100 Austin Burgers: Texas French Bread

Texas French Bread
2900 Rio Grande St., Austin (map), 512-499-0544, www.texasfrenchbread.com
Hours: 7am-9:30pm Mon-Thu; 7am-10pm Fri; 8am-10pm Sat; 8am-3pm Sun
By Mike Sutter | © Fed Man Walking | 05.12.16
Texas French Bread has evolved from a local demi-chain of coffeeshop bakeries into a single restaurant off the Drag that evokes the spirit of a French sidewalk cafe. There’s breakfast and pastries in the morning and sandwiches at lunch, but dinner is a full-on bistro experience with a charming wine list. From 11-3 on weekdays for lunch and 3-5:30 Mon-Sat for happy hour, TFB is also the place to get a sophisticated burger on a fresh brioche bun.
 The TFB Cheeseburger: In these rude political times, it seems impolite to talk about size. But I expected more burger for 16 bucks. Even so, quality isn’t about quantity, and this burger fights way above its weight class, with juicy Niman Ranch beef, earthy brie cheese, an even spread of liquid gold caramelized onions, arugula and sweet tomato jam that adds a spark of acid. The ringer is a bun with a buttery, toasted sesame crown and pull-apart layers as lush as a birthday cake. ($16 with fries)
 On the side: These handcut fries reflect a kitchen that cares enough to get the small things right. Clean oil, earthy skins, crisp edges and hot, fluffy centers.
 Wash it down: Once upon a time, Texas French Bread was a family-style BYOB experience. Now the wine list carries more than 70 bottles. At happy hour from 3-5:30 Mon-Sat, those wines are half-price by the bottle or glass, as are a handful of local beers and ciders. Or you can go with a properly bitter Americano and a big oatmeal cookie.
100 Austin Burgers
(Photos by Mike Sutter © Fed Man Walking)