Burger Bonanza

Beefy bites from Austin's newest joints

The Hub

3815 Dry Creek Dr., 432-5390
www.thehubaustin.com
Monday-Thursday, 11am-10pm; Friday-Saturday, 11am-11pm; Sunday, 11am-9pm

The Hub is one of the few restaurants within walking or biking distance of the Highland Hills and Northwest Hills residences near Mount Bonnell. Consequently, mealtimes find both inside and outside dining areas at this relatively new spot packed with neighborhood families. While the restaurant features a full menu of sandwiches and salads, it's the burgers that most people come for. The Hub's burgers come in two basic forms: the Fatty and the Flatty. As the name suggests, the Fatty is a thick, 8-ounce burger ($6.50), while the Flatty is a thinner, 4-ounce version ($5.50). With the Fatty and Flatty as building blocks, the Hub offers burgers that come with a variety of toppings, from plain American cheese to queso and pico de gallo to sautéed mushrooms. For the starch-averse, there's even a burger wrapped in lettuce rather than the usual bun. The Champagne special that includes two Fatty burgers, fries, a sundae, and a bottle of Dom Pérignon ($175) makes the Hub the place to go on those lazy occasions when you and your spouse feel like you really should treat yourselves to a special meal but all you both really want is a burger.

All patties are cooked on a flat-top griddle and made from lean Angus beef – perhaps a little too lean, because both the Fatties and Flatties we tried were dry. And if they were spiced with any seasoning, which purportedly they were, I wasn't able to detect it. My Black-n-Bleu burger, a blackened Fatty mated with crumbled blue cheese and bacon ($7.99), frankly tasted like a packing peanut. The plain Flatty, ordered medium instead of the default medium-well, didn't fare much better. But this doesn't seem to deter the crowds, who love the Hub nonetheless. – R.F.

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