photo credit: Leon Alesi
In-N-Out is no longer exclusive to the West Coast, but there was a time when this wasn’t the case. The fast food market of Austin lacked a burger joint run by fry cooks wearing adorable little paper hats and matching aprons, serving a small menu that is simple and consistently delicious. Patrick Terry started with one drive-thru location at Barton Springs and South Lamar. It didn’t take long for its sparse menu and bright color scheme to create major traffic jams because it couldn’t keep up with demand. Now, there are dozens (OK, just one dozen) around town offering sit-down experiences as well.
The menu is lean and mean: a couple of burger varieties and fries. Our main complaint is that, compared with other fast food around, the food is noticeably expensive for how small the portions are. If you’re very hungry, be ready to double up on burger patties.
Most all other corporate burger chains aren't great and Austinites know it. There are maybe two McDonald’s in the downtown vicinity, but chances are you’re within a mile radius of any P. Terry’s location at all times in the Austin metro area. It’s become the easy, quick option when you forgot to buy groceries or in need of late-night food (most are open until at least 1am).
It’s simple - meat, a bun, and “special sauce,” which is more or less a thousand island derivative. Add cheese, lettuce, tomato, onions, and jalapeños and you’ve got yourself a solid P Terry’s burger.
A lean chicken breast stacked with bacon, mayo, lettuce and tomato. I like it with a whole wheat bun to trick myself into thinking I’m eating a lighter sandwich than I really am.
Despite the shade you will be thrown by your friends for ordering a veggie burger, you might be eating the best-tasting menu option. It’s a black-bean based burger that’s filled with flavor. They’re so good that they now sell them frozen at grocery stores around town.
Cooked in peanut oil - a fact that allows us to pretend they’re healthier than regular-oil french fries.