Burger Time: Classic Cheeseburger at Andice General Store
The grade: B
Three-word review: No-frills classic.
The setting: “The only game in town,” one diner mentioned while sitting at a picnic table on the Andice General Store’s patio. Even if it wasn’t, this small joint sandwiched between three churches at the intersection of RM 970 and RM 2338 would still draw a steady lunchtime crowd. Owner Alan Thomas hasn’t changed the menu much in the 18 years since he opened this burger joint that also sells pulled pork sandwiches and brisket tacos. Order at the counter and Thomas will drop your burger at your indoor or outdoor picnic table, likely saying “howdy” to a regular on his route. The coolers are stocked with nostalgia-inspiring sodas and a selection of domestic and Mexican beers that you can order to go or drink on site for a buck or two extra. A car crashed through the front of the old building a couple of months ago, but Andice reopened the following day. When you’re one of the only games located along the expanse between Liberty Hill and Florence, you can’t afford to take a play off.
The burger: You don’t mess with what works. Start by taking 80/20 ground chuck (always the right fat ratio for a burger) and press it together for a thin patty I reckon must be about one-third-pound and griddle it to a slightly greasy finish on a well-seasoned flat top. The white buns get a little fat rubbed on them and toasted on the grill for a little extra flavor. Dress it out how you want, but I’ll take mine with Andice’s forest green leaf lettuce, mild red onion and the vinegar pop of industrial pickles sandwiched between buns slathered with tangy mayonnaise and yellow mustard. The classic cheeseburger comes capped with melted cheddar, and variations include a Rodeo Burger (with grilled onions and barbecue sauce) and a Green Chili Burger, one of the few additions to the menu since Thomas opened.
Additionally: The regular in front of me ordered his usual -- two corn dogs ($2.79) -- so the folks back in the kitchen apparently know how to use a fryer.
Fries with that: Bagged crinkle cut fries arrive crunchy, meaty and seasoned with just the right touch of salt for $3.29.
Hours: 11 a.m. to 6:45 p.m. Monday-Saturday
Location and contact: 6500 RM 970 (just a couple miles east of US 183). 254-793-3971, Facebook page
This meaty piece of criticism (named after an 80s arcade game) is part of a recurring series of burger reviews. To read more restaurant reviews, go to austin360.com. For Matthew Odam’s Top 50 restaurants in Austin, along with the rest of the Austin360 Dining Guide, visit austin360.com/eats.