the spot: Hold Out Brewing 1208 W. 4th St. Austin TX 78703
the eats: Hold Out Classic Burger (double), Hold Out Chicken Wings
the bucks: $11 and $15 respectively
the full nelson: top 5 burger when it’s on point and one of my fav places in Austin
The other day I took three bites of a burger and threw it away. That burger cost $6 and came from a drive thru. Two days ago I paid $8 for a burger at a hip Austin bar and chucked it after four bites. I’m a big fan of In-N-Out for overall value(especially my custom order), but my last one was sloppily executed. It’s getting to a point where I have to spend $10 in order to not be disappointed.
This brings me to Hold Out Brewing, a brewery/bar with a solid menu in Austin TX. The food is what you would expect to find from a brewery. Besides burgers, there are wings, fried chicken and fried fish sandwiches plus hearty salads. Read a little closer and you’ll find Szechuan and Kimchi vinaigrettes in the salads and shareable veggie dishes. Oh and a roasted beet side with whipped feta and a blood orange vinaigrette. Things that make you say hmmm.
It might be food that goes with beer but like the beer, it’s well thought out. So when you look at this $11 double cheeseburger with lettuce, pickle and some play on Thousand Island dressing(called the comeback sauce), you should expect something more. When you bite into this seemingly familiar burger, you find yourself more than satisfied. And it comes down to solid execution. And that’s just not a guarantee these days with every burger you come across.
For all the talk about how American cheese is the best cheese for a cheeseburger, it should also be noted that the cheese must be melted thoroughly. American cheese served cold is about as depressing as it gets. The melt on here is solid. And you can see a solid sear too. Hold Out is delivering a style of smashed burger, though not exactly that laced edge variety you might see on Instagram.
I might have a bone to pick with these wings. At $15 they aren’t cheap but it’s a huge order and clearly meant to be shared. These are whole joint wings so the drummies, flats and tips come attached like Mother Nature intended. My issue is that they won’t sauce the wings at Hold Out. You have to dunk them in their respected sauces of classic Buffalo/Frank’s Red Hot style or Miso Ranch. Both sauces are tasty but tossing them in the Buffalo should be accomodated.
On a second visit I asked for them cooked crispy. Great wings must have a crisp exterior. Of course you don’t want to dry out the meat but it’s better to air for crispy exterior regardless. Since these wings are huge and whole joint, the meat stayed juicy. Also on the second visit I asked for an extra bowl so I could toss the wings in the sauce myself. I would definitely order these again but only with a group. It’s just too large a serving for one man, even this man.
When I first had this burger I called it a top 5 burger after like two bites. On a second visit I was a little less overwhelmed. But I might chalk that up to letting the burger sit too long while my fellow diners were waiting for their food. Don’t make my mistake and run the risk of being rude. Sink your teeth into this burger ASAP.
At $11 I’m pretty happy but I might try the single at $7. A double cheeseburger with shredded lettuce, pink sauce and pickles might seem run of the mill but the sum is greater than the parts with the Hold Out Burger. Tasty nostalgia by way of burger design plus solid elevated comfort food execution make the Hold Out Burger a hands down top 3 burger in Austin.
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