Beefy bites from Austin's newest joints
Shuggie's1311 S. First, 789-2063
Sunday-Wednesday, 11am-10pm; Thursday-Saturday, 11am-11pm
Shuggie's is the second Airstream-cuisine concept from talented local chef Michael Rypka, and it's a popular component of his South Austin Trailer Park & Eatery, along with Torchy's Tacos, La-Dee-Dah, and TREAT. The menu here is choice: six burgers with mouthwatering enhancements, a chicken sandwich, a veggie sandwich, two hot dogs, fries, onion rings, sodas, lemonade, and several enticing flavors of velvety Blue Bell shakes. Burger patties are hand-formed daily, cooked medium (unless ordered otherwise), and served on buttery buns flecked with black cracked pepper made exclusively for Shuggie's by New World Bakery.
Burgers here range from the Shuggie's Classic ($4.50) to my personal favorite, the Rambler ($5.95), with mayo, lettuce, tomatoes, barbecue sauce, grilled onions, smoked Gouda cheese, and chicken-fried bacon. The fresh, hearty bun is the perfect frame for this overstuffed handful of deliciousness and stands up well to all the juices. If the burger menu presents too many temptations, order a Set o Sliders (three for $5.50), and mix 'em up. Add a side of fries or onion rings to your burger for $1.50 or $2, respectively. Whole orders of green-chile cheese fries ($5.95) are substantial enough to share and very satisfying, but both times we've ordered Evelyn's Onion Rings ($4.95), they emerged from the fryer a greasy mess, having lost most of their breading. Shakes, on the other hand, are a voluptuous winner every time.
Shuggie's has recently added a weekend Trailer Park brunch. The quality of the burgers here has me eager to try some doughnut holes, shrimp and grits, or maybe pecan French toast. – V.B.W.