I’ve Had Your Mom!

22 May

And man oh man, was she ever delicious.

Far from being a schoolyard joke, Your Mom’s Burger Bar is a relatively new entrant into Austin’s explosive burger scene, and I’d be willing to stake my fork on the fact that they’ve already got a decent-sized cadre of loyalists. Smashed between a Mexican restaurant and a storefront law office, Your Mom’s specializes in stuffed burgers — the goodness that normally comes on your burger, such as cheese or mushrooms, are literally stuffed inside two patties of beef and grilled. If you’re a fan of the Travel Channel, you’ll no doubt have seen this concoction on Man vs. Food, when he visited Minneapolis, the original home of the Jucy Lucy.

A burger like this wouldn’t be any good unless it was a cheeseburger, so the inevitable result is molten streams of cheese combining with the burger juice to burn the tar out of your mouth. And I mean that in the absolute best way possible. The husband-wife team at Your Mom’s takes this equation a step (or 10) further, though; in addition to a cheese, they have burgers that come stuffed and topped with just about anything your food-addled brain can conceive of: an assortment of cheeses (cheddar is *so* 2001), mushrooms, jalapeños, Italian sausage,  bacon, spinach, boudin and a fried egg. It’s a little messy, a lot filling and awful damned good.

The Mister and I went on a Saturday afternoon; they open at 11:00am and we got there about a half-hour later. Given it’s location on the East Side, I have a feeling the place attracts skinny-jeaned hipsters like flies to honey — it might be a good place to hang out if you want to score a lost pair of aviator sunglasses or some checkered Vans. The entire place probably can’t fit more than 30-40 people, I’d guess, so I’d definitely suggest going any time except Friday or Saturday night.

He tried the Buffalo Bill — a half-pound burger tossed in buffalo wing sauce, stuffed with jalapeños and bleu cheese, and wrapped in bacon. It comes dressed with shredded lettuce (romaine?), tomato, onion, a sauteed green chili and ranch dressing. It was a hulking mess of a burger and he loved every minute of it. The thick layer of jalapeños along with the buffalo sauce guaranteed a hit of spice with every bite, cooled by the unmistakable sourness of bleu cheese. The green chili was a thick slice of meatiness and offered an interesting contrast to the crisp bacon. I managed to get one bite in before he demolished the rest, and my only complaint is minor — given the dryness of bleu cheese, it doesn’t melt like a cheddar or mozzarella would. Instead of a velvety coating and lactose-tainted strings sticking to your chin, bleu cheese tends to… well, liquefy. When I bite into the Buffalo Bill, there was a violent squirt of sauce and cheese, which coated my hand in a discolored (but highly tangy) liquid that reminded me of spit up from an infant. I realize this isn’t what you want to equate with a burger joint, but I couldn’t ignore it. Five napkins later, my hand was still sticky.


As for me, I’d had my eye on the Marie Laveau for much of the week — a half-pounder filled with blackened boudin and Monterey Jack and topped with lettuce, tomato and roumalade. Seriously, that taste of Savoir boudin last week really got me twisted. At the last minute, though, I opted for the Robert DeNiro, which is tossed in marinara and stuffed with goat cheese and Italian sausage. It comes on a toasted bun (white or wheat?) and topped with grilled onions, spinach and parmesan.

Ho-ly shit, it was good. I’m a fan of DeNiro’s movies, and am corny (and inappropriate) enough to now say I like the way he tastes, too. The marinara sauce offered a really nice flavor; it was like having a succulent Italian meatball at one of your favorite restaurants (I’m also quite a fan of meatballs, and have several recipes floating around in my head for tasty ones to make at home). I’m such a huge fan of goat cheese, and can say without hesitation that this burger had more than enough — I loved that nearly every bite contained a good amount. I only wish it had been a bit more evenly distributed, so I could have goaty goodness around the edges of the burger. In fact, the only issue I had with the cheese filling was the fact that, with such a dry cheese, I needed a bit more juiciness to the meat itself. I’m generally a girl who likes her burger medium rare — all the better if it comes to the table still mooing. Still, I recognize the mechanics behind perfectly grilling a stuffed burger can be tricky (trust me, I’ve actually tried this at home), so busting the chef’s chops over the fact that my meat was cooked well done isn’t something I’m going to spend a whole lot of time on.

The Mister and I split an order of onion rings, and I have to be honest — these very nearly stole the show for me. It’s hard to find the perfect onion ring; in all my years of ordering them, they tend to come two ways: over-fried with a crumbly crust and shriveled onion inside, or decent crust with undercooked, slimy veg. Your Mom’s has somehow perfected their rings, and I am absolutely not above sneaking a peek through the back window to figure out how. I suspect it’s a lighter, flour-based tempura batter rather than a heavy egg and milk wash. Tempura batter, if you’re so inclined, can be made with just three ingredients — flour, cornstarch and seltzer water. The end result has little grease and a firm crunch, and the taste of whatever you’ve coated in the batter shines through. These onion rings were perfectly sized and had a good thickness and palpable crunch. The onion never pulled away from the crust and it held up well to ketchup.

If a great burger and awesome rings aren’t enough for Your Mom’s, they also have sweet tea. Believe what you’d like, but finding sweet tea at the soda fountain is not always a given in Texas. And I’m not talking about that from concentrate Lipton crap you find at the gas station. I’m not suggesting it was homemade, but it was definitely authentic. As far as I’m concerned, that added the proverbial feather in my cap.  If there is anything better than enjoying a burger and rings with a cold iced tea on a beautiful Saturday afternoon, I surely don’t know what it is; but if you find it, let me know.



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