Did you work a restaurant job in high school? I worked for my uncle at Shaw's Drive In in Tulsa. We were the standard burger, fries and a chocolate malt place with a few extra items to keep the customers happy and full of delicious food. Hat Creek takes me back to those times and tastes. For me it's the real deal for burger joints.
First let's compare the meat. Uncle John would pick up freshly ground hamburger from the market across the street every morning. Hat Creek boasts they have fresh, never frozen hamburger. I didn't ask if it was ground in house or picked up fresh daily but from eating at Hat Creek I'll guess it's ground fresh daily. But that's just a guess. If you go remember to ask and let me know. Their patties seem to be about 2 or 3 ounces each so a double burger is perfect for me. And if you get cheese on your double meat that's double cheese too! They keep the ratio right. The bun is a nice, fresh baked, white bun toasted on the grill just like we did at Shaw's and dressed with whatever you like since they're made to order. Hat Creek offers the standard assortment of mustard, mayo, pickle, onion, lettuce, tomato and even a few add-ons like jalapenos. We never offered jalapenos back in Tulsa though I bet it would have sold well. Uncle John was never one to do gimmicks or specials though. He was all about traditional burgers. And I see that at Hat Creek too. That's why they remind me of home.
Their fries are hand cut and on the small side. Maybe a little bigger than shoe string but they fry them up to order so they're always hot and fresh out of the grease. I like mine with ketchup and they have large paper cups to put plenty of ketchup in so you don't have to go get more. The cup is big enough to share at the table. I think that's a nice touch. But don't go wasting ketchup or they'll change to smaller cups and I'll get all grumpy.
I haven't tried their milk shake yet. The grumpy fat man tries to watch his intake of sweets but I will soon try one. Since it's so hot these days I'm not sure why I didn't get one. The ice cold soda helped cool me off though and they have good sodas. Not weak and watery like some places and they don't taste funny either. I've been noticing some places around town have funny tasting sodas. Like they put lemon in everything. Have you noticed that?
So that's Hat Creek. A little taste of home in Austin with great food, great people and even good time rock and roll playing constantly in the dining room. Did I mention they greeted us with a "Hi!, I'll be with you in just a second" and made sure to say "Thanks for coming have a great evening!" when we left. That goes a long way in my book.
So until tomorrow what are some of your youthful food memories?