Having grown up in west Texas, I always considered myself to be pretty knowledgeable about the difference between a good hamburger and a mediocre hamburger. (Is there such a thing as a bad hamburger?)
I grew up in what’s called the “bible belt,” where there was a church on every corner, but it could have just as easily called itself the “burger belt.” Hamburger joints abound in small town Texas and you can pretty much guarantee that there is a hamburger on the menu in just about every restaurant in town, even fine dining.
But recently, I’ve learned that my hamburger knowledge has dropped off in standards. If I had my druthers, on a drive-thru night, I will pick Mexican food. So, for years, hamburgers as a regular meal have been off my radar.
But lately, not so much. See, Annika loves hamburgers. Just about every night of the week if she’s not asking for poop on the menu, she’s requesting that we “stop for a burger.”
I’ll just go ahead and admit here that I’ve been giving in to this request pretty regularly for a few months now. Yes, we have food issues. Although I hate to label her, at this stage in her life, Annika is what’s known as a “picky eater.”
It’s not really that she’s picky. She’s 2, almost 3. It’s very common, as our pediatrician has assured me. It’s developmentally appropriate. It’s normal. Kids are still learning what their bodies will tolerate at this age. Their little guts are still sensitive to a lot of things they will eventually outgrow. It’s totally normal. Yes, I know I already said that. I am reminding myself that it’s normal and she WILL outgrow it. (Right? She won’t do this shit forever, right?)
It’s also unbelievably frustrating because when she doesn’t eat, she gets cranky and unreasonable.
Yeah, even more unreasonable than what’s typical for an almost-3-year-old. And believe me, almost-3-year-olds are already UNBELIEVABLY UNREASONABLE.
So, yes, I often give in honor her request for a hamburger. Because I want her to eat.
I even bought some of those frozen already made hamburgers and stuck them in my freezer, but I haven’t made them yet because I fear that she will refuse it at home and then I lose 90 percent of my dinner options and we WILL fight.
Anyhoo, I’ve come to realize that I haven’t been taking full advantage of my chance to eat a variety of hamburgers. I mean, Sonic has a pretty decent burger on their dollar menu, and there’s one right down the street from our house. And we don’t even have to get out of the car.
But I’m sick of Sonic and Whataburger and all the other unmentionable places that all my healthy friends would quake in their shoes if they knew we were regularly eating there.
The other night some friends suggested that we hit up Dan’s Hamburgers.
I got the hickory burger with jalapenos. It was pretty damn tasty. The fries left something to be desired, but Annika and I are not fry freaks anyway. We like burgers and shakes.
So anyway, if you are an Austinite, what’s your favorite burger joint? This phase ain’t gonna last forever, I might as well take advantage of it and learn where all the best joints are in town.