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Phil's Icehouse - Bang for your Burger Buck

As a newcomer to the Austin Eating scene, I sometimes question my Los Angeles hardened measure of Bang for your Burger Buck: Come in at $10 or less and makes you say "that was damn good" outloud. Palms get sweaty and second guessing occurs when a burger menu hovers at the $9 mark. In fact part of me questions whether Phil's is total bang for your buck. $9 for three hefty sliders and fries makes dollars and sense from a quantity perspective but if they 86ed the fries and saved me a buck, I might be singing at Church this Sunday.

Shocking confession: there are other reasons why include Phil's and they may seem pedestrian to you but they are a big deal to me. Firstly, it is kid friendly, well it's friendly to my kid, who could sprint a marathon if there was salmon sashimi and popsicles at the finish line and is in the 99th percentile of three year old temper tantrums. Needless to say the playscape helps. Second, they have beer which is important for the reasons I listed previously. Beer and kid friendly are Austin norms but frankly they are a part of my Bang for your Burger Buck, because Phil's is far cheaper than a babysitter and a dinner at Swifts Attic.

And they have 11 slider options which is pretty cool, to say the least.

Check a full review and some tasty pics over at #bangforyourburgerbuck http://bangforyourburgerbuck.com/phil...

Aug 31, 2015
blackbookali in Austin
1

need a suggestions for a midtown lunch meeting

They came from the client so Im assuming that West Chelsea/MP is within their radius

Aug 25, 2015
blackbookali in Manhattan

need a suggestions for a midtown lunch meeting

sorry i should have clarified, client is at 46th and 6th which I believe is Midtown? With names so iconic I suppose misuse is inevitable.

Aug 25, 2015
blackbookali in Manhattan

need a suggestions for a midtown lunch meeting

Hi guys,

visiting NYC after far too long of a hiatus and heading to a neck of the woods I seldom travel to: Midtown.

Have been given the following selection from the client to choose from:

-Empire Diner
-The Standard Grill
-The Cook Shop
-Fig & Olive

I did scan of the area on the Eater 38 map and Ootoya popped up. Any feedback or alternates are more than welcomed. In addition to the obvious criteria of great food, a slightly upscale to upscale environment conducive to a business meeting is a must.

Thanks guys!

Aug 25, 2015
blackbookali in Manhattan

Belcampo Meat Company - Bang for your Burger Buck

Hyped up, bound to be popular, comes with all the bells and whistles type burger joints tend to be overlooked by Bang for your Burger Buck in favor of the unsung hero slinging ground chuck for the masses. The result is a bulk of burger joints that are great deals if you are in the requisite hood. After all, saving a buck or two on a burger is a moot point if it means killing a quarter tank of gas to get there.

But every now and then, a burger joint comes along that delivers so much bang for your buck, that driving across town and dare I say, valet parking seem totally reasonable. Belcampo is that place, and the burger that delivers the most bang(there are three on the menu, sometimes a 4th as a special) is the double Fastburger that will run you $8. And affter about three years of poking around for burgers in Los Angeles, I can say with some degree of certainty that it is the best burger deal in Los Angeles.

Detractors are abound and welcomed to chime in. For the uninitiated please check out the full argument for this impressive burger here: http://bangforyourburgerbuck.com/belc...

And if you enjoy Bang for your Burger Buck, please note that other cities are covered so go to the site and check out other regional boards here on chowhound.

Aug 23, 2015
blackbookali in Los Angeles Area

Advice for a guy moving to Austin after 20 years in Los Angeles

Canaria is super close to me and I am currently addicted to their chicharron and lengua . . .

Aug 08, 2015
blackbookali in Austin

Is my cast iron pan seriously damaged?(pics)

hey all,

Just finished a mid cross-country move and when I retrieved the cast-iron from a box, I noticed some damage. I know these hands are quite resilient and can even take to the steel wool treatment, before I got too heavy I wanted to see what you guys thought about the damage I've noticed on the edge of the pan. Please refer to the images attached and thanks for your help!

Jul 31, 2015
blackbookali in Cookware

Lum's vs Coopers

On the road to Austin and I have to make a stop in Junction, Texas. Lum's versus Cooper's? Any thoughts one way or the other?

Jul 28, 2015
blackbookali in Texas

Big Mouth Burgers - Bang for your Burger Buck

When it comes to burgers in the Bay Area, most if not all signs point to indulging in a chef driven concept such as the burger at Marlowe, Nopa or Spruce. Super Duper makes a case that maybe In N Out isn't all that and believe me when I say that on my next visit, I will be testing the waters on that front.

But for first Bay area foray with Bang for your Burger Buck, my selection was Big Mouth Burgers. Mostly chosen out of convenience as I tend to couch crash in the Mission for the last 7 or so years; what seemed like a "looks good enough joint" began to strike me as an example of "Vanishing San Francisco". We all know the transformation that is taking place in the Mission thanks to the latest Tech Boom. It got me thinking that, though dated in concept, Big Mouth Burgers may soon be no more. And $9 for a 1/2 pounder with fries seems like Bay Area Bang for your Burger Buck to me, even if only for a limited time . . . .

Check the full story and serious burger porn pics here: http://bangforyourburgerbuck.com/big-...

Advice for a guy moving to Austin after 20 years in Los Angeles

Making their own pita is huge . . . thanks so much for this recco! Love these ethnic markets!!!!

Jul 18, 2015
blackbookali in Austin

Advice for a guy moving to Austin after 20 years in Los Angeles

Thank you!!!!!

Jul 18, 2015
blackbookali in Austin

Advice for a guy moving to Austin after 20 years in Los Angeles

Love Aji - will definitely check out Inka! Thanks!

Jul 18, 2015
blackbookali in Austin

Advice for a guy moving to Austin after 20 years in Los Angeles

As I only have been to Asanebo(and that was practically a lifetime ago) Ill take the next level, or two down from that. To be honest, we have gotten our fix by hitting up Japanese/Asian Markets like Nijiya for pretty damn decent sashimi blocks to cut at home - know of any markets that offer that?

Jul 18, 2015
blackbookali in Austin

Advice for a guy moving to Austin after 20 years in Los Angeles

hey slowcooked - thank you for your post - you actually nailed exactly what I was worried about missing - cheap, authentic and bliss inducing tacos. I'll definitely be checking out La Fruta Feliz as I just started developing a craving for goat barbacoa after a recent trip to Minneapolis(La Huasteca if you ever happen to be in the area). Upon doing a search on La Fruta Feliz I see in a Thrillist mentioned in an article(http://www.thrillist.com/eat/austin/l...) that they do stomach tacos - that is buche. Very excited to check out your Ethiopian suggestion as well. Regarding the other food I mentioned that you had not heard of, "Zankou", that refers to a Armenian Lebanese Rotisserie Chicken chain(plus shawerma and passable falafels) that has been a Los Angeles staple for 30 years, though some may say the sun has set on it's once dominance. Any suggestions for shawerma/middle eastern/doner kabab/gyro?

Jul 11, 2015
blackbookali in Austin

Advice for a guy moving to Austin after 20 years in Los Angeles

In a word I could sum up my concern with this:

"tacos".

See I get how Tex Mex could work. I love flank, skirt and flap so I could come around to fajitas even though peppers and onions are a distraction to sausage . . . let alone steak.

And I'll just leave queso alone for now. Im sure Ill find a time to "get into it" . . . there is time still for me to bring in new food loves.

I'm concerned about my old ones. I know that great sushi will come in less frequency but my concern is finding out about any Japanese/Asian markets where I can pick up trimmed loins to cut at home, like what they have at LA markets such as Nijiya.

Love to know about Indian and Thai. I know that LA's selection is limited in Indian and since moving to downtown, I have learned to live with less cheap and bold flavored Thai options. So I ask, but know I bear a measured bar.

As for contemporary which includes Western European and broad based American; I know Austin has many a white table cloth being draped but any suggestions on a joint with dream fresh pappardelle or steak au poivre or moules frites is always welcomed.

As far as African goes - I need my injera fix semi annually and if there is some exciting North African - hit me.

But I need my tacos. My cheap taquerias that are as much shelters for the poor and hungry as they are havens for authentic meaty offerings like Al Pastor, Carnitas, Buche, (great i.e. Longaniza or Salvadorean style) chorizos, barbacoa, fritangas and anything else that may be lit by a work light purchased from Home Depot.

I know that BBQ, burgers and all other cuts of bovine will be presented to me like a conquering general returning from battle - but butcher suggestions, particularly Argentinian/ethnic ones are very much welcomed.

Oh and I guess if there is a substitute for shawerma - I'm a Zankou slut, but I'll take what ever I can get - this goes double for a Mediterranean/Middle Eastern butcher as well.

Looking forward to a new chapter in #ATX and looking even more forward to eating like a pro here . . .

Jul 07, 2015
blackbookali in Austin

Matt's Bar - Bang for your Burger Buck

Thanks ChancesR!

Matt's Bar - Bang for your Burger Buck

Though I may well be the billionth person to chime in on the Jucy Lucy experience at Matt's Bar, as a first timer to both the burger style and whole city, I am happy to say that it really is worth all the fuss.

My search for Bang for your Burger Buck takes a different meaning when reporting from a place like Los Angeles. Here the ever rising cost of living means finding a legit burger for $8 is straight up newsworthy. Minneapolis, though having its fair share of chef driven burgers served at white table cloth restaurants, is far more approachable in terms of price. I know there is a lot more to the Minneapolis food scene than an inside out cheeseburger. In fact I fell in love with beef barbacoa in your city and was surprised and delighted to find it as prominent to tacos as Thousand Island dressing is to burgers in Southern California. After spending a week ingesting a spread of Cheap Eats in Minneapolis I came to the conclusion that there is a theme of approachable comfort food here. This theme applied to both taquerias on Nicollett Ave as well as a Tater Tot truck that served your staple "Hot Dish". The same theme applies to Matt's as well. Damn if I don't love a good dive bar burger and when that dives keeps it consistent on the griddle for 6 plus decades . . . well that's a burger treasure thats worth tipping your cap for - even if you're as late to the party as I am.

Read the full burger tribute and gaze at some drool worth pics here: http://bangforyourburgerbuck.com/matt...

Hinano Cafe - Bang for your Burger Buck

being beach side and the fact that it's not a rip off AND crappy food makes it a exceptional option. its an easy win burger in area thats filled with traps

Jun 25, 2015
blackbookali in Los Angeles Area

Dim Sum on Weekdays

Trying to ressurect this old thread as Im looking for the same thing in 2015 - thoughts? Is Elite still the call? Still crowded?

Jun 23, 2015
blackbookali in Los Angeles Area

Looking for intel on the history of Sausage Bread

I find recipes, know people who grew up eating the stuff and specifically find places like Hell's Kitchen in Minneapolis claiming that it is celebrated local fare but not anything by way of its history.

Chime in with what you got!

Jun 09, 2015
blackbookali in General Topics

Silo on 7th - Bang for your Burger Buck

Being my first foray into the Austin burger scene coupled with the fact that I was staying a stone's throw from Franklin's BBQ, Silo on 7th was simply the logical choice to begin my # ATX burger exploration. Being a new city for Bang for your Burger Buck, I'll intro the mission: we look for burger greatness with a reasonable price tag. More or less this translates to hamburgers at the $10 and under price point - divey stands that elevate the frozen patty with the care of a watchful spatula on their well seasoned griddles and grills, chef driven burgers that smartly execute Angus with enlightened topping combination and sometimes just a darn good restaurant burger for a good price, that is consistently cooked to order.

The Eggs Benedict Burger special at $8.50 was fair game for the Bang zeitgeist and a reasonable sandwich to put down before 12 noon. A pork sausage spiked Angus burger patty was a gateway for all things breakfast burger for me and the combo of hollandaise and runny yolk made for a fantastic burger sauce. But the star of the show was a near perfectly poached egg. The just firmed egg white was as delicate the freshest of riccotas and for me made the case that the poached is better than fried when it comes to egg on a burger. Read the whole story over at Bang for your Burger Buck.

http://bangforyourburgerbuck.com/the-...

Jun 07, 2015
blackbookali in Austin

Best Cheap Breakfast in Santa Monica?

Tacos Por Favor? Bagel Nosh? Got a brekkie meet and I have to stray far from the hood that is my hood. Any thoughts?

May 27, 2015
blackbookali in Los Angeles Area

What does Cheap Eats mean in Minneapolis/St Paul?

Does Minneapolis love Vietnamese food or what??

What does Cheap Eats mean in Minneapolis/St Paul?

Hey Josie - very intriguing. what are your favorites or must haves?

What does Cheap Eats mean in Minneapolis/St Paul?

If you had $35 to spend on a day's worth of eats(B,L,D and maybe a snack) where would you go? What are the places to go that are unique to Minneapolis when compared to other US cities? Also because I am a dude obsessed with cheap/relatively cheap burgers - where is the best Juicy Lucy for the money?

Hinano Cafe - Bang for your Burger Buck

I had heard the good word about the burger at Hinano for years now, only recently making the pilgrimage across town to try it a few weeks ago. On the topic of being across town, my dive bar of choice has always been the Ye Rustic Inn over in Los Feliz for the location as much as the wings. As far as the Rustic's burger is concerned, the Myrtle, I was never blown away by it - but now that I have dive bar burgers on my radar - I might have to give it a second chance. For now, and this is as much about the Tiki atmosphere, the Mai Tai's and the beach that is a 2 minute walk away, the best Bang for your Dive Bar Burger Buck is going to Hinano.

At first glance the double cheeseburger really doesn't turn heads, save for the $8.50 cash price. The first bite, however, was surprising - better than average beef grind here, and the pickled peppers served on the side were a nice touch. A very simple burger done surprisingly well. As a guy who has never lived east of La Brea, going to the beach is almost like a vacation for me and if you happen to find yourself by one and craving a buzz as much as a burger - look no further.

http://bangforyourburgerbuck.com/hina...

Super Burger - Bang for your Burger Buck

Hey - thanks Nosh!! Glad you are enjoying it. Big Jo's has indeed been on my radar and smell-radar; I remember catching the billowing black smoke back when I used to street park in East Santa Monica for meetings at the Commercial Production Company called Tool of North America - DEF need to get there. More to come and thanks for your support!!

May 03, 2015
blackbookali in Los Angeles Area

Super Burger - Bang for your Burger Buck

First off thanks to the peeps on chowhound for bringing Super Burger to my attention. It is an absolute bargain if you are looking for a hefty burger, takes plastic and could be my favorite "Breakfast, Burger and Teriyaki" stand in Los Angeles. More often than not, I find these types of establishments to be run by Korean Americans; whose image, coupled with Latinos working a hot griddle for a burger hungry crowd, to represent as a fine portrait of Los Angeles one could ask for. The bacon cheeseburger ran $6, weighed in closer to 8oz(though the gent behind the counter said they were "around 6oz"), are hand formed, looked like they were ground hours ago, and came with like five strips of bacon. Nothing fancy going on here, just burgers made by and for blue collar folks served with an emphasis on generosity.

Read the whole enchilada over at Bang for your Burger Buck: http://bangforyourburgerbuck.com/supe...

May 03, 2015
blackbookali in Los Angeles Area

Whiz - Bang for your Burger Buck

Thanks TailbackU!

Apr 19, 2015
blackbookali in Los Angeles Area

Grill 'Em All - Bang for your Burger Buck

Death to False Burgers!!!

The FTW, "For the Win", is no False Prophet, it's straight up Bang for your Burger Buck for 6 freaking bucks. And good lord can these guys cook it bloody. Rare is strictly for the Hannibal Lector crowd, most will be satisfied with Medium, but if you choose to go with the barebones cheeseburger, Medium rare is pretty solid. The cheese is melted like it was set in a kiln and the bun is buttered like a gut buster grilled cheese.

Grill 'Em All is everything that is right in our current foodie movement: a gastropub with attitude levels set to thrash.

More at #bangforyourburgerbuck http://bangforyourburgerbuck.com/gril...

Apr 19, 2015
blackbookali in Los Angeles Area