50 Burgers, 50 Days: Burger Tex II

 
A burger a day all around Austn, plus an answer to the pressing question: Fries or rings?
 
Day 24: Burger Tex II
2912 Guadalupe St. 477-8433, www.burgertexiiorplanetburger.blogspot.com.
Hours: 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. daily.
 
By Mike Sutter | Fed Man Walking | 09.03.11
 
The burger: College-student theater is a bonus at most any store along Guadalupe, and Burger Tex II could sell tickets to see the mismatched couple coming in and splitting a Coke so one of them could use the bathroom, or the earnest film acolyte informing his friend that Elliott Gould starred in “Taxi Driver” or the budding food critic referring to pickle relish as chutney.
 
I’ve never ordered a regular burger at Burger Tex, because when you’ve got a shot at bulgogi, you take it. A safe bet, I thought, because I’ve eaten bulgogi burgers at the Burger Tex shops on Airport and in Oak Hill, and the meat was like ribbons of ribeye, sliced a shade thicker than a Philly cheesesteak.
 
Different story here on Guadalupe, where the website proclaims that this Burger Tex (“or called Planet Burger”) is not a franchise, all similarities to the contrary notwithstanding. In the bulgogi burger’s case, it wouldn’t have hurt this shop to borrow more liberally from its twin sisters of a different mother.
 
The spicy bulgogi burger ($7.99 as part of a combo with fries and a drink) was chopped into something resembling a sloppy Joe as sweet as a school cafeteria Wednesday. It’s as if the sliced ribeye had been run through a grinder the way you would hamburger meat. Not what I expected, and not what I wanted.
 
In its favor, the bulgogi burger can be ordered in three levels of spicy. The third and highest level of heat still allows flavors of sesame and garlic to peek through. And like the other Burger Texes, this one lets you dress your own burger with lettuce, tomato, relish (aka “chutney), jalapeños and pico de gallo from a salad bar. The buns hold up to another Burger Tex standard, too, baked fresh in ovens of denial like oversized yeast rolls.
 
Fries or rings? The onion rings ($2.31) were undercooked and shiny with undrained grease, so I’d go with fries wearing patches of batter like a ragtag Bronze Age army ($1.99). You’re better off giving both to the guy at Table 2, who’s more likely to have a career making them than writing about them.
 
(Photos by Mike Sutter © Fed Man Walking)