Monday, April 20, 2009


In Odyssey history we have had one restaurant unexpectedly close on us (Top Notch due to a death in the family), a restaurant move (Frisco Shop four months earlier), but we have never had a place run out of hamburger meat. This night started at Mulberry, a popular wine bar located under the 360 Building, which had been highly recommended by Emily. The anticipation was high as all six of us gathered and ordered our burgers. Our very cool waitress Amy gave us an "oh shit" look and said she would check with the kitchen. She came back with devastating news. They only had enough hamburger meat for one burger. We were crushed. It was like meeting a beautiful women, and then finding out later that she is a dude. Or, seeing a beautiful women and before you can speak to her, she jumps in a cab. Gone in a flash. Burgers that looked so good on the menu, and looked forward to all day, was gone in a cab. Amy was awesome though. She checked with the manager, and we have an appointment for up to 10 burgers next Monday night. They said they would hold them for us. Can't wait.

As it was, we heard that Parkside on east 6th street had a good burger so our hungary bellies evacuated for the bar district. First off, for all you park lovers, Parkside is not near a park nor is there a park any where near it. It is also on 6th street which means that you can not even park on the side of it. So, why it is called Parkside I have no idea. Must of just sounded cool to someone. Parkside is more of a gourmet restuarant than an old fashioned burger joint that the Odyssey usually finds itself. We were upscale tonight at a resturant that included both oysters and arugula (try finding that at Hut's) and we are going to try to do a theme of burgers at Austin's more upscale restuarants. New rule, if the burger is less than $10 we will not eat it!

So how was it? I would have paid at least $11 for this burger (wait, I paid $15 for it). These burgers are not very wide, but they are at least 2/3's of a beer high. You want to get lock jaw, try getting the whole burger in your mouth on the first bite. The patty is nice and juicy and has more salt in it than the ocean. You can pile it higher with bacon, avocado and mushrooms. I went with the bacon and avocado and the first bite, despite the lock jaw, was amazing. The other bites were good too. The fries were more than perfect. Anyway, I am a little tired and drunk so I am going to pass this on to others. Emily guest blogs below.

Fried Ed Score:

Burger: 94
Fries: 95
Beer: 100

Guest Blog by Emily:

As Fried Ed explained above, we were devastated when our server at Mulberry informed us that the restaurant is typically "lean on proteins" on Mondays, as they receive deliveries on Tuesdays. However, she was nice enough to give us another comparable suggestion (Parkside) and ensure that the next choice would have enough meat for the six of us.

I was at Parkside last Friday night and, as an amateur burger afficionado (unlike Fried Ed and BurgerMatt), was quite pleased with my meal.

This time around, however, I was with professionals and felt I had to up the ante in terms of criticism. The presentation was excellent. Add-ins, including avocado, bacon, and forest mushrooms, were available and most of us at the table took advantage of that. However, it made the burger rather unmanageable. I first attempted with a fork and knife, which was completely unsuccessful (the sandwich just collapsed). Finally I decided to get my hands dirty and eat the second half with said digits, which was marginally more successful. Perhaps it was my greediness in ordering avocado, bacon, AND mushrooms, or maybe Parkside should find a way for its patrons to eat a burger with all the fixings (especially when the waitress recommended it as such) in a less haphazard fashion. My only other complaint about the meal was that our server failed to write down our orders. Considering we all ordered burgers cooked to various degrees and with different add-ins, only Stephen Hawking himself could have remembered everything. As a result, a couple of us ended up without mushrooms and with overcooked burgers.

The fries at Parkside, however, are incapable of being criticized. They are PERFECT. Crunchy, garlicky, and served with a lemon aioli that isn't as overwhelmingly rich as mayonnaise and has a great kick. In fact, the fries were so good that both Ben and BurgerMatt, who were sitting on either side of Fried Ed, took turns stealing them from Ed's plate. He was very angry.
Despite my misgivings about the burger experience, I will definitely give Parkside another chance. If I order the burger again, I will be sure to skip the add-ins (with maybe the exception of bacon because it is God's food and won't contribute as much to the absurd height of the sandwich), and emphasize that I would like it cooked medium-RARE. French fries, I will be coming back for you.

Next week, Mulberry!

Burger: 80
Fries: 98

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