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Jul 24, 2009 04:12 PM

Texas Monthly's top 50 burgers

Counter Cafe's was listed as the #2 burger in Texas. Any thoughts?

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  1. Mighty Fine is on the list... enough said.

    3 Replies
    1. re: Rene

      and if that weren't enough said:No Hatch Chile Burger from Poodie's Hilltop in Spicewood?

      That alone is an omission that renders the rest of the list a sham.

      1. re: Rene

        That was the one entry that turned me off from the list. Seems to me like the reviewer was dazzled by the dog and pony show (burgers made in house! curly fry machine! red yellow white!) and didn't bother to notice that the burger is mighty bland.

        There was also no consistency in the burgers they ate and rated. The bulgogi burger is allowed to compete against a no-frills griddled burger?

        1. re: verily

          Mighty Fine is great IMO if you order it medium, the default is well, which completely kills the flavor, as stated.

      2. That's a bad list. No Chris Madrid's (and the explanation for why it's not on there boggles the mind), but Burger Tex _is_ on there?!

        At least there is no Hut's or Casino, two of the most overrated burgers I can think of.

        3 Replies
        1. re: TheBadWolf

          I grew up eating Chris Madrid's, and I raved about them to my husband, and we went last summer to sample the deliciousness and they really let me down. Totally bland, flavorless beef. The only saving grace was the fixins. I agree with the explanation. It was embarrassing to explain all my raving and how it used to be so much better.

          So Poodie's is worth a special trip then? And just where in the heck can one get a _real_ beanburger (not EZ's) in Austin? (Beef burger + refried beans [not black beans!] + fritos + cheez whiz + onions on a white bun [not wheat!].)

          1. re: addlepated

            Ah, the beanburger. One of my favorites. Down in Laredo, where I grew up, there was a place that made a killer bean burger. The patty was charcoal grilled, and you could tell that the refried beans were fried in bacon grease. crunchy white onions, crushed fritos and shredded cheddar. You could get it with guacamole, but that just made it too messy. Damn it's a shame that place closed down.

            Here in Austin, you might try hoover's. Although I think they put corn tortilla chips in there's, instead of Fritos.

            1. re: Homero

              EZ's makes a pretty good beanburger.
              On the topic of Poodie's, I'd stop in if i was out that way, but I wouldn't make a special trip.

        2. Don't hate me, but here's my thoughts:

          Counter Cafe - I stopped in this place at random about two months ago (before Texas Monthly released this list) and just happened to order the burger. What I got was more than exciting to me. With all the reports of where the best burger in town was, no one had ever mentioned this place to me before. I was shocked when I bit into it as to how good it was. Juicy, fresh, thick, greasy.....pure and simple, it was delicious. I'm more of an old-fashioned hamburger person, but this one ranks tops on my list of thick-patty burgers. I was REALLY impressed. While there the owner mentioned the TM article to me and that they were going to be in the top 5. With my love of hamburgers, and understanding that I've been on a personal quest to find the best hamburgers around town, I was shocked that TM would rank them this high, but that's not to say that it wasn't one of the best burgers I've had. IT WAS. GO EAT IT.

          Camino - my dog makes better hamburgers - the only thing this place has going for it is the burger thickness. Nothing special.

          Mighty Fine - good burger (agreed Medium is the temp you want) - i would have listed Keller's Hamburgers in Dallas before I would have listed Mighty Fine. But Jakes (originally a Keller family restaurant) made the list at 50, so I can't complain too much here.

          Hut's is a joke. Only good burger here is the "Keller's Special", and only because it's a tribute burger. But they use a single patty, so they ruin it too.

          Burger Tex - the bulgogi burger is good. different. it deserves to be on this list IMO, though it's hard to draw comparisons

          and finally, Poodies. No disrespect to the man himself (RIP), but I stopped by here at Poodies the other day to try out the burger. Don't get me wrong, the Green Chilis were a nice touch, but I don't know how people can rate this burger anywhere in the top 100 in texas, much less one of the better burgers in Austin. Don't get me wrong, I feel this town struggles to make a great hamburger, but this one didn't qualify. The patty used on my burger sat premade in the freezer for no less than a week before I got there, and you could taste it and feel it in the meat's texture. I almost sent it back. Don't get me wrong, I don't hold a grudge, so I'll probably give this burger another chance, but if i were compiling a list, I'd be embarrassed if one of my contributors put Poodies on it. I'd try it, to judge for yourself, but I wouldn't make a special trip. If you're going to make a trip somewhere for a Green Chile burger, take the left at the Y instead of the right, and head out to Fredericksburg for the Green Chile burger at Alamo Springs Cafe. Both Texas Monthly and I agree that it's in the top 50.

          3 Replies
          1. re: MrCrowesGarden

            I like Counter Cafe a lot, but sweet kolache style buns on hamburgers turn my stomach.

            If your dog can make burgers better than Casino, I would like to hire him to hang out and cook for me.

            Does anyone on here remember Mad Dog and Beans that used to be over by where (sniff) Les Amis used to be? I used to enjoy that place.

            1. re: wwiggins

              Don't hijack the thread with your Austin , burger nostalgia or I will be forced to talk about the Hamburger Bar( the burger that made its way by the way its made) that used to be on , I believe, Lavaca St. They had square meat patties, but otw a good burger ( Learned a lesson there early on and that is in Austin the guy flippin burgers may be a Ph.D. candidate in Physical Chemisry, or whatever. Still that way here too. )

            2. re: MrCrowesGarden

              Thank goodness. Someone else who doesn't think the Casino El Camino burgers are all that. You're alright, MrCrowesGarden.

            3. Had the burger at Counter Cafe today and, IMHO, it earns its Texas Monthly ranking. Burger was moist, flavorful and cooked medium rare. Bun was properly toasted on the grill. Better than the high end burgers at Four Seasons, Roaring Fork, and Jasper's; and half the price.

              Now if only the place wasn't so popular. I arrived at 11:15am and got the last available seat. By the time I finished there was a line stretching around the corner of the building.

              2 Replies
                1. re: rudeboy

                  It was a sweet bun, which was fine with me, but I understand some object to.

              1. Fleming's Steakhouse has a pretty good burger on their HH menu for only $6.00, with either a side of fries, or two large onion rings. Burger is normally priced $14.00. It was very tasty.