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P. Terry’s Burger Stand
Back in Austin, Texas! This is my seventh or so time to visit this city, once again, for work. I’ve been here enough that I have places that I like to go to and things that I like to do. A friend of mine, a UT alum, and an Austinite/Austonian(?) who has followed Burger Tyme since the early days, recommended that I check out P. Terry’s the last time I was here. I opted in stead to go to the highly touted Hopdoddy Burger Bar. While it was a good burger, my wallet was hurting. As burgers have been elevated and seemed to have plateaued at the ultra gourmet and costly end of the dining spectrum, it would be nice to have a good and cheap option to fall back on. So this go ’round, I decided to take the advice of a trusted local and headed to the P. Terrys on Lamar in South Austin. I arrived early for lunch on cool spring day. This location is a drive through with outside seating, so that was ideal. It was about 11:15 and there were few cars so I was able to place my order pretty quickly.
Keeping in line with Austin values, P. Terry’s emphasizes, several times with different signs, that the product here is fresh, locally grown, all natural, etc, etc. This is the same mantra that most burgers are sold upon these days and it usually translates in to a hefty bill for a single burger and fries. To my surprise, the prices were more reminiscent of the In-N-Out menu. A burger, $2, double with cheese $3.50, burger fries shake $6.75. Awesome! If this were just half decent for the price I would be excited.
Stepping up the window, I placed a basic order for a double with cheese, fries and a chocolate shake. Given the short line when I arrived (which was steadily increasing), my order was ready for pickup in a few short minutes. I was handed a white bag and my milkshake. I went over to the seating area and emptied the bag like a kid on Christmas. The burger was wrapped tight in paper, as was the large portion of super thin cut fries.
The burger is a throw back to basic burger joints. Thin patties, griddle fried, with cheese put on at the end. The bun is nothing fancy but soft and fresh. The veggies were basic but fresh as well and added some moisture that thin pattied burgers usually need. My first bite revealed a more seasoned patty than I was expecting. It was just salty enough but also had a nice bite of pepper. The double patty was the perfect amount of beefiness. I liked the fresh cheese slices but it could have been melted a little longer on the patty, but hey, this is fresh fast food.
The fries were excellent when you compare the price for how much and what your get. They were fresh cut and very thin, somewhere between 1/4″ to 1/8″. The were not double fried crispy, but they had a nice crisp that didn’t turn soggy and. The milkshake was also good, but definitely had they Hershey syrup flavor… I’m sure it was organic though.
P. Terry’s was a great recommendation! The food scene, and more specifically the burger scene in Austin is great, and can get quite pricey. Its great to know that there is a cheap and quick option for a good burger when I don’t have time to dress up for a Burger Tyme. It was so good in fact, that a few weeks later, I took my wife there after a day trip to the visit a few of the state parks outside of Austin. We were tired, we were dirty, and we wanted something quick and substantial. P Terry’s fit the bill perfectly… It also helps that just around the corner is Gourdough’s…. but this is not Doughnut Tyme…..
(1 votes, average: 7.00 out of 10)Register to vote.
A little background, my youngest brother is living in Peru for the next few years as a missionary. He has been a Burger Tymer since the beginning and has taken the time out of his busy schedule learning spanish and helping people to document his burger experience in a place you would least expect to have one. The following are his words:
From the Peruvian Branch of BurgerTyme
Saludos de Perú! I never believed that Perú had ever seen the Miracle that is a good Burger. After a trial of my faith and some help from a missionary, I found that Miracle!
The burger that comes out of Reventon is refreshingly good in its own way! The patty was hand made with diced onions in the mix. The flavor was really quite tasty and the onions weren’t an over powering flavor. I got mine con queso, huevo, y tecino. In English, with cheese, egg, and bacon. The bun was basically chewy bread that they toast on the griddle with everything else. The toasted bun went great with the melty cheese and egg! I put in my order and with in five minutes.. It Was On! I was ridiculosly excited to eat! Something different were the fries, which were small and crispsy, found on the burger. Not what I was used to but, I wasn’t going to change the experience.
The burger was great. I was impressed by how big of a hamburger comes out of such a small store for so little money; only 7 Nuevo Soles or 3 US Dollars(perfect for a poor missionary). I didn’t get a drink but I imagine that a Inca-Cola or Coka-Cola would have gone great with it.
In the end, I found a good burger. I ate that miracle! My Faith had made me Full.
(2 votes, average: 8.00 out of 10)Register to vote.
Via Crescenzio 52
Rome, Italy 00193 (map)
For the third entry of international Burger Tymes, we go to Italy. Specifically Rome, Italy. A city with more history in culture and food than you shake a spaghetti at. We recently made it to the “Eternal City” to celebrate the recent graduation of my wife and had the opportunity to tour all of the usual tourist spots. While in Italy, you get Italian food. There seemed to be little interest from both parties in having anything else. I’m not complaining, mind you. The food is one of the main reasons we were there. Along with every other tourist, we struggled to avoid the many of the touristy (translation: pricey, not very good) restaurants. As we neared the end of our visit, I began to grow weary of bad pizza and greasy pasta. Don’t get me wrong, we had some great meals… but we also had some not so good ones. I began to crave, you guessed it, a burger. A big, meaty, juicy burger. Finding one that did not start with “Mc” proved difficult.
While on tour at the Vatican the craving became unbearable (irony?) and lucky us, one of the few true burger places in Rome was only a few blocks away. Quarto Burger had all of the usual praise good burger places get: “Best in the City”, “A Must Have”, etc. I was a little skeptical with all of the praise due to other less than stellar places in the city getting similar ratings, most likely from over-excited visitors who were just delighted that their waiter had an Italian accent. It was a risk I was willing to take. We walked over around 7 pm and in true Italian style were asked to come back in about 30 minutes so they can get ready. No big deal as the usual dinner time for Italians is around 9pm or later, even though the hours listed had Quarto opening at 6pm. We spent the time doing the best kind of sight seeing, wandering around, and seeing what sights sneak up on you. We made it back at 7:45 pm and they were ready for business.
This being a city that appreciates art, you are greeted as you walk down the steps into Quarto Burger by a painting of what can best be described as a sexy butcher. Ciao indeed! After an elbow nudge to the ribs we had a seat and took a quick look over the menu. The first thing that caught my eye was the disclaimer that there are no freezers so all of the ingredients are fresh. Plus one. There were several burger options but I was really craving a simple cheeseburger. I ordered one with a side of “Sfoglie”… whuh? The english description wasn’t any more helpful, “Veil crisps potatoes”. We confirmed that it meant french fries. I also ordered some Italian Coke. Back in the US I go nuts for Mexican Coke, but let me tell you, I L-O-V-E Italian Coke! I’m not sure what makes it so much better but it is great.
With our order placed we had a few minutes to enjoy the 80′s music videos playing on the TV. I wasn’t sure if this channel was for nostalgia or was just the most current available. Either way, I liked it. The waiter brought out a bucket of home made potato chips. They were cold but good. Being early bird Americans having dinner at 8pm, we were the only people there so I burgers came out pretty quickly. I have to admit, they exceeded my expectations. They looked great! The fresh baked buns were griddled, the patty had a nice sear, instead of bacon, cooked prosciutto was hanging out of both sides. The burger tasted as good as it looked. I generally don’t like cheddar due to its inability to melt well however it matched well with tangy house made BBQ sauce and the prosciutto. The patty was thick and juicy and the veggies were fresh. This burger quickly disappeared. We waited on our fries but it turns out, the bucket of chips were the fries… OK, we’ll chalk that up to lost in translation.
After spending several days eating in one of the best places for food in the world, I can definitively say that Quarto is not just a great burger for a city with few burger options, it is a GREAT burger! In the US, the use of local and fresh ingredients is novel, and a selling point. Here, it is a classic Italian tradition. And the price reflects it. You’re not expected to pay extra for good ingredients (psst… that’s what the bottled water is for). As much as I loved the food in Rome, one of my best meals came from Quarto Burger. What can I say…I’m a burger loving American.
(2 votes, average: 3.50 out of 10)Register to vote.
2-Ms Malt and Burger Mart
2014 Avenue H
Rosenberg, TX 77471 (map)
Houston is a big place. You can drive on I-10 for about an hour and still be here. In this sprawl is many, many burger joints. Some new, some old. I’ve heard tell of a place about 40 minutes southwest of the Houston center. 2-Ms is one of those original type burger stands with years of tradition and history. No frills, only burgers, fries, and malts. I couldn’t wait to try it. It has long been time for Burger Tyme to go back to its roots with a classic edition. No gourmet, no bills larger than $10, no pretension. Fortunately I have a brother who lives down that way so I drove out to meet up with him and his family. True to expectations, it was about a 45 minute drive from the center of Houston to “downtown” Rosenberg, TX where 2-Ms has been on Avenue H for what looks like decades, and is in fact their fifth. The bright yellow and red sign was unmistakeable on the side of the road. This is an old drive up style, where you can order at the window and eat in your car. They also happens to have some inside seating which we decided to take advantage of since Houston in August does not lend itself to dining al fresco.
The menu is pretty simple. There were burger baskets and burger combos and just burgers. Baskets include fries, combos include drinks, burgers is just burgers. Got it? Now time to order. I opted for the super burger with cheese combo which was double meet, double cheese, fries, and a soft drink. I expected great burger deals but this order comes out to about $8. Not the cheapest, but might be worth it! We were the only people in the dining room, but the walk up window outside had a steady stream of patrons. This would probably explain the 10-15 minute wait for our order. In that time we finished our drinks and upon asking for refills were informed that refills are an extra charge of $0.50 each…. They were nice enough to give us free refills, but really, who doesn’t have free refills?
Our order came out with the burgers wrapped classic style in white paper nested on top of the basket of fries. I unwrapped my burger and, well, was a bit underwhelmed. I know this is supposed to be a basic burger, and it was. It had the elements you look for in a classic burger, cheese nicely melted, buns toasted on both sides, finely diced onions, and it had a fair amount of heft. The patties were flat, well griddled, but obviously uniform, common for frozen patties. The flavor wasn’t bad however the texture was very homogenous and dry. This is a burger that demands extra ketchup. Unfortunately, accompanying each burger basket was two, one ounce cups of ketchup which was sufficient for about six fries. We asked for extra and were given 3 more…. for a table of four adults and two kids. The fries were of the frozen variety and were cooked well enough but definitely needed every drop of ketchup available.
On our way out we ordered some malts to go, since this was a MALT and burger mart. The malt consisted of soft serve ice cream, a dash of malt powder, and a few squirts of Hershey’s syrup. Not spectacular but just what we needed as we headed back out into the Texas heat with stomachs full of starch and protein.
I love burgers with a history. I especially love great burgers with a history. Sadly, 2Ms has more of one than the other. Fifty years is a long time to be serving burgers anywhere! Consistency and reliability are the cornerstones at this place. If you are in Rosenberg and want a good, not fancy burger, come here, you won’t be disappointed. However, if you are not within a short distance and are wanting a classic Texas style burger, save your gas and head to your nearest Whataburger. They’re everywhere, the burgers are classic style, it’ll be cheaper, you get free refills, all the ketchup you could want, and the malts are not bad either.
8801 Oak Street
New Orleans, LA 70118 (map)
New Orleans. How you’ve stepped up your game. While in town to see an Andrew Bird show, a few friends and I set out to find another recently lauded burger in the awesomely named Leonidas neighborhood near the Riverbend area. Cowbell is set up in what appears to be an old service station on the corner of Oak and Eagle. On a street like Oak it takes a lot for an eatery to stand out and Cowbell was voted as New Orleans’ Best New Restaurant in 2011 by Gambit. That’s good enough for me for another Big Easy Burger Tyme.
So on one of the more lovely South Louisiana Friday evenings, we meandered our way through the narrow, poorly paved streets. Luckily, we found a spot in the Cowbell parking lot, which seems to have a maximum capacity of four cars. All of the outside seating was full and we were told that the wait would be about a 30 minutes. Time was pressing as the show started in about an hour but having peered at other diners already enjoying burgers, we quickly confirmed that it would be worth the wait. True to expectations, we were seated outside after 25.
Our server, wearing a vintage looking apron, was friendly and gladly answered our questions about duck fat fries and what ‘Agogo’ sauce is. She took our drink orders and quickly brought them out. Each burger comes with the usual toppings and fries. Anything extra, well, would be extra. I ordered mine with added american cheese, a farm egg, and bacon and onion compote. All added up this would be a $15 burger and fries. With our orders in we had time, lots of time, to chit chat and enjoy the weather and people watching. The servers remained attentive and friendly but it became a noticeably long wait. Three refills and another 25 minutes later, our burgers arrived.
Each basket was filled to the brim with the open face burger components and fries. At first glance, the vivid red of the tomatoes with the bright yellow of the melted cheese and the caramel brown of the buns made this a very appealing looking burger. Did I also mention that this burger was rather large? With a little effort I managed to fit the majority of the burger between the two potato roll halves, but only just. I took a bite and instantly was in heaven. This burger had it all. Sweet and savory onion and bacon compote. Buttery, crispy bun. Rich egg. Big beefy patty that was well seasoned. Perfectly melted cheese. Veggies with actual flavor. It was big, it was messy, and it was good! It was New Orleans incarnated in a burger. The fries were also pretty great. They were fresh cut, crisp, and tasted like they were fried in duck fat. The waitress was not able to confirm whether they were on not but they were good so I didn’t really press the issue.
It just got real. Thanks to places like The Company Burger and Cowbell, New Orleans is two for two in recent Burger Tymes. Cowbell has what I think is one of the tastiest burgers anywhere. It also is one of the priciest when you add in all of the extras. Burger & fries + drink + tip = roughly $20. That’s a lot to ask of the general burger eating public. However, on special occasions, or when I find myself craving this burger (like I am right now), I would pay that in a heartbeat. It was that good that it sticks in my memory like my 8th birthday. If in the area, and if you want a burger, and if you have the money, ring the bell.
PS – In case you were wondering, service at Cowbell did take a while, even for a Friday night, but we still made it to the show in time. All in all, a great evening.