Dan’s Hamburgers in Austin, TX was the closest of the popular hamburger stands when I was on a recent furniture expedition in Austin. I found it to be a fun, low-key place for a quick burger.
Dan’s is in its own freestanding building several miles north of Downtown Austin. I was greeted by very friendly people; just like everyone else I met in Austin. They were astonished to hear I had never been to Dan’s. When I told them this would be my first Austin hamburger, they we very excited. The menu offered three sizes small, medium (quarter pound) and large (6 oz). I ordered the medium cheeseburger ($3.14) with everything, small French fries ($1.29), onion rings ($1.79). The guy at the counter said the strawberry shake ($1.59) was the best they had so I stepped up to the plate on that as well.
I took my number, my shake and a seat in one of the faux wood booths. I am in the furniture business and have never seen a laminate like these. Multicolored and rough-hewn looking, they gave the place a unique charm. The shake was creamy, cold and sweet. It tasted very fresh. It was thick so the extra fat straw was a nice touch. The shake was very refreshing on this 100-degree day.
The burger, fries and o-rings arrived quickly. The hamburger bun was impressively grilled inside and out. The burger was a thin quarter pound patty matching the size of the bun. It was loaded with the lettuce, tomato, onion, pickle, mustard, ketchup and American cheese. It was hot and the vegetables were crisp and cold. I didn’t find it terribly distinctive, but it was god for what it was. It just didn’t put much emphasis on the meat.
The onion rings were thick, hot, crisp and cornmeal crusted. The fries were hot and salty, skinless and medium thick-cut.
Overall, I would say Dan’s does a nice job, but doesn’t distinguish itself on the burger. I will say the place is friendly and the food was hot and fast.
Burger 3.0 spatulas out of 5
Fries 2.5 spatulas
Onion Rings 3.5 spatulas
Shake 4 spatulas
5602 N. Lamar
There are 3 Dan's and 1 Fran's. I prefer Fran's on South Congress.
There was at one time six Dan's Resturants (Burger Place). Dan got a divorce and three of the stores went to his wife, who named them Frans. Dan kept the N.Lamar Store, the Airport Store and the Manchaca Store. Soon Dan passed away. The last I knew the Manchaca store was the best of the Dan's, followed closely by the Airport Dan's. I recommend you go back to Austin and eat at either of these places. I stopped going to the N. Lamar store because of the change in service and quality. The Manchaca Store is swamped most days. The Airport store is more laid back. The manager last I was at the Manchaca store started as a high school student at the N. Lamar store. He has done the best at maintaining the Quality for which Dan was famous.
The original Dan's on South Congress was a drive in but Fran too that one and the quality of food suffered greatly. There was a Fran's on Cameron Road.
Roy: Those are great tips and some great history. Thanks. I actually tried the Fran's on South Congress and was not impressed enough to write a review. I was going to give it another shot next time I am in Austin. I will try the other Dan's that you recommend. SRK
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