100 Austin Burgers: Symon’s Burger Joint

Symon’s Burger Joint
2416 Guadalupe St., Austin (map), 512-614-2694, www.symonsburgerjoint.com
Hours: 11am-midnight Sun-Wed; 11am-2am Fri-Sat
By Mike Sutter | © Fed Man Walking | 03.30.16
Outside of Iron Chef and the Chew, the name Michael Symon might not be enough to incite burger riots across from the University of Texas. But for fans, it’s a big deal that this Cleveland chef — whose Midwestern B Spot burger chain is recognized among the country’s best — would try out his walk-up burger concept in Austin. The covered courtyard of the Space 24 Twenty compound where Symon’s cohabitates with food trucks and an Urban Outfitters has the right aesthetic mix of burger-counter dive and chic concrete-and-steel. But it takes more than branding to build a premium burger.
 Symon Burger A loose, acrid jam (so really, not a jam at all) of caramelized onions and barky shards of rustic bacon speaks to the kind of robust heartland cooking Symon’s known for. You can really taste the Cleveland. It adds the lone spark of character to an otherwise wholly ordinary burger. The quarter-pound patties are cooked gray to the core, separated by store-grade pepperjack cheese. With a single patty, this burger built on a dinner-roll bun wouldn’t be far from a slider, but double meat adds little more than greasy deadweight. Looking for a better walk-up double burger? Try the $6.25 Big Mouth Burger at the JW Marriott’s Burger Bar. ($9.99 with double meat/$6.99 single)
 On the side: An overflowing paper boat of crisp, hot, hand-cut fries is a solid value at $2.49.
 Wash it down: Catering to its university environment, Symon’s pours Lone Star, Shiner and two craft beers. Any of them would be more satisfying than a sticky, barely frozen $5 vanilla shake.
100 Austin Burgers
(Photos by Mike Sutter © Fed Man Walking)