the spot: Little Big Burger 1630 East 6th St. Austin TX 78702
the eats: Little Big Burger with double patty, cheddar and bacon
the bucks: $7.50, $4.50 respectively
the full nelson: a burger chain that’s pretty keen on Bang for your Burger Buck
One of my first jobs out of college would occasionally take the staff out for lunch. I naturally liked to steer the ship on where would we go, and fought relentlessly from dining at a chain. That was almost 20 years ago and in the two decades that have since passed, the words “restaurant chain” conjure up a more complex dining scene. Yes, there are some respectable chains out there, especially in the world of burgers. In the case of Little Big Burger, you just might have the best Bang for your Burger Buck chain there is . . .
the spot: Twisted Root Burger Co multiple locations in TX, plus Louisiana(2) and Alabama(1)
the eats: Burger with swiss, garlic mushrooms and sautéed onions
the bucks: $8.48
the full nelson: a build your own burger joint built on an affordable 1/2lb patty
Many moons ago, 6 years to be exact, my inaugural post for Bang for your Burger Buck forewarned of the dangers of the build your own burger menu. Where an excess of toppings could lead to the sort of needless upgrades one finds when buying a Prius and walking out with a Satellite Navigation System. Twisted Root Burger Co certainly can fall into this category but with an affordable base price of $6 bucks for a 1/2 pound burger and some Umami worthy topping moves, one can find some solid Bang for your Burger Buck.
Austin City Limits Music Festival is my favorite thing to do in Austin and the ACL Eats are a big reason why. Concerts, much like airports, have been a tough place for foodies. For years we have been at the mercy of the lame food court Gods . . . well no longer. Airports are stepping up their game and in the three years that I have attended ACL Fest, the food game is strong. That being said some spots are better than others so read on and refresh your browsers because I’ll be posting on new places for each of the three days I will be attending. And without further ado: Day 1 of ACL Eats at Austin City Limits Music Festival 2018.
the spot: J.G. Melon 89 MacDougal st. NY NY 10012 other locations in upper east side(original) and upper westside
the bucks: $12.50
the full nelson: one of NYC’s most celebrated burgers is worth a visit
The J.G. Melon burger has been on my radar for years now as it consistently makes the best of NYC burger annual round ups. Another classic example of the NYC pub style burger, much like Corner Bistro and PJ Clark’s, expect to find a thick patty cooked to requested temperature and a classic garnish of pickle and onion. In the age of chef driven concept burgers, the J.G. Melon burger relies on simplicity and quality but does it warrant a $12.50 price tag? Well, context is everything, but this burger is worth taking a closer look at.
the spot: Cassel’s Hamburgers 3600 W. 6th St Los Angeles CA 90020
the eats: Cheeseburger featuring 1/3lb Meyer Angus Beef with cheddar, lettuce, tomato, onion, pickle and Thousand Island dressing
the bucks: $11.75
the full nelson: A burger sequel that is better than the original
Once upon a time hamburgers were a simple affair. The very best ones were anointed so mostly because of the size and quality of the beef. Cassel’s Hamburgers was such a place, especially in its first four decades of service(1948-1998), when it was considered the best in town by the likes of Pulitzer Prize winning author Jonathan Gold, legendary food writer Calvin Trillin, Jane and Michael Stern among other luminaries. By the time I came around to visiting Cassel’s in the early 2000s I suspect the glory days were in the rearview mirror. Though sold by original owner Al Cassel in the 1990s, the torch was supposedly passed to good people. Sadly my experience was less Los Angeles Burger icon and more “I think I just died and went to Fuddruckers”. By the time I tried Cassel’s, Los Angeles was in the early stages of a burger Renaissance and Cassel’s Hamburgers seemed like a fading burger relic.