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The Venerable Hamburger In the News: Moving Beyond Simple Fast Food

Burger Basket

Since its “invention” the lowly hamburger has grown to be perhaps the most popular sandwich on the globe. Okay, so maybe the burger didn’t get invented so much as it evolved with the times. In any case, there’s still a bit of a controversy over who invented this tasty sandwich (and when). Does it really matter, though? So long as they’re available everywhere, so Real Men can get their fix whenever the mood strikes.

The steady increase in prices for lower-quality, fast-food burgers has put the market to seeking alternatives. Fancier burgers from chain outlets, for one. Hamburgers at sit-down restaurants, even fancy ones. I’ve recently tried Culver’s in north Austin, and found their Bacon Deluxe Butterburger (yes, real butter!) to be a pleasing treat. Surprisingly, the calorie count on that burger is less than 800 for a double; well less than many competitor’s sandwiches. (No, it’s still not a diet food. Dang!) I tried Five Guys too, but found them a bit wanting compared to the hype. There are several places here locally that make a better burger, in my opinion: Hopdoddy’s, Phil’s Ice House, even Moonie’s Burger House rate higher on flavor and quality, especially on the fries. I certainly wouldn’t put Five Guys at the top of the list.

Bigger Burger

Well, who would I put up there? I’ll tell you, I enjoy the food and nostalgic diner experience of Freddy’s Frozen Custard & Steakburgers. The patties are thin, cooked through nicely, and come with plenty of fixings. Their French fries are nearly shoestring size, giving more crunch per order. You have to munch the fries down quick, though; those skinny strips of goodness cool off fairly quickly! Leave the burger for dessert. Then get a second dessert of Famous Concrete frozen yogurt for the ride home.

But even Freddy’s doesn’t make the top of the heap for me. There’s a new “chain” here in the greater Austin metro area that kicks the pants off of all the other casual dining burger joints: Mighty Fine Burgers & Fries. They’re the only burger place to win the prestigious Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award, a high standard indeed. So far, though, only four outlets; not national yet! (It’s okay, we’re not in that big a hurry to share.)

There may be better burgers out there, but for my money, Mighty Fine has their name spang-on…

Enjoy the (Modern Meaty Madness) Heat!


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