Saturday, December 27, 2008

Year End Salvo's

What started out with two old friends who just wanted something to eat has exploded into a blog and a national following. From the nation's capital to the capital of Texas, Matt and Ed's Burger Odyssey has become a national hit. Those in the know, know that the Burger Odyssey is the place to go to learn about Austin hamburger joints. Austinites, be they teachers or salesman, rock stars or nursing home managers, eagerly await each Monday night knowing that a new hamburger joint will join the list, the list of the visited. As the Odyssey itself has grown, Austin burger joints have come to eagerly anticipate the visits. For example, when the Odyssey visited Waterloo in late December, we were asked for our names. When our burgers were ready, they called our names. Clearly, the Burger Blog is well known, even by name in the Austin hamburger universe.

Tonight, in the waning days of the Ocho that gave birth to the Odyssey, we announce our year end Salvo's. Many have asked the Odyssey, What is the best burger y'all have had? But, the Odyssey finds this to be a silly question. Our relationship to the hamburger, and to the resturants and stories that create them, is much too sophisticated for a simple title of "best burger." While a burger may be tasty, other factors determine if it is the perfect buger. For example, is the burger joint comfortable? Can you laugh hartily without being looked at funny? Are there hot chicks around? What if you are hungover, is it still a good burger? Does the resturant have character? These are just some of the questions that the Odyssey thinks of when it seeks the perfect burger. With that said, our year end Salvo's:

MOST COMFORTABLE BURGER JOINT: Hut's. Who wouldn't feel comfortable with beat up old booths and sports team pennants. If the Fonze and that red headed dude from Happy Days walked in, you would'nt be suprised.

BURGER JOINT WITH THE MOST HISTORY: Dirty's. Older than the U.T. tower. Enough said.

BEST BURGER JOINT WHEN YOU ARE HUNGOVER: Dirty's when you feel dirty. These burgers drip with grease and ease that hangover right on out.

BURGER JOINT WITH THE HOTTEST CHICKS: P. Terry's. I don't know if we just went on the perfect night, but there were more hot chicks here that at all the other burger joints combined.

MOST CLASSIC BURGER JOINT: Top Notch. A sign bigger than a car. Drive up order booths. A movie set. In door charcoal grille. Brick walls. A damn good burger. The phrase "Classic Burger Joint" was invented to describe this place.

Monday, December 15, 2008


Right in the heart of Austin, Waterloo Icehouse is named after the original town of Austin. That's right, for all you people who do not know your history Napoleon was defeated near the town of Waterloo, Belgium in 1815. 21 years later, Anglo settlers first arrived in our area and settled down in a few huts scattered between the Congress Ave. and 1st Street bridge. Today, homeless people in Austin honor these first settlers by setting up cardboard shacks in the same location. Waterloo Icehouse also honors them with the name of their restaurant. And what better food to serve there than Austin's leading food group, hamburgers.

Waterloo has a good menu of burgers serving up the Works, a Hickory Cheddar burger, a Guacamole-Bacon-Swiss and a singing website. Hear the song at For the Burger Odyssey this was our first non-burger joint we hit up, the chopped steak with mashed potatoes looked delicious, but the burger came highly recommended. This was also the first restaurant that is younger than Matt and Ed (it was founded in 1976, Matt and Ed were founded in 1975). To get there, Matt and Ed met up at Matt's downtown crashpad and braved the two block walk to 6th and Lamar. Oh, whoop-de-doo you might be saying, real tough walk. Well, we guessed the windchill to be 20 degrees! That's right we had to manage a massive artic blast on this walk. By the way, see our side business on the web at "Matt and Ed's Temperature Guessing Service Sponsored by Sage's Driving Service." (You had to be there to understand that last statement, the funniest Odyssey to date.)

We were met up, as usual now, by the Rock Star and the Sage, featuring Ali, a Tavern coneseiuer. They drove and thus were not quite as affected by the blizzard. FriedEd ordered the Hickory Cheddar and asked to hold the hickory and cheddar. (Note: FriedEd did not really say this but it would have been funny if he did.) This was a good tasty burger with a nice moist patty. However, the hickory seemed to overwhelm the meaty flavor and the bread to meat ratio definitely favored the bread. The fries were good but potatoey.

BurgerMatt ordered The Works burger, which included bacon and jalapenos, and it was quite tasty. Along with the burger, fries and Dr. Pepper, Burger Matt partook in a Waterloo Icehouse tradition and ordered a cold beer as well. Numerous beers on tap, as well as a plethora of bottled beer, gets huge bonus points as does the music store next door and Amy's Ice Cream. Amy's is great spot for those of you ambitious enough to indulge in another Austin favorite. We thought about visiting Amy's Ice Cream yodeling and singing and swinging our arms "We are here to save your business." Another you had to be there moment.

As we walked out of the restaurant back into the North Pole, we debated the year end awards. Check back on Wednesday for the 1st Annual Salvo Awards. That will be our last post of the ocho. We look forward to a new year of the Burger Odyssey and all the added weight it will bring. We plan to start the new year off with a Bang as we are headed to the most talked about Burger joint in Austin, none other than Casino el Camino. We invite all to join us on any one of our Odysseys in 2009 and look forward to having numerous guest bloggers as the Odyssey roles on.


Burger 86

Fries 87


Burger 85

Fries 83

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Top Notch

Top Notch has been holding down the north end of Burnet Road since 1971. But, one day in 1992, Richard Linkleter showed up with a movie camera and a couple of unknown actors. The actors would utter lines that have echoed down the ages and have been frequently quoted by BurgerMatt and FriedEd. The cult classic "Dazed and Confused" was the fantasy backdrop of our high school experience as we identified with every line and every moment as though it had been written about us. The kids in Dazed and Confused cruised the Top Notch parking lot and now, almost 16 years later the parking lot looks the same and the actors, Matthew McConaughey, Ben Affleck, to name a couple, are nearly household names. And it all started in that Top Notch parking lot. We came for the movie, but we stayed for the burgers. And oh my, it was a damn good burger.

Top Notch has an indoor coal fired grill. The little old lady behind the counter told me that some guy stood on the roof to keep the giant fan going otherwise the place would get smoked out and everyone would get real sleepy and then die. She assured me though we would probably be OK by running out. As for the burger it was coal fired good. The fries were great but the pepper shakers don't work. And the onion rings, mmmm real good. But hell, what do I know, I was drunk. Anything would have tasted good. My drunkenness would give it a 98, but if I attempted to rate it here I would get a RWI (Rating While Intoxicated) so I will leave it up to others.


While FriedEd was no doubt prepartying for his birthday tomorrow he was definitely right about the burger. The open flame coal fired grill was the first of its kind on the Odyssey and it did not let down at all. The atmosphere at this movie mecca was second to none and was the favorite of all the regulars- the sage, the rock star and the brother. The burger of choice seemed to be the Longhorn burger which consisted of two patties, a toasted bun, lettuce, tomato and a special sauce which was my choice and it was delicious. The fries were a bit on the crunchy side and lacked seasoning, however the onion rings made up for them and were the best to date.

The Rock star, who we are seeing this Saturday at Fitzgeralds in Houston at around 9:30pm, threw us for a loop and ordered a side of Fried Chicken which was quite delicious. Be prepared for a half a chicken with the order. It was crunchy, moist and full of flavor. Would go back just for the chicken alone.

Back to the burger, you could not ask for better prices as they ranged from just above $2 to almost $5. The flame broiled taste of the burgers gave a sense of a true backyard classic with excellent flavor. We must admit this was the best combo of burger, atmosphere and overall satisfaction seen by the odyssey. Will it rank as the best we are not sure but it will be revisited many times.

Special mention has to be given to the outside of the place which still has the drive up and order box outside along with the menus. Yes you can order from your car and have your burger brought to you. Does it get anymore real than that? If you remember in "Dazed and Confused" when McConaughey says "I like them redheads, I do," you will know exactly where we stood and mimicked those lines.

Burger: 92.5

Fries: 84

Onion Rings: 88

Fried Chicken: 93

The blog wants to remind everyone about The Salvos, our end of the year awards will be coming out in three weeks. This burger is sure to get an award!

Based on a request from one of our most loyal followers and now that we are more technologically advanced, atleast until my new phone breaks, we will attach a photo of the burger every week.

Monday, November 24, 2008


This week the Odyssey set out to answer life's great question: Who is better, the men or the women? The wife or the husband? You see, Dan's and Fran's used to be one but they split and now are two. Last week the Odyssey visited the Husband, Dan. This week we cruised south to Congress Avenue to sample the lady, the wife, Fran. And the verdict is in, and it wasn't even close: The women are smarter, and better and juicier- Fran's kicks Dan's ass, and BurgerMatt's stomach.

Fran's has almost the exact same menu as Dan's and the same old time feel. While Dan's sports a cool red sign, Fran's also has a cool red sign but adds a pretty sweet awning to maintain that 50's look. The 1950's were apparently the heyday of the burger as it seems that every good burger joint looks like the 1950's (McDonald's on the other hand looks 70's which was a horrible decade for burgers). The inside atmosphere has red and white tile, a few booths, but nothing too complex. Like any good burger joint, this place is for gettin' messy with a burger.

FriedEd switched it up this time and went with the 4 oz Hickory Burger as he is still watching the old belly. The hickory is nice and sweet which compliments the tasty patty. FriedEd has a theory that the older the burger joint, the more flavor their is in the meat. We were unable to ask a lot of questions about Fran's and its history as their were impatient bellies waiting behind us. Oh well, I guess we will just have to go back.

We were once again met by the Rock Stars and brother (not a monk). The Sage spoke early and said, "What is this dipping sauce people are putting their fries into?" And with that, God made ketchup and the Sage was happy. Later, the Sage was called upon to evaluate the Burger. He spoke again, "The pastry taste of the bun suggested a gluten free batter." His words were recorded for posterity and as I write, BurgerMatt is busy carving them in stone, so when our civilization falls, the words of the Sage will still be known.

FriedEd ordered the fries and shake. The shake was great and FriedEd enjoyed the brain freezes. The fries were excellent and perfectly salted, but had too much pepper on them (FriedEd's fault, not Fran's). Overall an excellent experience and in FrienEd's mind, Fran's has moved into a close second with Dirty's.

Burger: 91
Fries: 89
Shake: 85
Feel of Stomach one hour later: 77
Joy of watching BurgerMatt's agony over his double cheeseburger: priceless


This week the blog was excited to compare the battle of the sexes! Would man's brawn and brashness outdo women's tenderness and kindness? This is a question asked many times in this world. Leave it to two competing burger legends to answer the ageless question. Well, as was mentioned above, the women are better than the men. Albeit, my burger may end up giving me a coronary and some serious gastrointestinal issues.

Going with what I went with the previous week, this double with cheese packed an impressive punch. How I finished it only God knows but the devil has decided to use my stomach as a punching bag seeing how its about that size. The fries, the best to date, were excellent and were seasoned to perfection. So impressed by the fries this only added to my misery. (I use the term misery as a compliment because I devoured everything that was placed in front of me out of sheer delight.)

The decor is perfect for a great night out with the crew for a great burger. The awning adds to the flare and made us long for girls on rolllerskates serving us at our cars. The odyssey is now in our third month and we have found some impressive burgers and great fries and Frans has garnered much of that recognition. The best fries to date and a very impressive burger Frans will be tough to beat overall.

Th odyssey is looking forward to the final month of the year and handing out some awards before our much needed winter break. Next week looks to be special as we venture to a local legend!

Burger 91
Fries 92

Happy Thanksgiving Odyssey fans and see you in December.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008


Well, the Odyssey is expanding with our waistlines as we had seven eaters in all. It was seven times the burgers, which means seven times the fun and seven times the laughs. Sadly, the evening began with tragedy. The original plan was to meet at Top Notch, but a member of the Top Notch family had passed away and they were closed until further notice. We will have to try them again when they are having better days. This led to a last second audible and a flurry of Internet searches, texts, and phone calls led us to Dan’s.

Everyone in Austin, big and small, knows the story of Dan and Fran. All except FriedEd, who had to do a little bit of inquiry. He found out that Dan and Fran had once been married and opened a burger restaurant which may or may not have been called “Dan’s and Fran’s”. But then, Dan started hooking up with Sandy and Fran got dirty with Dirty and things in the Austin burger world all blew up when Sandy posted on Fran’s Facebook Wall and divided the once mighty Dan’s and Fran’s. Today, there is a Dan’s and there is a Fran’s and they are far away from each other (even though their kids now own both of them????, uhmm, the plot thickens, whose kids are they?).

Today, there are a few Dan’s and we went to the one on North Lamar which sports a cool red sign. Inside, you have fake wood tables several of which are grouped together into eight tops, which was perfect for the ever expanding Odyssey. Back in the good old days of September, FriedEd and BurgerMatt were all alone just chattin’ about chicks and football. The tradition still continues, but now we have been joined by a couple of rock stars, one of which is a Sage, a brother (not a monk) and two super hot chicks named Erica and Anne (not my sister). NOTE: I have a sister named Anne. To keep everything appropriate here, we will have to leave out the tales of weekend conquests (and one of the greatest text messages ever sent- five guys looked at it and said “whoa.),” but we can say the Odyssey was jazzed to have a 2-0 weekend from the Horns and Boys. Always a good sign of an awesome week to come. But, wait, is this a burger blog or what?

FriedEd ordered up a bacon cheeseburger. Dan’s patrons can go with a small (2 oz), medium (4 oz) or large (6 oz) patty. Since FriedEd is watching the old belly, he went with the medium and a small Dr. Pepper. He was going to go with a large, but then brother (not a monk) pointed out that you get free refills so why not go with the small. A small it was, Dan’s was going to be tricked. But, karma always catches up because the Dr. Pepper, an essential part of the FriedEd diet, was out of order and FriedEd had to go with Coke which is lame. FriedEd also ordered the curly fries.

The burger was solid with a good, seasoned and juicy piece of meat. I would describe it in several paragraphs, but instead I will let the Sage speak, who in a few choice words overtook The Dude as a brilliant speaker: “The meat was finely ground to the point you could see the grain which means the meat had not been overworked.” Wow. Pause for reflection..... Need anything else be said?! Finer, more brilliant words, have rarely been uttered by man. The meat was good, but on my burger I didn’t quite care for the mustard, and I felt the bun was just slightly stale. The average person may not have noticed the staleness of the bun, but I have a very developed sense of this. Overall the burger was good, but could have been better.

Burger: 87

Curly Fries: 85

Onion Rings: 92

Coke: 24

Average Score of Chicks Around: 99

Feel of stomach one hour later: 77


I must say this Odyssey, in the words of Borat, was a "Great Success!"

Following the Longhorns victory at Kansas and my prediction of a Cowboys win at Washington, (see blog from trip to Dirty Martin's,) I could not have been more pleased with the start of my week. Then again, my weekend was about as epic as can be, but that's for another blog. (Baxter is that you? Bark twice if you're in Milwaukee.)

We had the delight of being joined by, well, pretty much all of our followers. Pulling into Dan's one of the first true signs of a classic burger joint is a great sign outside and Dan's was right there with the best of them. Classic retro 50's sign, does it get any better?

Going with the large double with cheese and the works I was sure to have a challenge on hand. Much to my delight the burger was an instant hit. Excellent flavor, the meat seasoned deliciously, the bun light and toasted and all the fixins were right on par. The fries were a bit unseasoned and bland however the onion rings were very good. One of our guest commented on the burger by saying, "I never usually finish my burger, this one was good."

The extra napkins and condiments on the table were and added bonus as were free refills. I must say I really enjoyed the evening, the company was nothing short of great and the burger and locale were on par of what you would want a classic burger odyssey to be.

Burger: 90

Fries: 80

Onion rings: 87

Monday, November 10, 2008


Hut's is an Austin institution, a place that requires a pilgrimage to if you want to say you live in Austin. Founded in 1939 as Sammy's, they had dancing elephants on the wall, waffle fries, a drive in and apparently no pennants on the walls. But FriedEd has to admit, he has never been a big fan of Hut's burgers. But what he does like is the cozy atmosphere. It is a place that feels like it could be on the set of Happy Days and it just invites friends to sit back and share stories for hours.

On this night the Odyssey set a new record as we were joined by two other people, a first for the Odyssey shattering the previous record of 1 guest. And these guests were not just any guests, they were rock stars with a real actual band celebrating their one week anniversary of rocking the Hole In the Wall (mmm, bar blog........). Their was RadRod and the Frank the Salvo. RadRod demonstrated an important rule: When ordering a burger with a sunny side egg on it, it is important to remember this when you take your first bite to avoid a great deal of confusion. RadRod guest writes below and he can tell you all about it.

As to the burger, FriedEd went with Hut's Favorite which includes lettuce, tomato, mayo, cheese, and bacon. This was a tough call as Hut's has 20 burger choices, some of them quite creative, but the HF is the most popular one and since FriedEd dreams one day of being popular, he always goes with the popular thing. Hut's patties are juicy but a little on the watery side. For such an old place, I have always felt that Hut's should have a little more taste to their burgers. Their fries are thick cut and tasty but I recommend using the salt on them liberally.
Hut's really makes a statement with their Onion Rings that run about the size of a doughnut. If you like eating big chunks of onion then these are for you. Despite the low grade I give Hut's burgers, I will always go back there as it just feels like a good old high school hangout.

Burger: 80
Fries: 82
Atmosphere: 90


As mentioned above we had the honor of having two rock stars embark on the Odyssey. The bass guitar player and the lead singer of Romance Fantasy, (they are playing in Houston December 6th at Fitzgerald's, I know shameless plug.) The historical and famous Hut's burger did not disappoint on the hype as one of the best burger joints in Austin. The atmosphere was was second to none, filled with nostalgia from the multiple pictures of Austin's history on the wall to the Bison's head that is older then some of our readers. Multiple burger choices add to lore of this renowned spot, with a number of best burger restaurant awards on the walls.

As I ordered one of the suggested burgers that came with mustard, mayo, lettuce, tomato. and pickles, does it get anymore classic , I was really exited to get a true sense of Hut's. While the burger was good it did lack the extra star power that I was looking for. The hype was high and the restaurant stood up to the challenge, however the burger was not quite there. Lacking in flavor this burger was ok and I would go back to try some of the other many burgers they have to offer, but they still cannot reach the bar set by Jack's. The fries were nice steak fries with skin still on but lacked flavor as well and needed seasoning.

A major plus was beer available at the bar and a knowledgeable staff that really made the experience very enjoyable. I have to say I am torn with my burger and the experience. We stayed and hung out an extra hour after dinner not wanting to leave the place. I am reserving the right to come back and try one of the burgers with jalapenos on them.

Burger: 82

Fries: 79 add salt and they move to 80

Guest Rock Star: Rod Pardey

The search for the perfect burger is somewhat of a quixotic quest. Humbly, I have accepted Matt and Ed's invitation to critique one of Austin's most enduring landmarks.

Emeril Lagasse appeared on Good Morning America to lavish praise upon this Austin institution, and the readership of the Austin Chronicle have for the most part agreed. But to these eyes, Hut's is a rather mixed bag. Has hype once again played a dirty trick upon our judgement? Nevertheless, Hut's is on point in more ways than it is not. Their ingredients (buns included!) are very fresh, and the enthusiasm of their service is uncommon for a restaurant with prices this low. The atmosphere seems a perfect cross between American Graffiti and a dusty town straight out of The Last Picture Show - but, alas, minus the prom queen. That is to say, Hut's may have over-performed in surveys and internet prattle partly because of what it represents, or tries to represent: An America that once was.

Final note:
Next week the Odyssey goes to a famous landmark, for those of you who are into movies you might know this place from one of the most influential movies of our times which lead to launching the career's of so many famous actors. An Austin landmark and one that is sure to get more people to come out, we have six people already on the list, this should be the best one yet.
I will give you a hint, I've been Dazed and Confused for so long.

Monday, November 3, 2008


This week we followed our fans recommendation and chowed down at BurgerTex. There was some confusion as to which BurgerTex to visit, but after a little research it was found that the BurgerTex on Airport is the original location. BurgerMatt and FriedEd always prefer an Austin original as those old grills have a story to tell and some good deep meet seasoning. We will have to try the "new" BurgerTex on Guadalupe on down the road, but as the two are not associated with each other, despite the name, it will be a separate entry.

On this visit, questioning Nicole joined us and so we had to break down a few groundrules of the Odyssey. First of all, we never accept free food. Later, when we are huge and have our own TV show and Internet (that's right, not a website but an Internet) and when we are more recognizable than Vince Young, we anticipate that our arrivals will be a huge event. Even then, we will not accept free food. Secondly, when choosing burger joints, chains are a no no. You will not see the Burger Odyssey at a McDonald's, that would be about as interesting to us as a visit to Norman, Oklahoma. Our basic guideline for this is that it must be homegrown Austin, and the original location. For the Odyssey is more about Burgers, and chics and sports, it is also an Odyssey through Austin history. And what better way to experience Austin history than through legendary burger joints where generations have enjoyed the simple idea of a cow on a bun. To this end, FriedEd, the official Odyssey historian, always asks about the history of the place. This usually leads to a long conversation as Austin burger joints are proud of their history. Now that we have that settled, let's eat.

BurgerTex makes all of its buns fresh daily, twice a day actually and they are good, mmm good. Burgers are served up plain and then the customer dresses the burger. This is a great system to some, FriedEd does not like this system as it gives him too much freedom to mess up his burger and exposes him to out of control ketchup and mayonnaise squirts. It was only with great dexterity that FriedEd avoided having ketchup squirt all over himself, but his burger was not quite so lucky. FriedEd clearly put too much mayonnaise on his burger which overwhelmed the whole thing. Now, if BurgerTex had put the mayonnaise on, they would have known just the right proportions for a perfect taste. The general public, or at least FriedEd, is too stupid to know the perfect amount and giving them the freedom to dress their own burgers makes BurgerTex burgers way too mayonaissey.

Dressings aside, along with the bun, the patty itself is impressive. Nicely salted and seasoned, it comes as close as any patty in Austin to capturing the Jack’s Burger House taste, which is acknowledged by the Odyssey as the perfect burger. Those 1973 grills have some kick in them that oozzes through every bite.

Overall burger score: 89

Fries: 80


The name of the burger that has sparked a lot of interest at this local establishment, is a Korean invention that has taken root in the heart of central Texas. This thinly sliced beef, that has marinated in soy sauce, garlic and ginger, has a ton of Korean bar-b-que flavor. (Where is the Kimchi?) Although not quite the burger we are used to this burger offers more of a unique twist with a lot of flavor to the classic burger. Along with the trimmings bar, which FriedEd was not so fond of, I concocted a gourmet burger that was equally delicious as it was unique.

The fries were a bit on the crunchy side, though the flavor was good, still did not live up to the lofty expectations Jack's has set. As for the ambiance Burger Tex is a classic establishment with TV and pool table. This is where you want to sit, have a burger, hang out with some friends and enjoy the company.

As I did enjoy the Bulgoki, I am going to have to give it two separate grades. I am grading it as a regular burger and as a specialty burger.

Burger Score:

80 for a regular burger

84 for a specialty burger

Fries 79

Next week we are headed out to Huts on Monday night around 7:30 as we will have a guest writer, Rock Star and poker pro with us. None other than the lead singer of Romance Fantasy, Rodd Pardey. Here is a link to their home page.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Dirty Martin's

In 1926, Austin had a population of 45,000. There was no UT tower and no damns on the Colorado river. I-35 was a dirt road, resembling the Chisholm Trail. There was no airport in town and horses still trotted up and down Congress Avenue. And on Guadalupe Street, Dirty Martin’s opened. I imagine some of its first customers arrived on horseback.

On the first cold night of the year, in the fall of 2008, Matt and Ed’s Austin Burger Odyssey continued to this relic of the past. It claims to be the oldest continuously operated restaurant in Austin. It is famous for its greasy burgers, which sounded mighty good to FriedEd and BurgerMatt as they still struggled with their weekend hangovers on Monday night.

On this night, the Austin Burger Odyssey was joined by Jay. In FriedEd’s mind, Jay has two major flaws: he is a Republican and a Redskins fan. FriedEd is not sure which is worse, but fortunately Jay is a stand up guy and this greatly overwhelms his other flaws in FriedEd’s mind and so he is well liked. But, as Jay was late, our Odyssey needed something to hold it over and ordered the queso and chips. Not usually reviewed here, but Dirty’s must have the best queso of any burger joint in Austin. The queso cup was clean white when we were finished with it.

In addition to Burger joints, the Odyssey also likes to discuss chicks and football. Preferably chicks playing football naked, but since this rarely happens they are usually separate topics, and both were covered on this night. The chick conversation will have to remain silent for this PG-13 blog and so while we are still pretty damn excited about the Longhorns, the Cowboys needed our attention. After careful analysis of the standings, and finally pulling up the Cowboys remaining schedule on the cell phone (damn 1926 wiring), it was decided that the Cowboys would definitely lose in New York next week. But, after that game, with a healthy squad returning after a bye week the Boys would kick it into high gear and finish out the season winning 5 of their last 7 and be peaking by playoff time. Suffice it to say, RedskinJay had a different opinion. But, I digress, is this a burger blog or what?

It was recommended by the staff that the OT and DH burgers were the signature burgers, so BurgerMatt and FriedEd split up the duty on this one. FriedEd had the OT, piled with bacon, cheese, lettuce, tomato, mayonnaise and a nice buttery bun. BurgerMatt had the DH burger, which was appropriate as its initials were the same as his pseudonym (see below). It was a super impressive burger, and dirty, and required lots of napkins. FriedEd’s cholesterol shot off the charts with this one but his tongue was happy.

FriedEd also ordered the fries. Not real hungry to start after the queso destruction and three Dr. Peppers, the fries were only average but apparently covered in crack, and FriedEd likes some good fried crack. Not even knowing what he was doing, FriedEd gobbled down a whole basket as though his very existence as a human being depended on it, as though if he stopped eating them he would cease breathing. After this attack, a greasy bag was all that remained. On a related sidenote, it was also proved that FriedEd is a much better ketchup pourer than is BurgerMatt. Oh, and BurgerMatt can be easily tricked into holding the ketchup bottle upside down.

Finally, in anticipation of getting really big, Matt and Ed have decided that they need pseudonyms to disguise their names in public so that the restaurant staff does not know we are around. FriedEd picked the names and these are the names we will use for each other in the restaurants. Of course, these names must remain secret, but to let our loyal readers know, we will reveal one new letter a week. Here are the first letters. FriedEd: “C” BurgerMatt: “D”

Hamburger: 93

Fries: 85

Dr. Pepper: 90

Average Score of Chicks around: 80

Stomach feeling one hour later: 70

Likelihood the Cowboys make the playoffs: 70%

Very well written I must say by FriedED.

The DH burger was, and I say this with great enthusiasm for all those who like greasy burgers, greasy and exceptional. The best burger to date. Served somewhat different than your normal burger, the DH was served on two pieces of buttered Texas toast. Two patties with some sauteed onions a pickle and some mustard, exactly what the doctored ordered for a hang over. Dirty Martin's gets extra props for the free refills, this is the first place to have this, as well as the option of a beer with a burger. Lone Star beer on tap is always an added bonus and gets great bonus points. This place is what you would love a good burger joint to look like, old fashioned and smelling like burger and a bar next to the grill.

I knew it was a good burger when all three of us ummm and groaned after the first two bites. Jay even ordered fried mushrooms which were awesome and which were hot, FriedEds tongue is proof of that.

As for the fries not my favorite, but the burger was worth the visit alone. This will be a strong recommendation for a hang over burger to all my friends visiting.

Burger 92

Fries 83

Seeing FriedEd burn his tongue on a fried mushroom: Priceless

Monday, October 13, 2008


This Monday night in October was especially beautiful in Austin, TX knowing that the Texas Longhorns football team was number 1 in the nation. What better way to celebrate than with a burger. Matt and Ed's Austin Burger Odyssey continued to Sandy's.

This Old Lady of Barton Springs Road is steeped in history, having tossed out its first burgers when the U.S. and the Empire of Japan were battling for control of the Pacific and no one had ever heard of McDonald's. It has stood strong even as a Whataburger set up shop right next to it, which FriedEd finds akin to pushing around little girls. This history and resilience earns Sandy's big points in our book, er blog.

As for the Burger, Fried Ed and Burger Matt stayed with the theme of the double cheeseburger, fries and a drink. But, this week FriedEd went a little crazy and substituted a chocolate shake for the longtime Dr. Pepper favorite. The Sandy's burger has a thin paddy and thin bread and comes topped with mustard for its sauce. FriedEd appreciates the thin bread and thin paddy but felt something overall was missing to add an extra zing. While the paddy is tasty, and tastes like meat, it lacks a watery salty taste that a Jack's burger would deliver. And it lacked the gooey taste of a P.Terry's burger.

FriedEd was not impressed with the fries either, wondering if Sandy's runs down the street to the McDonald's and orders baskets of fries a few times a night and serves them up to their customers. The shake was a different story. FriedEd knew he had something good when he sucked on the straw and nothing came out except a little bit of a headache on his part. A nice, slow moving shake requires a spoon and is an excellent compliment to a burger, if not to the stomach. FriedEd should have never doubted it.

The patio of Sandy's rounds out the historic feel and doesn't seemed to have changed since at least the 1960's. It is simple and honest with wooden tables, tin roofs, and a shaky radio as if to say "the only reason you are here is to eat good burgers, what do you care what it looks like." Amid the national chain burger places nearby, Sandy's stands as the Queen of Barton Springs, but definitely does not supplant the King of Barton Springs, P. Terry's.

Fried Ed's Score:
Burger: 85
Fries: 74
Shake: 90
Average score of chicks around: 4
Feel of stomach an hour later: 85

I too liked the atmosphere that gives you that south Austin charm at its finest. The burger in my eyes was tasty yet lacked some grease and some extra sauce. It was a bit dry but had the right idea. I, on the other hand, enjoyed the fries as I am fond of salty thin fries, a la McDonald's fries. While this burger was good and the history of the place gave a nostalgic feel I continue my search for the perfect Austin Burger. One last note, the custard after dinner which they are known for, was delicious. May be worth it just to go back for that.

Burger: 85

Monday, October 6, 2008

P. Terry's

This California in Austin drive thru scores right away with a hot chick in line in front of us, always a good sign of a top quality burger joint. BurgerMatt ordered first, going with the double cheeseburger combo with Dr. Pepper. Fried Ed, having already made his selection in his mind before he heard BurgerMatt's order, went with the double cheeseburger combo with Dr. Pepper.

P. Terry's has a nice little patio, a definite upgrade from the curb Fried Ed sat on for his last visit. Often times this patio has lonely attractive women who drive BMW's enjoying their burger with a Chronicle. However, frequently idiotic dudes sit down and debate burger joints rather than ask her to read them their horoscope from the Chronicle.

The cheeseburger combo comes with a special sauce. Not sure what this was, but it dripped white onto my fingers so I think it must be a mayonaise based ingredient. At first sight the burger itself is not that big, like a fat hockey puck, but rest assured, once it is deep in the belly it will begin to expand to at least four times its size. The cheese is nice and gooey causing the thin patty to slide about requiring lots of fingers and napkins to keep it all together. Fried Ed enjoys a nice thin patty because he does not have to expend as much energy chewing and can get to the next bite quicker.

The fries are thin with no seasoning. Fried Ed enjoys putting three together, folding them and diping them into the ketchup. This complex process allows the fries to be eaten faster, which is fun. The Dr. Pepper is good and perfect size, not one of those massive drinks that fills you up before you even get your food.

Fried Ed
Burger: 85
Fries: 78
Average Score of Hot Chicks Around: 88
Dr. Pepper: 90
Stomach Feeling One hour after eating: 75

Burger: 84
Fries: 68

Will defintely go back for a burger. The hot girl next to us made the experience all the better. We suggest not going through the drive-thru, the women around were hot and more kept coming. Solid debut for our Monday night burger odyssey!
Locations to try are Sandy's, Player's, and Dirty's.

Finding the Best Burger in Austin!

Two guys, one mission! To find the best Burger in Austin.

Our goal, to go to a new Burger joint every Monday night and rate their burgers on a scale of 1-100.

Our benchmark is Jack's Burger House in Dallas. A long time favorite of ours we have set their burger and arguably the greatest fries in the world as our benchmark.

Our ratings are tough and fair. BurgerMatt rates Jack's a 94 for the burger and a 95 for their fries. FriedEd has rated them a 95 for their burger and their fries a 96. While these grades are based on years of eating there and consistency in the burger and fries our goal is to find the perfect Burger and perfect Fries in Austin. Is this possible? Only our Monday nights will tell.

To interpret our grades we have set them up as follows:

96-100 is akin to a Super Model. Hard to come by unless you have been to a Victoria's Secret fashion show, and utterly perfect. Does a 100 exist, super model or burger?

90-95 is like Scarlett Johansson, beautiful and almost perfect.

80-90 is like a great burger that you would come back for many times however you know there could be something out there a bit better.

70-80 is the cute girl next door.

60-70 is a burger you will eat if your options are slim, and will satisfy you to a certain degree.

50-60 this may be a low end chain burger similar to a McDonalds burger.

40-50 now we are starting to get in the danger zone.

30-40 please have the chef taste this and ask if they would eat this.

20-30 is this really a burger?

10-20 I think my dog just spit on this.

0-10 please but it back in the trash and go have yourself admitted!

As the scale goes, 50 and above and we will start to critique the burger more intensely. If your burger goes below a 50 we reserve the right to call PETA for serving something not resembling a cow!