Posts Tagged ‘sweet potato fries’

The Cove – San Antonio, Texas (9.0)

Sometimes mingling health conscience with junk food makes doublecheese feel like all those green yuppies need to just eat lettuce all day and leave doublecheese’s ever corrupting arteries alone. But, after a very harsh look into the food industry, doublecheese realizes that what doublecheese thought was pure meat, sometimes isn’t. Sometimes cheese isn’t really real cheese. And that some of these co-mingling savor flavors are the product of an equation that includes chemicals and processing and unhappy animals and mutated vegetation. That scared doublecheese.

Enter The Cove. Organic. Fresh. Real. Buying from local growers, The Cove makes gourmet food that is real. Located not far from the San Antonio burger institution Chris Madrid’s, which feeds off artery pollution, The Cove takes a fresh modern stand on food production. That stand has garnered attention from the Food Network’s Guy Fieri and was declared the best burger in San Antonio, 5th in the state by Texas Monthly.

So what’d doublecheese think of the SOL ( sustainable/organic/local) revolution that includes serving soda containing no high fructose corn syrup. Yum. Yum. Yes. And yum. A taste of the 09er burger has doublecheese reeling in delight for a goodness definable in every bite as a bite of the all natural product of people who do things conscience of the balance of nature. The burger selection is constructed thoughtfully, putting inconsideration the gourmet and still evading the pretention that can tag along in these matters. The patty is juicy and cooked with skill. Sweet potato and potato fries are available and savory. The sauce that accompanied my burger, although never defined, had an interesting zest that was spiced perfectly and made my sweet potato fries inhalable.

Something that also needs to be mentioned is the environment. Compared to an Austin dive, The Cove does have something fun about it. Maybe it’s the ping-pong table, the kid playground, the live music or the offer to do your laundry and wash your car their if you need to- that’s right maybe The Cove does have it all. Every 2nd Thursday is wine-tasting Thursday. Every 3rd Thursday is beer tasting Thursday and the fees for these events are decent.

My qualm with The Cove is the pricing. The menu is awesome with a seriously awesome shrimp taco under it’s belt and several other items on the menu that demand several lip-licking moments. But a ten dollar burger has never been my dream pricing. Maybe it’s telling of the economic times and maybe it’s just the price of buying local and dealing with growers who are hurting in the food inc times. While doublecheese has yet to return to Smashburger, for the deliciously over-priced, doublecheese definitely will be returning for the feel good burger revolution.

Now, the final count. Ideals, taste and price combined, doublecheese is compelled to give The Cove a 9. The burger is great. They are one of the best burgers in the San Antonio area. I say: Eat it and it local.

The Cove
606 W Cypress St
San Antonio, TX 78212
(210) 227-2683

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Written on July 29th, 2010. 1 Comment

Counter Cafe – Austin, Texas (8.5)

Counter Cafe

Greetings burgermeisters! Let’s address the counter culture revolution, an American symbol of the working man, of coffee and pie, of darn good food being made on a time-seasoned grill.  My Austin burger review comes from a cafe that now inhabits one of Austin’s former legendary diners, now simply named, Counter Cafe. And trust me, it’s just that, a counter and a few tables, this tiny place open daily from 8am-4pm embodies the hole-in-the-wall-dive-joint entirely.  However tiny, patrons definitely don’t mind a wait to try some of the home diner style menu with a very refreshing gourmet twist. This place was brought to my attention by UT student by day, Lauren Miller, and her Aggie boyfriend, Sergio Guerrero, who highly recommended the burger and suggested staying away from the extra $3 bacon.

Counter Cafe Condiments

Counter Cafe, right off of Lamar and Sixth (across from Book People), is easy to miss.  But the tiny atmosphere creates an interesting warm feel, sometimes double sitting tables for need of the room (thanks to Austin and Texas hospitality, this wasn’t very awkward). Fast-moving and turning tables very quickly the diner definitely gives you an idea of the quick counter culture of Americana. In most restaurants the condiments are kept down to the standard mustard, ketchup, salt, pepper, and napkins always positioned in a clean and organized manner when turning tables.  Counter Cafe moves too fast to worry about these details and while the tables are clean, the array of sirracha, mayo, mustard, coarse sea salt, and ground pepper are all splayed about and ready to be used.

Counter Cafe Burger

Not thinking twice about it I ordered the burger, sans bacon. My comrade however, a definite sucker for bacon in all its glory, went straight for the nitrate-free three dollar bacon. Ingredients are all natural, organic, and locally sourced when available.  You can order a wheat or white bun, sweet potato fries, cup of soup, seasonal fruit cup, or house salad.  I opted for a wheat bun and sweet potato fries, which Lauren highly recommended. I’ll tell you, as tiny as the place is and as gourmet as some of the other menu items are, they sure now how to make a simple, delicious burger.  I was amazed at how well it was cooked, the buttered and toasted bun, the fresh ingredients, and the interesting choice of bibb lettuce.  Pulling the ketchup and mayo from the condiment array and splattering them on the burger made it amazing.  The sweet potato fries had a perfect balance, not too sweet and seasoned with sea salt.  I devoured this baby whole, forced myself to go on to that one last delectable bite.  The Austin burger scene can be proud to add this to repertoire.  Although there was a bit of wait for the burger, you can see there are only two cooks in the kitchen with little more than elbow room. You can also openly see the care put into the food in as quick a manner as possible.

Counter Cafe Burger

The reviews for this place in Texas Monthly’s issue of the 50 best burgers in Texas, Yelp, and the Austin Chronicle praise this little cafe. Going to give this swell joint an 8.5 and insist that you shove it in your mouth and EAT IT.

The Counter Cafe
626 N Lamar Blvd
Austin, TX 78703
(512) 708-8800
Hours: 8AM – 4PM Daily

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Written on January 29th, 2010. 4 Comments

Phil’s Ice House – Austin, Texas (8.0)

phil's ice house

Back with another Austin favorite- Phil’s Ice House! Located on Burnet road and attached to an Amy’s Ice Cream, this burgery looks extra fun! fun! fun! This is something that definitely continues to be said about the burger and beer place, the kids. On Yelp and Urbanspoon reviewers adore the grub and seem to see the shorter and often cuter patrons of Phil’s as a pox on the joint. But, in my eyes, in the season of holidays and cold weather, I found those foreign little people quite a pleasure. One fellow patron dining with me infact had on a pink, glitter tutu skirt. That and knowing that I wasn’t the only one dying to finish my burger and rush to the adjoining ice cream stand made me feel less guilty.

Phil's Ice House Inside

Enough about the visitors, Phil’s décor makes it look like a swinging joint. There’s a rather interesting playground, had it not been freezing and late, that I would have conquered. The menu has a certain Austin Pizzazz to it with burgers named so the locals can grin and order a burger that hits home in more ways than one. There’s beer available ( YES!), there’s shakes just over the way (Double YES!) and there are sweet potato fries. Sweet potato fries are much healthier than regular fries and also just a tad sweeter. You can get your basket of fries mixed or just regular or just sweet, your call of course. I decided to order the 78704 Burger, it screamed flavor explosion.

When we went, on New Year’s Eve the employees were pretty fun to talk to, even if they were busy serving a full house. Looking for seating was a little rough with all the patrons, and when we settled down to a roomy booth, a family came in that was going to have to split onto two small two seater tables. My friend suggested we move to the two seater table and let the family of five take the booth. A generous but small move, I thought, that would reward us in the end.

phil's ice house 78704 Burger

I must say this, I am not a charbroiled fan, but at Phil’s Icehouse they seem to have my ticket. This burger was feisty and delicious, he gave me a run for my refill and had me stuffing sweet potato fries into my mouth to put out the tingling fire. This burger is not a five alarmer, but it definetly leaves a flavorful tingle. The avocado, the jalepeno bun, the well placed jalapeno bombs, and monterrey cheese make this burger a winner in my eyes. Word on the street is that the 78704 also fairs well as a chicken sandwich, or unburger. My fries were well toasted and I must admit this was a worthy burger to see 2009 off with.

AND as my comrade and I headed to Amy’s after words to indulge our sweet teeth we found that family that we had given the booth to had purchased our dessert for us! It was a rather sweet gesture that made me see what it is about Texas hospitality in Austin that makes it a great capitol city and burger heartland. Thanks once again to that family out there!

And to sum it all up, I <3 Phil's. I can't wait to go back and try anyone of their Austinonian burgers and follow it up on the playground with some Amy's Ice Cream. I give this burger a very full 8 and say you absolutely have to EAT IT all up! Phil’s Ice House
5620 Burnet Rd
Austin, TX 78756
(512) 524-1212

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Written on January 5th, 2010. 0 Comments

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