Fine judging by the extremely long lines. I have given up several times b/c of the wait. The last time I was there the line was curled around all the way to the other end of the restaurant and doubled back on itself. I also agree about Elevation Burger - tasteless and not worth anywhere near the price.

            1. re: TheBadWolf

              i don't really get the negative press MF gets, either. i'm hardly the burger connoisseur. and i'm sure it didn't hurt that i went balls out and just got exactly what hubby got (1/2 pounder w/ cheese/jalapeno/bacon - i NEVER do that!), i thought it was great. i prefer a big fat "gourmet"-type burger to a skinny griddled one, and i'm all about the weird toppings. even though MF didn't necessarily fit that category, it was a tasty burger. the lemonade milkshake was interesting. i was torn between chocolate or the lemonade, and went for something different. while it was good (fat and sugar are always good), it was a bit more liquidy than i would have liked for a shake. i wouldn't order it again.

              1. re: TheBadWolf

                MF has fresh tasting beef? That's new. I tried it a few times the first month it opened and the burgers tasted like cardboard. I wasn't surprised after I watched one of the cooks spend at least two minutes massaging a chunk of hamburg into a patty; all of that "attention" destroys flavor. But if you think the beef is fresh tasting now, I'll give them another try.

              2. I guess I am in the minority-I liked the burgers here. However, it may just be the toppings that are masking things enough for me, so you guys might be right. I love that they have caramelized onions as an option, and the cheese on the cheeseburger is decent. I also tried the balsamic mustard, which gave it a nice zing. I have had good luck with the service-maybe it's improving. The fries are really good (even decent when they make the trip back to my office). I will be going back, as they are close to my work, and I love the toppings.