Many a day I’ve found myself sitting around thinking about a delicious cheeseburger. It’s because I’m a godamn American and we like a good cheeseburger. I don’t care if they’re terrible for me, I know that, but I don’t eat cheeseburgers every day either. I guess I have a cheeseburger once every 3 weeks or so. 3 weeks is about the time when I sit there and think, “I sure would like a cheeseburger for lunch today.” And then I have to decide where to purchase said cheeseburger. I run down the list from best to worst in my mind and depending on how much effort and money I’d like to put forth a decision is made. I’m going to go ahead and put that list on my blog so I can remember it. Mind you, this is a list of the best and worst cheeseburgers in Austin, TX and may not reflect your particular location.
The best godamn cheeseburger in all of Austin, TX is made by HopDoddy. Quality ingredients, hand ground beef keeps this place consistently turning out a great burger cooked a perfect medium rare. The fries are good too. They only make burgers and fries. That’s it. They do a damn good job of it. No one in Austin makes a better burger.
The Roaring Fork
The Roaring Fork makes something they call, “The Big Ass Burger” and it’s pretty damn big. It’s pretty damn expensive too coming in at $14 although it does come with fries. I don’t know that I’ve ever seen anyone eat a whole one because they offer half the Big Ass Burger for $10 and that’s enough for most people. This burger comes topped with a poblano pepper, pepper smoked bacon, cheddar cheese and the usual veggies. Not quite as good as HopDoddy’s and coming in at a higher price make this one second in my book.
Hut’s makes a fine cheeseburger at the great price of $7. Every Wednesday they do 2 for 1 as well. I’ve had most every burger they sell and my favorite is the Ritchie Valens Burger. It comes with guacamole, shredded cheddar and jalapenos. Damn fine burger in a super cool atmosphere. Burger rank #3, atmosphere rank #1.
Back in the 70′s a married couple name Dan and Fran owned a few hamburger joints in Austin and they were called, “Dan’s Hamburgers”. Dan and Fran got a divorce and soon some of them were changed to “Fran’s Hamburgers”. Personally, I’m a Dan’s man. Dan has 4 locations around Austin. I like the one on S. Congress as this was where a lot of scenes from the Friday Night Lights series was filmed. They also make a damn fine burger. This is also the only one in the BEST section that’ll load you up with a double meat cheeseburger for $5.64. Damn fine price.
I have to add an Honorable Mention to this section. I almost forget about:
When’s the last time you went to a FuddRucker’s? They make a tasty, tasty cheeseburger. Never frozen, juicy, fat burgers with little stations so you can add your own mayo, letuce, pickles, etc. I love a FuddRucker’s burger when I remember this place exists.
Now we get into the chain type burgers. The places that make a good cheeseburger, but have multiple locations across Texas or the US.
P. Terry’s is more of an Austin chain, but more and more are popping up daily and they are on the chain list because they taste like a chain burger. A good quality chain burger made from all-natural angus beef – vegetarian fed, hormone- and antibiotic-free. Sounds good right? It is. It’s good and comes in at the top of the GOOD Burger list.
Another Austin and surrounding area chain that does a customer right when it comes to a cheeseburger. This place is always spotlessly clean and simple to get in and out of. They sell nothing but hamburgers in 1/4th or 1/2 pound sizes. Doesn’t get any easier and I’ve never had a bad burger from this place.
5 Guys is a national chain that started in the 80′s somewhere in Washington D.C., but they make a damn good burger. Big, juicy burgers that don’t taste like a chain burger because nothing is ever frozen. They don’t even have freezers in their stores. I never mind picking up a burger from 5 Guys.
Culver’s Butter Burgers
Culver’s also started in the 1980′s, but they started somewhere in Wisconsin. These are also very delicious because I think just about everything on the burger is cooked in butter. You can cook a cow turd in butter and it would probably taste good. Luckily, Culver’s uses mid-west beef that’s never frozen. See the theme here? Don’t freeze the shit out of the meat and you’ll have a better burger. Cook that burger in butter and you’re really on to something if you don’t kill your customers off with instant heart attacks.
And that’s it. That’s where it stops for me, but I’m going to continue because I’m not going to sit here and pretend that I don’t have to get a fast food cheeseburger from time to time. It happens due to time restrictions, laziness (AKA convenience) and whatever else. So here are the best of the worst burgers:
A Whataburger cheeseburger is miles above it’s competition in the best of the worst category. Started in the 50′s in Corpus Christi in those weird A-frame buildings by one man. I mean the name of the place literally makes you say, “What a burger!” Fucking genius. Now with hundreds of locations across the US these soy based, gluten fueled burgers come in at around 1000 calories each. Absolutely terrible for you, freshly thawed gut bombs are pretty godamn good. If I have to get a chain burger I’ll drive a few extra miles to find a Whataburger w/ a side of onion rings.
At least they try to be healthy and it’s kind of sweet that Dave named it after his daughter. Dave seemed like some weird grandpa who loved grilling too much. Wendy’s was actually one of the first to offer healthy alternatives to french fries like sliced apples, small salads and actually put salad bars in their stores. Their motto is “Quality is our Recipe”. This is much different than places like McDonald’s who change their motto every other week to hide their actual motto of, “Oh fuck it. Come get some fucking taste of death at McDonald’s.” I’ll eat a Wendy’s burger, but only if I have to.
This is like a pig slop burger. I don’t know where this place originates. California I think and there are a few in Texas, but I’ve only eaten here 2 or 3 times. And what the fuck is up with the name? Doesn’t even make any sense. Carl’s Jr. what? Are you really trying to say, “Carl Jr.”? Like there was a Carl Sr.? Or is it supposed to be something like, “Carl Jr.’s Hamburgers”? I don’t know about this place. I think they actually try to advertise their burger as completely dripping in grease and Carl Sauce or something. It’s just the same as the burgers below though.
Look at this fucking photo a friend of mine sent me when I told him I was going to write a blog entry about cheeseburgers. That’s a REAL photo of a REAL burger that Evan bought at Burger King a month or so ago. Fucking disgusting. Click on the photo. I dare you.
Jack In the Box
Terrible food made of terrible ingredients. I’ve never eaten here and felt good about my decision afterwards. A friend of mine is an ER doctor in Austin and he says Jack in the Box is second on the list of people who come in for food poisoning. #1? Taco Bell. Yeah, I know… no surprise there.
It gets no worse than McDonald’s. I don’t eat at McDonald’s, my child won’t eat at McDonald’s because every time I drive by a McDonald’s I’m going to tell him, “See those golden arches? That’s where the devil keeps the dead people he kills at night.” I don’t consider this a place that actually serves food and I’m not sure why it’s still in business. I can’t remember the last time I had a burger here. Had to have been a decade ago. This is pretty much a shit patty, between two slices of shit. I do remember the fries being damn good though. I also remember dropping a fry between my seats then cleaning out my car several months later and that fry looking the EXACT same as when I dropped it only it got hard. Like if you were trapped in your car after going off a bridge and water was filling up fast and you were looking around for something to cut through the seat belt and / or windshield and you happened to pick up a long lost McDonald’s french fry it wouldn’t be a problem. You could cut through that shit no problem with that french fry and then live a few days off the fry and then get diarrhea and die.
That’s it. That’s all I got. Now go get yourself a fat, juicy cheeseburger.