Thursday, March 31, 2011

Hello. My Name is Eat - 20 Weeks/20 Burgers

Hello. My Name is Eat - March 25, 2011

Hello Exterior
Directly across from Keller Central High School is a funky shopping center with your typical donut shop, nail salon, cleaners and haircut joint. It also our family's current favorite froyo stop, Blueberries. And, now it houses the closest burger stand by our house. This is actually the third food place to be in the same space. A couple of weeks the girls and I had some froyo and picked a to-go menu for Hello. My Name is Eat on the way home. The entire family decided to give this a go this past Friday. The wall decor was a little random - a ton of miniature, framed Rolling Stone magazine covers, movie posters and vinyl record covers. The movie posters ranged from 'The Day the Earth Stood Still' to 'Taxi Driver.' All of this was plastered on some red neck wood paneling that soared about 12 feet high. Booths lined both walls with tables running down the center of the floor. The booths were a little odd in that the tables actually extended beyond the end of each booth seat. The menu here is actually an order sheet that you fill out yourself - exactly like Mooyah. The big deal here is (Home of the Stuffed Burger) that you have the option of stuffing your burger with anything, from grilled onions to bell peppers to bleu cheese.

Decor on some wood paneling

The GOOD: We were surprised to find out there was no counter service here - they actually had wait staff. There was a drink dispenser within view and, you have to walk to a register to actually pay so, I'm guessing the wait staff is for dinner only. The service was surprisingly very, very good. Dianna and I both ordered burgers stuffed with grilled onions and cheese. I went with American and she tried the cheddar. The kaiser like buns were great as were the fresh veggies. The patty quality was good, too, although it felt a little less than the advertised 8 ounces. Saying that it was fresh - it has to be because of the stuffing options. We all left stuffed anyways. On the way out I noticed an old CD jukebox with a very eclectic mix. It was pre-loaded with credits. The girls were fascinated with the jukebox. We let them flip through the CD selections. All-in-all we probably stood at the jukebox for about ten minutes playing a couple of tunes.
Note - if you order grilled onions as your stuffing be sure to mark the order sheet 'no' on the regular onions. Also, ask for the mustard to be put on the side - I like mustard but the version used here is extra stout.

Hello. My Name is Eat. Now. Hurry. Today

Stuffed with cheddar cheese and grilled onions
This was ordered well but, still had some red near the stuffing
Note-this photo was taken after Dianna added ketchup

The BAD:  Our burgers were accompanied by some very average (seasoned) food service steak fries. Not terribly bad - just love fresh cut potatoes. Next time we will try the home battered onion rings.

The UGLY: I mentioned that we picked up a to go menu two weeks prior to this visit. The burgers have increased in price 20%. I'm guessing the owners are first time restauranteurs - that's just too big of a mistake for seasoned operators. Also, we ordered the patties well-done. If you look a the photo above you'll notice some red near the middle of the patty. I don't know if the stuffing caused  the cook some difficulty or what but, next time I will go stuff-less and just have them top the patty with the cheese and grilled onions.

This was a good burger; definitely better than Ted E's. Price wise they are a little high considering the location and what it is. Dinner for the four us about $32 after tip and the includes the girls ordering kid's meals.

"Old School" CD Jukebox

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Ted E's - 20 Weeks/20 Burgers

Ted E's - Burgers & More - March 16, 2011

Located at the intersection of North Beach and Basswood -
this area is somewhat of a restaurant graveyard

Sports decor

Order counter

We stopped here with the entire family for lunch during Spring Break - using a Groupon. It was around 1:30pm and there were about 3 other tables with guests. Orders are taken at the counter with self-service drinks. Food is picked up the kitchen window. The dining area was very clean with a sports themed decor favoring Texas Tech. I have always thought this is an easy way to piss off a portion of your customers. I have friends (hard-core sports fans) that would not step foot in an establishment based on the decor such as this. Ted E's did have all Big 12 teams (plus TCU) and the  four local pro teams represented. Kids eat free on Sundays and Wednesdays. They are definitely trying to build up their clientele - they recently sold over 770 $10 for $20 Groupons.

The GOOD: Everyone ordered burgers and fries. The kids meal is exceptionally priced - $3.49 for a kid's combo. Dianna and I both tried Ted E's Original Burger - two 3 oz. patties. Dianna had cheddar while I added American cheese.  Our burgers looked absolutely scrumptious. The over-sized bun was gorgeous and nicely toasted. The vegetables were very fresh and complimented the burger, especially the grilled onions we added. Everyone had perfectly melted cheese on their burger. Mine was a little light on the Ted E's Signature Sauce; what I tasted of it was good, it just needed more. The fries were hand-cut, skin-on, crispy, fresh and hot.  They were very similar to Railhead Smokehouse BBQ fries, although these fries were nicely seasoned. Dianna loved the sweet, syrup-like tea. I prefer to not drink my calories, ha.

Back to the bun - this would be the highlight of the meal. The bun was incredible - slightly sweet; a mix of Hawaiian bread and a kolache. The goodness of this bun almost made up for the not-so-good meat patty, but not quite.

Best burger bun, ever.
Mmmm, fresh skin-on fries with a nice seasoning.

The BAD:  When it comes down to it it's all about the meat patty. As good as the Ted E's bun is their meat patty needs some help. I can't decide if it is never-before-frozen meat just too tightly packed or, a fresh meat patty that has endured the abuse of a freezer. The patty not only lacked a nice meat flavor, it was missing the right amount of seasoning. Even just a dash of the fry seasoning could help this burger.

The UGLYThe Ted E's menu is ambitious to say the least. It has everything from salads, wraps, soups, fried baskets and a huge dessert selection. This is not really "Ugly," but they definitely don't follow my menu simplicity mantra. 

Burger of the Month special along with the many dessert offerings

The Ted E's Original Burger is part of the long list of In-and-Out double double imitators. In-and-Out will be here very soon....

Would I eat here again? Maybe. What I really want? An package of their buns to go. Ted E's - World's best buns - this should be their slogan.

Sunday, April 27, 2008

OC Burger

OC Burgers - Watauga, Texas - April 27, 2008

The GOOD: Sadly, I have no positive comments and, neither did Dianna. Could it be because we just ate at Chris Madrid's (current home of the world's greatest burger) in San Antonio two days prior? Maybe, maybe not? This place is busy so, we will probably give it another try, just not anytime soon. One thing that really bothers me is when food joints display pictures of their food that look nothing like the actual product. OC Burgers goes as far as putting a picture of their 1/4 burger on their outdoor sign. The pictured burger looks like a nice, juicy super thick patty.....but, the real deal has a patty about as thin as a Sonic burger. I suggest that our elected US Congress people investigate these types of blatant disregards of "truth in advertisement," instead of wasting taxpayer monies questioning steroid/HgH taking "professional" baseball players.

The BAD: Although OC has an extensive menu of many different burgers, burritos and breakfast we ordered 3 regular 1/4 burgers with fries. The burgers here are chargrilled versus the typical griddled. The patties were very thin and cooked all the way through. The burgers had the quasi thousand island dressing that many burger joints - In and Out I think was the original, followed by the Big Mac; Tim Love of Fort Worth's Love Shack has his own southwestern take that goes on their burgers. I was not impressed with the OC version. It had a weird seasoning that gave it a Asian flavoring. I would order the burger without the special sauce. The fries were also a disappointment. I was hoping for fresh cut potatoes "double-fried" (aren't we all?). What we got were below average, slightly greasy food-service papas. I am perfectly ok with slightly greasy, I am not ok with below average food-service. Maybe the food-service onion rings would have been a better choice.

The UGLY: Either the order taker or the kitchen help can't follow simple instructions. We ordered 3 burgers and all 3 came out wrong. Two of the burgers were ordered with grilled onions....both of those had NO onions. The third burger was ordered without special sauce but, it came out with sauce slathered all over. We decided to scrape off the sauce and just eat the other two without grilled onions. No need in complaining only to have the burgers re-done and get the chef's "special."

2 out 5 Burgers

Chris Madrid's

Chris Madrid's - San Antonio, Texas - April 25, 2008

The GOOD: Upon arriving in San Antonio for our weekend at the Fiesta celebration, we went straight to Chris Madrid's for our first visit. I had all intentions of ordering the Tostada Burger but, while waiting in line (yes, there was about a 10 minute line to order a burger in the middle of a weekday afternoon) I made a choice to try a regular cheeseburger. The burgers here come in two sizes: the regular which consists of a large, thin 1/4 pound patty and the "Macho" which is a monstrous, thin 1/2 pound patty. Many customers were taking the Macho down, but they weren't picking it with their hands, they were using a fork and knife....that Macho is just too big to eat with your hands. The pattys were griddle cooked all the way through and lightly seasoned to perfection. Dianna went for the regular "Cheddar Cheezy." Cheddar Cheezy at Chris Madrid's means that your burger will come cheddar cheese...not just a small slice of cheddar but, more like a cheddar cheese bomb hit the patty. The entire patty had cheese oozing down the edge. This is the burger to get if you are a cheddar cheese lover. Both of our burgers were ordered with grilled onions. We also ordered the Macho homemade fries. These were the perfect accompaniment to our great burgers. These fries were freshly cut and fried up to be served slightly greasy. Not only do these burgers ranked at the top of my list of the best, the fries were incredible, too.
There is a bar serving beer, margaritas and free chips and salsa, too. Don't tank up on the free chips/ the room for burgers/fries instead.

The BAD: I will only be able to eat here when I visit San Antonio (4 hour trip). It will be a must stop for all future visits. Luckily, I get to San Antonio about 4 times a year. I would definitely have to workout more often if they opened a location in the DFW area.

The UGLY: This used to be an old gas station that has been added onto. Not a big deal to me since I don't mind the "hole-in-the-wall" appearance as long as it is kept clean and, Chris Madrid's is clean. Saying that, this is a busy, busy place....and, the restroom facilities are somewhat lacking from a capacity may have a wait so, plan accordingly.

5 out of 5 Burgers - World's Best Burger