1822 South Congress
Austin, TX 78704
$5.95 - $10.95
Traditional diner atmosphere with friendly customer service
[Mo:] When you think about old school, traditional burger joints, what thoughts come to your mind?
[Jo:] “Happy Days!” The Fonz, Ayyyyyyyyyyyyy!!!!! (with thumbs up)
[Mo:] Servers on roller-skates and people hanging out in the parking lot eating around a trailer sized diner is what Fran's Hamburgers used to be. Owner Frances Junk opened in 1973 with the goal of creating Austin's best casual dining experience.
[Jo:] Fran's Hamburger's claims to serve the “best hamburgers in Austin” and has a traditional diner menu using fresh ingredients. Fran's was even featured on the Travel Channel's “Man vs. Food”.
[Mo:] If it was good enough for Adam Richman (host of Man vs. Food) then it was good enough for us!
[Jo:] We almost passed by the unassuming diner but what grabbed my attention was the scent of freshly cooked hamburgers that came from Fran's. I had a mental image of being in a cartoon where the scent of something good seeps from a building, floats through the air into the car, tickles my nose and then drags me inside by the nostrils.
[Mo:] The burgers smelled soooo good, even from outdoors! I felt like one of Pavlov's dogs. My mouth started watering! I caught a glimpse of the sign right before we walked in and knew that we were in for a treat. The sign read “Yum Yum”!
[Jo:] As I said earlier, the menu was traditional for a diner: burgers, fries, onion rings, etc., in small (2oz), medium (4oz) and large (6oz) sizes. The special thing about Fran's is that they also featured “doubles”. Just like it sounds, you can order their monstrous 6oz burger in a double, loaded with tomatoes, cheese, onions, pickles and anything else you'd like to add.
[Mo:] I ordered the medium cheese burger with a side of fries. Jo went for the gold and ordered a double cheeseburger also with fries. We parked ourselves into a booth and anxiously awaited our burger-fate.
[Jo:] Our burgers came wrapped in paper. I thought that was interesting. Nonetheless, I didn't think that the double would be too hard to tackle.
[Mo:] The burger was so good! I could tell that it was freshly made and not just reheated. Plus this was not just any type of ground meat. It was Angus beef and it really made the difference. The burger and the side of fries were huge.
[Jo:] If your medium was huge, imagine my dilemma trying to eat my double. It was so good, I couldn't stop but in my mind, I knew that I should have.
[Mo:] Hurt so good, huh?
[Jo:] Yeah! OW! In my episode of “Jo vs. Food,” food clearly won.
[Mo:] Now for our Austin “Quote of the Week”
[Jo:] While out for a run with Mo and Samson (the dog), we encountered an older gentlemen, said “hello” and asked how he was doing. He replied, “I'm fine and dandy!” That cracked me up! Next time I will respond… AAAAYYYYY!
[Mo:] Welcome to Texas.
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This column was originally printed in the October 10, 2010 - October 23, 2010.