The Austin Chronicle

P. Terry's Burger Stand

Reviewed by Kate Thornberry, September 15, 2006, Food

P. Terry's Burger Stand

404 S. Lamar, 473-2217

Daily, 11am-11pm

Usually, when you grab a burger at a drive-through, you have to deactivate that part of your brain that realizes what you are putting into your body. (If you saw Supersize Me, you probably just decide to go hungry.) Well, it doesn't have to be that way anymore. You can head down to P. Terry's Burger Stand on South Lamar and get fast food made the old-fashioned way: out of food.

Patrick Terry was so appalled when he read the book Fast Food Nation that he decided to open his own burger stand, where things could be done properly. It is mind-blowing, I know, but it is nevertheless true: At P. Terry's, your burger is hand-patted from hormone-free Black Angus beef. After grilling, your burger patties are placed with fresh lettuce and tomato (delivered daily) on a fresh Mrs. Baird's hamburger bun (also delivered daily). Their chicken burgers are made from Buddy's Natural Chicken, and the veggie burgers are Gardenburgers. When you order french fries, they slice an actual potato into slices and fry it in pure canola oil. When you order a milk shake, it is made with actual milk. The lemonade is made from lemons, sugar, and water. It is a sorry commentary on the state of fast food in this country that any of this is remarkable, but the fact is, it is so remarkable that it is unheard of. Where other chains serve you precooked patties made from God knows what (plus sugar), chemical mixes, and dehydrated and reconstituted potato fiber, P. Terry's serves you what you ordered.

In addition to being absolutely delicious, the food comes out plenty fast. I can't imagine wanting my food to be prepared any faster. The only thing that might slow you down is the long line of cars in the drive-through because the place is doing a booming business. Although they mostly serve a drive-through clientele, P. Terry's also has a very pleasant outdoor dining area, with wooden picnic tables under spreading pecan trees. Leashed dogs are welcomed, and all dogs get a free dog biscuit.

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