photo credit: Taylor Hannan
Dirty Martin's Place
There’s something special about sitting in a historic old building from the 1920s, eating burgers that have remained largely unchanged for a century. We like to think the grill has spent that whole time building up flavors and seasoning—in the greasy burger equivalent of Pujol’s multi-year mole—but we haven’t taken a look into the kitchen to see if the illusion holds up.
Inside, there’s an old school diner-style bar that just feels like the type of place you’ll want to slide up to, shout out “I’ll have the usual,” and sit back with an ice cold schooner of Lone Star to kick things off. Or just make it a lunchbox and add a shot of bourbon for a couple bucks. You’re not going back to work after this—it’s not really the type of place you pop in for a quick lunch at 11am.
The menu at Dirty Martin’s is simple—burgers, patty melts, onion rings, and milkshakes. Sometimes, simple is better. This is one of those times. Start with an order of corn nuggets—deep fried balls of creamed corn—and maybe some fried pickle slices. Then make your way to the burgers. Keep things classic with a kumbak burger (the original option here, with or without cheese), or go with our personal favorite, the D.H. special—basically a double patty melt on Texas Toast. Whatever you do, save some room for a milkshake at the end for the full experience.
The inside has changed a bit over the years. The patio is no longer dirt, and the open patio in the back has a roof and A/C, but that hasn’t stopped a meal at Dirty Martin’s from feeling like a little taste of old Austin. If you’ve been doing something right for a century, why change now?