Decemburger: Little Red Wagon
First came 50 Burgers, 50 Days. Then Novemburger. 2011 wraps up with a burger a day for Decemburger.
Day 6: Little Red Wagon
1207 E. Palm Valley Road, Round Rock. 512-310-2554.
Hours: 6:30 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday-Saturday. 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday.
By Mike Sutter | Fed Man Walking | 12.06.11
The burger: At $5.69 for a double cheeseburger, large fries and a drink, Little Red Wagon’s Everyday Special is one of the best deals outside the chains, and people seem to like that just fine. A big square dining room checkerboarded with brown vinyl tablecloths and booths is full by noon, and you’ll see a few real cowboy hats under the corny cowboy murals. The corrugated half-walls and weathered Texas flag inside reflect the outside’s red barnwood panels and white gables, with lights twinkling around a tall white sign with a red wagon — not the Western kind, the Radio Flyer kind.
The double cheeseburger is built from the most basic of thin patties, ragged at the edges and generous with fat and shiny American cheese in a fluorescent shade of orange. An assembly line of shredded lettuce, pale tomatoes, green-bucket pickles, diced onion and a plain toasted bun finishes the job. And “job” is the right word, because this is the kind of burger you grab during your 30-minute lunch break, because the Wagon understands, and they’re in as much of a hurry as you are.
Fries or rings? I saw that Burger King is making a big deal out of switching to thicker french fries. Places like the Wagon could have told them a long time ago that if people are going to eat frozen fries out of a bag, they taste better when they’re thicker, because the potato comes through as much as the fryer oil. If you buy them separately, fries are $1.55 small, $1.89 large. As much as I’d rather have a carne guisada breakfast taco ($1.89) than another side, I like the woolly onion rings ($2.19/small), and I’d like them even better if they’d let them cook for another minute.
(Photos by Mike Sutter © Fed Man Walking)