50 Burgers, 50 Days: Roaring Fork

 
Day 26: Roaring Fork
10850 Stonelake Blvd. 347-2400, www.eddiev.com.
Hours: 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. daily.
 
By Mike Sutter | Fed Man Walking | 09.05.11
 
The burger: Sit on the decks at Roaring Fork Stonelake and pretend the sunset on Quarry Lake is a sunset on Lake Travis. It works, especially after a margarita or three. Even three little bitty ones, like in the sampler of mango, huckleberry and house frozen margaritas ($8). They arrive in a steel canoe, three tall shot glasses with straws at synchronized 75 degree angles. Put your man-card away and try the set, in particular the huckleberry, which comes across like tequila and jam.
 
So I’m stalling about the burger, because we used to have a thing. In November 2009, I named the Big Ass burger (sorry; their label, not mine) one of my Top 25 dishes of the year. Here’s what it meant to me then: “A mile-high burger with a beef patty the size of a rodeo buckle.” Here’s what it means to me now, more than halfway through my 50-day burger expedition: It takes more than a buckle to win a rodeo. This time, the BA burger was a soggy knife-and-fork project, a beef-bacon salad with challah bread. And after Contigo’s bacon-and-cheese blitz or Hopdoddy’s poblano-palooza or Second’s horseradish pickle power, how can I find superlatives for Roaring Fork’s everyday alternatives? 
 
Fries or rings: The $13 BA burger gets its own iron kettle of fries, and I can vouch for sides of Mexican street corn and green chile mac and cheese. But one dish speaks with the Roaring Fork’s full Southwestern accent: green chili pork ($10), a kettle filled with improbable amounts of cheese and tender pieces of meat, a low-carb campfire stew of euphoria easily broken with warm flour tortillas. Split it with a friend at sunset.
 
Bonus 1: During happy hour from 4 to 7 p.m. daily, the Big Ass Burger is $9. Drinks are $2 off and select appetizers and small plates are $4 off.
 
Bonus 2: On Labor Day, buy one entree, get one free, starting at 4 p.m.
 
(Photos by Mike Sutter © Fed Man Walking)