(1 votes, average: 8.00 out of 10)Register to vote.
Please leave a comment with your vote.
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…..
Flip ‘n Patties
Houston Food Truck
Keeping with the same theme as the last post which featured a burger from Peru where my brother is living as a missionary, my most recent burger experience was motivated by my love of all things Philippines, where I lived for two years also as a missionary. When I heard that there was a Filipino Burger Truck driving around Houston, I had to try it. Some people may ask themselves “Do they even have burgers in the Philippines?”, the answer is YES! <historylesson>After the influx of GIs leading up to and after WWII, burgers became a common and delicious staple that has remained for decades. </historylesson>
Back to the point, Filipino burgers in Houston, gotta go. So after some convincing, my wife joined me and we headed to the local drinkery where Flip ‘n Patties was set up for the evening. Upon our arrival I noticed immediately the crowd of people speaking Tagalog gathered around the truck eating some pretty good looking food. I knew I had scored a jackpot. In true Philippine fashion, they have a karaoke machine built in to the truck. Sadly, no one was singing. I apporached the window and when greeted, I asked if anyone spoke Visayan (cebuano) which is the language I learned while living there. Yet again, no one outside of the few islands I lived on speaks it. Oh well, we all speak the Universal language of food.
I place my order for the Flip ‘n Patties burger which is served on a steamed bun and has cheese, bacon, and a fried portabello patty along with the beef patty. The menu also has several Filipino items such as siopao, lumpia, garlic rice, and halo-halo along with other dishes that are more Philippine inspired. I couldn’t resist so, along with the burger I ordered a sampling of the Chicken PuPu, the Mayo fries, the garlic rice, and lumpia…. My mouth is watering as I type this. We went inside, grabbed a table and some soft drinks, and anxiously waited. After about 10 minutes my name was called and the feast was handed through the small window.
The spread looked great, the smells were amazing, and I exclaimed “Ka-on ta!”. The burger on a steam bun concept seemed to me strange in concept but after taking a bite, it works. The steam bun texture makes the burger a very cohesive unit. It combined with the crunchy, earthy, meatiness of the portabello, the cheesy, meatiness of the patty, and the salty, chew of the bacon to make a very tasty burger. Would I say the flavors invoked memories of Island and coconut trees? Well, no, but so what. There were vegetables on this burger but I honestly didn’t notice. Now, to the mayo fries…. Mayonnaise? on Fries? these fries were thick cut and appeared to be cooked a little too long. BUT, once I tried them. They were perfect! Each larger than usual fry covered in their sweet house made mayo was like a mini meal unto itself. I loved them. Everything else was great too. The chicken PuPu ( I like to think it is pronounce fu-fu) was a unique twist on fried chicken bits. The lumpia was probably the most authentic thing I sampled. Unfortunately they ran out of Halo Halo before I was done, so I didn’t get to relive that sweet, icy treat.
I think it is pretty clear that i really like this food truck. This is Burgertyme, however, so let me say that the burger at Flip ‘n Patties is really good and unique. Please take my advice and try the other items. They are every bit as good and creative as the burger. I love what these guys are doing and I hope Philippine cuisine can make the crossover, because there is so much to offer. As they say in Cebu “Pwerting Lami-a!”
(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.
(1 votes, average: 6.00 out of 10)Register to vote.
Burgers… Burger Tyme… Sigh, I haven’t had the enthusiasm, as of late, for planet Earth’s favorite food. I found it difficult to get excited about a burger unless it was made from beef raised next door, ground as we are speaking, with buns baked by artisans from the 17th century, topped with veggies from the garden of Eden… $20? No problem with quality like that! Right? It seems as though the pendulum has swung too far to the gourmet (read: expensive) end of the spectrum and I’ve lost sight of what makes a burger good. To get the magic back, during the holidays and the month of January I only had a few burgers at some old favorites like Christians Tailgate (was my first burger love in Houston) and Dearman’s Soda Fountain. These places offer the essence of burgers. No frills, no claims of superior ingredients, just good, tasty burgers.
When I returned from the holidays, I was recharged and ready to go out Burger Tyming! Fortunately there was a burger place that recently opened which seemed to be a mix of these burger philosophies. Simple but quality. Elevation burger aspires to elevate the simple burger without gimmicks or frills, just quality ingredients. We’ve heard this before. Let me be clear, I’m fine with quality however the result is usually either great burgers at great cost or average burgers at great cost. So the challenge is, can they over come the cost stigma associated with “quality” by turning out a great burger?
Walking in to Elevation Burger, I was impressed by how clean everything was. As much as I like dive bar burgers, its a bit refreshing not to have to worry about what might have been included with your order. The style is a mix of modern design mixed with natural elements like bamboo “wood” tables and chairs. The menu is pretty straightforward. Burgers come double or single patty ( a la In-N-Out), you select from a long list of toppings (a la Five Guys), add fries, add drink, and repeat. Something that I greatly appreciate is that they recommend trying the “original” which includes a standard set of toppings; elevation sauce, pickles, lettuce, and tomatoes.
I place my order for an Elevation Burger (double meat, double cheese), “Original” style. I opted to add caramelized onions and hot pepper relish. I added french fries (cooked in olive oil), and an all natural, organic chocolate Oreo malt. I was pretty hungry at this time and the wait felt longer the 7 or so minutes it took for the order to be brought to our table by the super polite cashier. The burger was not initially impressive. The patties are thin, as advertised, the cheddar is not melted (which it never does), and the bun looked pretty dry. The fries however looked great. Slightly thinner than normal and piled high. The burger tasted much better than it looked. Generally I don’t like cheddar due to its inability to melt and remain melted, but it was perfect with this burger. Nothing really stood out as spectacular but the overall flavor was fresh and light. It was not greasy at all but not dry. The fries were great. I’m not sure how much that has to do with being cooked in olive oil but they were perfectly crispy. The chocolate Oreo malt was as good as you can imagine, too thick to drink but a perfect dessert.
Elevation Burger is very good and high quality. I appreciate that they are not trying to reinvent the burger or insult their customers intelligence with the combinations. However it is not a great burger, which it needs to be to justify the $10 plus dollars this meal costs. Here’s the flipside. In the current burger environment, Elevation burger is middle of the pack price wise but will satisfy burger cravings without leaving you feeling greasy and gross. Getting ones burger mojo back is not easy. Oh wait, yes it is! Until next Burger Tyme!
(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.