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Aug 31, 2013 05:00 PM

Austin American Spaceman top twelve burger list...

An interesting (and clearly wrong...heh, heh) list. A lot of newbies. Seriously, someone will go to Second for a burger? I admit I had not tried all of them, but the few I had just didn't wow me. I must say everything I have had at Luke's Inside Out was solid. On the subject of burgers, I went to school in LA in the late 60s and loved In N Out. I tried one in Dallas a few weeks ago. A very nicely presented mediocre burger IMHO, nothing like it used to be. It wouldn't make my list now.

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  1. while I dont agree with all of his fact few of them in fact make me wonder if he was drawing numbers out of his little straw fedora... However, I was much relieved to see a list that did not include The Roaring Fork...

    2 Replies
    1. re: girloftheworld

      The Roaring Fork's "Big Ass Burger" at happy hour makes me happy every time, always cooked to my medium liking. I'm not sure what's not to like, especially the value. It's big enough for two. and they use a very nice bit of thick smokey bacon on that boy. I guess it's "a chacun son gout". Quite enjoyed Mettle's cheeseburger last weekend (another post).

      1. re: girloftheworld

        "drawing numbers out of his little straw fedora" is pretty awesome. made me smile.

      2. I haven't been to all of these places, but aren't they all of the fancier variety? You might need a separate list to cover burgers of the classic/diner-y ilk (Fran's/Dan's, Sandy's, Frisco), but it's a little annoying that there isn't one classic burger joint type place on there.

        Sticking with the fancy theme, I think Counter Cafe would make my list, and former chain status aside, Bartlett's makes a damn fine burger.

        10 Replies
        1. re: popvulture

          Casino El camino is close to "dive" status I would say.. the others I would put more high end.. Swifts is "fancier" ...
          But you as far as "classic" joints ... there are no Dan's or Cuban sandwich shops on the list

          1. re: girloftheworld

            Ever watch those Casino guys make a burger? It's slightly below dive status

            1. re: Rptrane

              Yeah I would put Casino somewhere in the middle. They don't cook to order (they're all slow cooked, right?), and the kitchen vibe is indeed grungy.

              I'd still say it's different from a classic burger joint though. This is an oversimplification, but I usually associate classic with wide/flat burgers and fancy with tall. Casino falls between those parameters as well...

              1. re: Rptrane

                ALas no.. I had to eat my Casino burger out on the street..deliverd to me by my mom who swore she thought the place was haunted "especially in the upstairs" where she "felt" an man and two teen girls. but it was a good burger...I found it better than roaring forks laughing their ass at you burger.

            2. re: popvulture

              I would include Sandy's on the classic list out of nostalgia. Crown and Anchor is a very classic burger of the style you mention. I still need to go to Bartlett's (shameful, I know)

              1. re: matthewodam

                I was unimpressed with Bartlett's. I really like the burger at Austin Land & Cattle during happy hour. Super good and a very nice mix of meat. They grind their own burgers on site and you definitely taste the difference.

                1. re: Rptrane

                  the austin land and cattle happy hour is great all the way around, burger included.

              2. re: popvulture

                No. 8 on the list, Crown and Anchor isn't fancy by any means, and they also serve the thin patty style burger. Unless I missed it, that was the only thin patty burger on this list - reviewer's bias, I guess. There are several fat patty burgers listed that are being served in locations I wouldn't call fancy - Casino, Black Sheep Lodge, Hopfields.
                Maybe places like Sandy's and The Frisco just need to start serving pitchers of beer to get the Statesman's attention?

                1. re: Alan Sudo

                  In terms of the old school/flat types of burgers, I feel like I have to add that The Frisco is my fave. They grind their meat in house (the chop't steaks are also great), and cook it to order... I never have a problem getting medium rare there. I'm not usually one for the idea of something sweet on a burger, but their signature Frisco with the relish and special sauce... it just works spectacularly. Plus they have probably my favorite onion rings in town.

                  Also, re: unimpressed with Bartlett's above, why didn't you like it? I got a burger with bleu cheese and bacon, and it was fantastic. Plus that artichoke appetizer is SO good, just as a bonus.

                  1. re: popvulture

                    I really dig the artichoke app. at Bartlett's. and most everything else i've had there,
                    Re: their burger.
                    Too expensive and overrated, chopped lettuce is a minus. IIRC, i didn't much care for the bun, but i can't remember why.
                    It would have been real good for about 7 bucks. At over $10, not so much.

              3. Interesting how burgers seem to self sort into upscale or classic. My current favorites actually fit more in the middle. I like Phil's and Wholly Cow for cranking out solid, traditionally topped burgers with a decent sized patty they will cook medium or medium rare. While one can debate whether it is technically a burger, Chilantro's bulgogi with fried egg is addictive, plus it is a very good deal.

                1 Reply
                1. re: tim irvine

                  It occurred to me that perhaps a new definition of hamburger needs to be made.

                  On the basis of this article I tried the Crown and Anchor's burger. While not blown away, I found it to be a solid basic HB ( the classic) and also discovered that the C and A might be a pretty neat place to have a beer and cigar.

                  Of course, how can one discuss H B's and not include Top Notch.

                2. Don't get the paper. What are the top 12? nevermind. Found it on