Category Archives: downtown

Hut’s Hamburgers

I found Hut’s Hamburgers quite by accident. I was downtown, starving my ass off, and right on 6th Street. Up ahead, a shining beacon: Hut’s Hamburgers! I love me some all-beef patties, so—badda boom, badda bing—I stepped inside and was instantly transported back in time.

Outside of Hut's Hamburgers (photo via

I’m not sure what era, exactly, Hut’s is currently channeling, but the place has been around since 1939, so there’s plenty of memorabilia to gawk at. Penants from all manner of university teams, photos signed by famous sports heros and celebrities, Texas license plates, neon lights, a longhorn steer’s head, and a big woolly buffalo head. While you wait for your food, you’ll likely find yourself wondering where all this stuff came from, how long it’s been there, and what the story behind it all could be.

Inside, Hut's Hamburgers (photo via

But then you’ll get your juicy burger, with all manner of unusual condiments and fixin’s, and all of your concentration will be diverted toward enjoying it to the fullest—while it lasts. Those burgers are often devoured as fast as they’re placed on the table, so be prepared! Plus, they’ll put everything but the kitchen sink on there, if you want it. (Actually, they’ve even got a “Sink Burger” on the menu.) Chili, jalapeños, various cheeses from Swiss to Cheddar to Bleu, mushrooms, guacamole, even pineapple, my friends. Plus all the usual suspects like mustard, mayo, ketchup and (my favorite) delicious salty bacon. God bless America, and Texas for spicing things up!

In my opinion, the best burger on the menu is the “Mr. Blue,” a delightful mix of bleu cheese crumbles with dressing, Swiss cheese, lettuce, bacon and one of Hut’s Texas-bred longhorn-beef patties. Grass-fed, hormone-free, this beef is some of the best, and with these simple but classic toppings, it’s a surefire winner. Another one I’m tempted by is the “Milner’s Mushroom Burger,” with thick, creamy mushroom sauce and grated cheese. And you can’t go wrong with the all-American classics like the “Hut’s Favorite” (mayo, lettuce, tomatoes, bacon and American cheese), “The Dagburger” (double the meat plus mayo, lettuce, tomatoes and American cheese), or the aptly-named “All American Buddy Holly Burger” (mayo, mustard, onions, pickles, lettuce, tomatoes and American cheese).

If you’re feeling wild and crazy, and have somehow wound up at Hut’s without a craving for a juicy burger (are ye MAD?!), the menu also offers all manner of fast-food eats, from hot dogs and grilled cheese to southern-style Po’ Boys, NYC-style Reubens and pure Texas chili. For dinner, there are also plate specials on chicken-fried steaks, fried chicken, meat loaf and catfish on Fridays (the menu states “while supplies last,” which makes me wonder how fast catfish goes in Texas, anyway). Grab a soup and a salad if you’re on a diet, and be sure to save room for dessert, cus they’ve got old-fashioned milkshakes, Coke and root-beer floats, fudge brownies and a Brownie Blitz—one of their fudge brownies blended into a milkshake and topped with whipped cream. Yum!

As far as specials go, this one’s tops: On Wednesdays, from 6-10 PM, Hut’s offers a “happy hour” on all their burgers, where you can get two of the same type for the price of one. Yowza! For vegetarians, you can get the same deal on Monday nights as well (but only on veggie burgers). More good news for vegetarians: All of their veggie burgers are made in-house, fresh, and never frozen.

I’m glad I stopped by, as Hut’s is one of those places I’ll return to again and again, trying something different every time. Plus, it’s a great place to people-watch (especially during the lunchtime rush) or take a trip down memory lane. Although I’m not old enough to remember the 1950s, I do remember going to a similar 1950s-esque joint in Chicago when I was a kid. Portillo’s is now a chain throughout the Chicagoland area, while Hut’s remains at its’ original location, but the vibe at each was the same: good food, good prices, and plenty of atmosphere. Just what I like from my nostalgia-laden fast-food eateries. Dig it!

P.S. Be sure to check out their sister restaurant, the Italian Frank & Angie’s, just behind Hut’s if you’re in the mood for pizza and pasta, or a nice Francis Ford Coppola wine.

ADDRESS: 807 West 6th Street
PHONE: 512-472-0693

The Screaming Goat

The first local restaurant the Husbot and I tried in Austin was The Screaming Goat, as we passed it by on our totally random, self-guided driving tour of downtown. The place looked nice from the outside, located in a little house on 10th Street just off Lamar Boulevard, and naturally the name intrigued us. Stomachs grumbling, we decided to give it a whirl.


Photo via Sifting Through Austin

Entering the restaurant, there’s a tiny counter with the equally tiny menu. Choose from tacos, burritos, quesadillas, tostadas, tortas or flautas, and then pick your filling: ground beef, chicken, pastor, adobo chicken, steak, carne asada, bean and cheese, veggie or tilapia. We both went for the steak burritos, and the Husbot ordered two Budweisers (they were on special, and apparently the restaurant only serves the day’s beer specials?). The guy who was taking our order asked if he wanted to keep one on ice, and was amused when Husbot replied that he was going to pound them.

We picked out a table with our drinks and sat down, and our food was served up in about five minutes. During our short wait, we decided that the little house in which the restaurant was located would make an ideal home, with its sweet hardwood floors and adobe airplane bathrooms (the Husbot reported that he was so close to the automatic paper towel dispenser that it kept spitting out paper towels as he, um, completed the transaction), and wondered if we could find something similar for cheap on our apartment search.

I had ordered the verde salsa on the side, which was rated three peppers in heat, while the Husbot picked the mere two-pepper green tomatillo. He questioned whether mine might burn me two times, but it turns out the verde isn’t quite as hot as the warnings imply.

After snarfing down our burritos, the verdict was that the food was fairly inexpensive, pretty tasty, but not quite as spicy as we’d imagined it might be here in the land of Tex-Mex delights. Husbot complained “Not enough meat! Too much rice!” but ultimately agreed that the food was delicious, despite the fact that their hot sauce was a mere 5.8 out of 10 on the hotness scale. “If you’re gonna call it ‘extra hot,’ it’d better still be burning me when we leave,” he advised.

Overall, The Screaming Goat is a good bet if you’re in the neighborhood, a nice alternative to chain taco joints, and according to Austin360 we should’ve tried their beef flautas, which are the tastiest things on the menu and only cost 75 cents on Sundays and Tuesdays.

Supplemental Parking Review: Parking is available behind the restaurant. Warning signs are posted, noting that your car may be damaged, as the lot is tiny and hard to maneuver into or out of—particularly with a behemoth rear-wheel drive truck like ours.