Thursday, April 18, 2013

The Great Austin Hamburger Quest - Dan's Hamburgers

Introducing, the Great Austin Hamburger Quest! Or the GAHQ if you will. I'd love it if you pronounced it that like Gak, that weird jello-eqsue puddy stuff Nickelodeon came out with in the 90's. You know what I'm talking about. Floam too, y'all.

ANYWAYS, Brendon and I have been planning on doing this for a while, but never had the time to get our shiz together. Brendon is a burger fanatic. He LOVES burgers. His grooms cake was, a burger. Long story short, he's a fan. I think burgers are good too, just not to the extreme he does. So a few months ago I pitched the idea of hitting up all the best burger joints in Austin, trying them out, and finding our favorites. And blogging our thoughts. Brendon was on board of course, eating burgers is all he needed to hear. Thus, the Great Austin Hamburger Quest was born.

(On a side note, Austinites, yes, we've been to Hopdoddy. Yes, it is the bomb and our favorite so far. We are trying to find other great burger places, but we will include Hopdoddy in this quest-o-burgers.)

Our first stop on the GAHQ was Dan's Hamburgers at Manchaca and 35. I reached out to Facebook for good burger joint suggestions, and Dan's came up. I'd never been, and Brendon had only been to Fran's. Back story time! Dan and Fran were married and owned a chain of burger joints here in Austin. They split up and Dan's Hamburgers belonged to Dan and Fran's Hamburgers belonged to Fran. Fran's just shut down I believe, at least the one in South Austin, so that's kinda sad. Dan's is still kickin' though.

We've got five categories of comparison for burger joints. Burger, sides, atmosphere, value, and bonus (any extra tidbits of awesome/not awesomeness.

We both got a medium sized hickory burger, which is basically a burger with bbq sauce. Really good bbq sauce. I thought it was great, and it was extra fresh. Brendon thought that the bun could use some improvement and he wanted more topping choices, but the burger itself was seasoned well. And the cheese was probably just American but it was melted into some sort of queso perfection. Oh and did I mention the sauce? The sauce was the boss.

They had more than just french fries which is saying something for a burger place! They had regular fries, curly, and onion rings. We got curly fries, but I saw a plate of onion rings and got food envy real bad. They looked amazing. The curly fries were your average curly fry variety, a la Arby's. But they were super fresh and I approved! We split the large size, but they also have a small.

This is one of those order up front and they call your name when it's ready places. Very dated and a little grungy, but I liked it. Even though you know a gazillion people had been in and out of that place (I'm pretty sure it was a Pizza Hut previously) everything was kept clean which is a HUGE thing for me. I have problems with dirty places. Brendon says it has a "good old boys feel". Not sure what that means, but there you have it.

This place is real cheap! Totally an excellent value. Our two medium (and that medium is the perfect size) cheeseburgers and large side of curly fries was like $11. Super affordable and definitely worth it. Quality food for fast food price.

We got to meet Dan's sweet grandson! He was working the register and was super friendly. Bonus, bonus, bonus, we LOVE nice people. He spoke highly of the place and seemed very proud to be to there. Family owned and operated, for realsies. Way to go Dan's grandson, you won our hearts (and tummies) over.

Thanks for the burger Dan! I was seriously impressed. I was not expecting it to be much of anything, I mean the outside of the building isn't doing it any favors, but it was pretty damn good. That bbq sauce man... put it on everything!

Not sure where our next stop will be. I'm looking forward to it though. We had a blast comparing notes and pretending we were little burger connoisseurs. Any suggestions for future burgers are highly appreciated! They don't even have to be specifically burger joints, just a place to get a good burger! Our only limitations are that it's local(ish) and they serve burgers. QUEST ON!

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