Sunday, 15 June 2014

How far will I walk ... for a cheeseburger?

[Porter's Cheeseburger, Image from Zagat]
In my last post I described my idyllic two hour stroll through Santa Monica in search of a particular glass of wine. So why am I thinking twice about a 45 minute stroll in search of a cheeseburger (and back)?

Well, the problem is that this walk is in Texas. As I've already discovered, the Texans are suspicious of walking. Maybe it's the ridiculous summer heat that can drain you of the will to live in just minutes. Maybe it's the huge open spaces and roads that can stretch to the horizons that don't really invite you to stroll. Maybe it's because cities like Dallas and Houston simply weren't designed with pedestrians in mind. Maybe it's because, if God had wanted us to get places under our steam, he would have given us wheels.

What ever it is, you simply don't walk in Texas.

Now that's not to say that the large Texan cities don't have lovely areas for an evening's constitutional walk. Fort Worth's Stockyards, and Austin's SoCo areas leap to mind, and I'll be staying in both this year. I've also heard wonderful things about San Antonio's river walk.

However, you don't stray outside of these clearly demarked pedestrian areas. When first in Fort Worth, local friends were horrified to hear we'd walked to (the wonderful) Joe T Garcia's, just one block away from the Stockyards. But it was quite literally on the other side of the tracks - and I never cease to be surprised how quickly the atmosphere can change in an American city. One minute I'm being sold $500 custom made cowboy boots, the next it's all pawn shops and bail bonds, and there's not a person on the street any more. "I wish you'd told us", they said, "we would have come pick you up".

So this year, I'm looking at Porter, Austin. In particular, I can't take my eyes off a certain cheeseburger. The Porter burger. The menu says "triple cream brie, crispy pancetta, kettle chips, crispy fries ...". Zagat says it's one of the 15 most 'splurge worthy' burgers in America. Eater.com says it's one of the most buzzed about burgers in the US. I say 'a burger with crisps and brie in it, oh yeah'.

Read the reviews I've linked to at the bottom to see why I need this burger, and why I'm prepared to risk life and limb to taste it. Porter is also an ale house with a vast range of draft beers, so driving is a complete no-no. But I've never walked further than the Magnolia Cafe on South Congress before, and it's a long way down SoCo or First from the Austin Motel. Maybe I need to explore the buses ...

More on the Porter Burger ...

The menu at Porter, Austin
Zagat - 15 Spurge Worth Burgers Across America
Eater.com - The 19 Hottest Burgers in the US Right Now






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