Monday, March 9, 2009
Imagine if Whole Foods and Burger King got really drunk one night and had sex. Terra Burger would be the outcome. It is a McDonald's for hippies. The concept behind this new venture is simple: bring organic and all natural to the fast burger industry. Everything here is natural and eco-friendly, from the ketchup (sucks) to the lighting, from the soap in the bathroom to the meat in the burger. Even the soda fountain has the old stand by of Coca-Cola missing. Instead they have a pure cain sugar alternative, along with organic root beer, lemonade and ginger ale. I went with an organic Blue Sky Black Cherry. The breakfast is made with free range eggs, the burgers are 100% USDA organic beef, and the coffee is fair trade. It almost feels out of place to order a burger and fries here, but order up we did.
Rock Star Rodd pointed out another big benefit to the place. Due to its location directly across from U.T., as he said it, "I am not saying there are hot chicks here, but I am saying that if you are a lesbian or are really into hot chicks, this is a good place." P. Terry's watch out. You may have been supplanted in the Year End Salvo's. The place does have a nice youthful energy and a certain idealism. Hopefully the green revolution in the fast food industry that it represents will be the future in the new economy which we hope will emerge back strong by 2048. My only criticism of the place is that it is a little too proud of its all natural status. Signs throughout the restaurant say things like, "You will not find a single non-organic ingredient in our food, not one." and using our cups save 13 Billion pounds of carbon emissions. But the one that went really over the top for me were big screen T.V.'s constantly running images pointing out how the floors are bamboo and the paper cups are recyclable. I was tempted to ask how much energy they were saving by running the T.V.'s.
As to the burgers, well I always feel that something that tastes like meat is a pretty damn good burger and this burger hit a home run. I ordered the "Hill Country Hickory Burger" as I have been itching to get out into the hill country and I like BBQ sauce on my burger. The meat was juicy and tender and very flavorful. The fries are hand cut and tastes like, well they taste like potatoes. They also offer a Sweet Potato fry which Sage had which were super good and will be ordered by me on all subsequent visits. Over all, a great experience and a place we will return to.
On a side note, BurgerMatt and FriedEd followed up the burger with a nice 2 mile flip-flop busting walk through West Campus. We spotted a future burger to try at the Mansion at Judges Hill, and I relived old college memories. Despite all the new construction in West Campus, I was happy to see that all three place I lived in college were still standing, but the pizza place I worked at for two years is gone to a new condo construction, though ironically there is a new pizza place in almost the exact location.
Finally, a big invite to all our fans. Next week will be our 20th Burger Location Anniversary and the kickoff to Spring Break and SXSW. We want to have a little Sunday night party for all our fans at Casino El Camino. Many have told us that this is the best burger and we now feel qualified to take it on. We will give final word on this later in the week as we need to make sure it will be open and not be overwhelmed with bands. After that, the Odyssey will take a little hiatus so be sure to make it out for our big finale.
How can something so organic lead to something so delicious? As we took in this new spot on the drag you got the sense that this little "green organic burger joint" has the chance to be something were not used to seeing in these tough economic times, a successful and growing business. You can't but help to think this will be a franchise within a year and with the world going green, there should be no reason it won't thrive.
The burger comes on a toasted bun with lettuce, tomato, onions, mustard, ketchup and mayo, with the meat being the champion. This burger was great, a taste that had me thinking about a good old backyard burger that only my parents could make. The seasoning was delicious and the burger seemed to vanish within a few bites. The hand cut fries were a good compliment, however, I am still stuck on The Driskill fries and was not a huge fan.
The decor is not what a classic Austin Burger feels like, but it works well with the green theme and was quite inviting. The service was great and definitely gave us a new fondness for good service. I have to say having been to new, old and really old places this one stacks up and will be revisited for sure. Good luck to these newbies and bring on Casino!!!!