the spot: Texas French Bread 2900 Rio Grande Austin TX 78705
the eats: TFB Burger: 90/10 Wagyu patty, cheddar, pickles, red onion and a tangy mustard slaw + fries
the bucks: $17 w/ fries
the full nelson: Luxe burger that skips shock value toppings for classic complimentary flavors
There have been multiple renditions of the TFB Burger at Texas French Bread. I have had two in as many years and both times I have been more than happy to part with almost $20 for the burger experience. Both times I have risen from table with a degree of struggle and an even greater degree of full belly satisfaction.
No, spending $20 on a burger isn’t easy but filling your belly on Wagyu beef on a hamburger bun so coveted that it is shipped to restaurants all over town . . . well that’s certainly worth a worthy price tag. But what really gets me about this burger is the coleslaw . . .
If you were suspect to find ample pastries underneath a glass case at the counter of Texas French Bread you would might also possess just enough detective skills to help Scooby Doo’s friends solve the mystery of the haunted roller coaster park. And if a place is making bread, then they probably make a pretty darn good hamburger bun too.
Texas French Bread does in fact make a darn good hamburger bun and you need to if you plan on housing an 8oz Wagyu beef patty. Extra special about this patty is the blend: 90/10 meat to fat ratio. Shockingly lean so you would be wise to stick to medium rare at most for your requisite cooking temperature. Despite the lack of fat, my burger was satisfying enough in the juicy department.
The cheddar hangs nicely over the robust 8oz patty that retains a fair amount of weight after cooking because there is less fat in the patty. And less fat in the patty means more beef for the party. A scrutinizing eye might notice the crack in the bottom half of the bun. Like a fresh baguette, good bread cracks under even the slightest of pressure despite the precaution taken by a certain Team Pixel photographer.
That same watchful eye also might notice a razor thin slice of red onion. Raw red onion could overpower Seal Team 6 if cut too thickly. Well, maybe not Seal Team 6 but definitely a burger patty. Here the intense spicy bite is kept at bay with a chef’s knife. Oh and the tomato was nothing to sneeze at either. What you are not seeing is lettuce. Instead the TFB burger sticks with coleslaw and one with a pronounced mustard in the dressing too. And I gotta say that it works.
For almost $20 bucks you should get fries with that. In the early days of Bang for your Burger Buck, I would always advocate for more funds allocated to the burger than some starchy side dish. These fries are an exception. A crisp well salted exterior masks a buttery mashed potato interior. I don’t think I reached for the ketchup once but then again, I’m more of an aioli guy.
Like any good morality tale, it’s what’s on the inside that counts and so goes what’s in the soul of the TFB burger. Driven first and foremost by a quality beef experience thanks to Wagyu beef, this burger makes the case that an indulgent burger doesn’t have to be drowned in rich sauces or covered in melted cheese. The sharp bite of pickles, raw red onion and a mustard based coleslaw give enough contrast to ample yet lean quality beef and a near perfect hamburger bun.
This is the kind of burger that makes spending $20 seem way too easy. If only it was just as easy to make.