Photo courtesy of Metro Creative
National Cheeseburger Day
Sunday marks one of the greatest days on the culinary calendar — National Cheeseburger Day!
Why the focus on such a simple creation? After all, it's not Soufflé.
It’s because San Marcos has some of the best burger joints in Central Texas and it deserves our attention and admiration.
Believe it or not, it was a 16-year-old named Lionel Sternberger who came up with the idea. His father owned a sandwich shop and one day in 1924, Lionel had the idea to place a slice of American cheese on one of his father's hamburgers.
Since then, all manner of cheese has been tried and tested with a variety of additional toppings. Some of our favorites clued us in on what makes their cheeseburger creation so dang tasty.
“I think a good cheeseburger depends on the type of meat that you use and the bun. The bun for sure is the best part when it comes to a good cheeseburger,” said Caitlin Nixon, Server at The Taproom.
“Often imitated but never surpassed, The Taproom’s signature Guacamole Queso burger is in a league of its own,” The Taproom Owner Samantha Strahan said. “Feast your eyes on this ½ lb. burger featuring an 81/19 fresh — never frozen — ground beef patty made inhouse daily and covered in our signature seasonings, gooey, cheesy queso and fresh, homemade guacamole. Served with a pickle spear and on our sweet, sourdough toasted bun, there’s no wonder San Martians and Bobcats voted us the Best Burger in Hays County. Get your burger fix daily at 129 E Hopkins St. or visit us at www.taproomsanmarcos.com and order online!”
Taproom dishes out delicious burgers that have San Marcans and Texas State alumni consistently coming back. Above, a cheeseburger from Taproom served with wedge fries and pickle spear. Daily Record photo by Jason Martinez
In a city full of good burger options, Taproom Pub & Grub stands out among the crowd.
Taproom, a well-known San Marcos eatery, provides delicious burger options but also has plenty of other choices to pick from. Alongside tasty eats, Taproom lives up to its name with a wide variety of beer options. Taproom — boasting its libations selection as “The Largest Beer Variety in San Marcos” — offers 42 beers on tap and 60 in a bottle.
“Since 1994, The Taproom has served award winning handmade specialty burgers that keep Texas State alumni coming back year after year,” the burger spot says on its website. “Fall-off-the-bone BBQ ribs, wings, Philly Cheesesteaks, and more make us your perfect game day hang — Don't forget the Guacamole Queso burger!”
WHAT TO GET
On our visit to Taproom, we tried one of its award-winning specialty burgers — the guacamole queso burger. This burger comes with perfectly cooked beef, fresh guacamole and Taproom’s queso. We added jalapeños to give the burger an extra kick. You can’t go wrong sampling this burger next time you visit Taproom. Add fries or onion rings to your order and you’re good to go.
We also sampled Taproom’s Jalapeño Cheeseburger, which comes with a well-seasoned beef patty, cheese, jalapeños, onions, lettuce, tomato and a pickle spear on the side.
Looking for a different burger option? Consider Taproom’s The Works Burger. This selection is Taproom’s signature burger, featuring Swiss and American cheeses, mushrooms, jalapenos, grilled onions and crispy bacon.
Are you looking for more spice in your life? Maybe Taproom’s 666 Burger is exactly what you’re in search of. This burger is served with grilled jalapenos, pepper jack cheese and Taproom’s buffalo sauce.
But burgers aren't all Taproom has to offer. This San Marcos staple offers buffalo cheese bites, fried mushrooms, fried pickles, chips and queso among its appetizer options.
Taproom also has sandwiches like its southwest Philly, grilled chicken club and buffalo chicken sandwich.
Taproom also has healthier options like its shaved ribeye salad.
IF YOU GO:
Taproom is located at 129 E. Hopkins St. Suite 120
Hours: 11:30 a.m. - 11 p.m. weekdays and 11 a.m.-11 p.m. on weekends.
Visit taproomsanmarcos.com to see the food and beer menu.
“Making a great cheeseburger starts with a good cut of meat, or even a blend,” Industry's Co-owner Cody Taylor said. “Something with a little more fat and flavor always works well, like blending in brisket or chuck into your normal grind. Cheese selection is always the next most important component, so branch out from the Kraft singles. Finally, a better than average bun choice, I personally prefer sourdough for my burgers. Keep it simple when it comes to things like a great cheeseburger and have some fun with it. For a cheeseburger, I also actually prefer the old school flattop cooking method!”
Industry serves a wide variety of meals but you should sample the Industry Burger. This tasty, handheld meal comes with a smoked beef patty, greens, bacon onion jam, dill pickle mayo, tomato and Swiss cheese. Daily Record photo by Nick Castillo
With a flavorful menu, plenty of libations on tap and an atmosphere that pays homage to owners Harlan Scott and Cody Taylor’s extensive service industry experience, Industry has carved its spot among San Marcos’s most unique eateries.
Enter Industry’s front doors and you’re quickly welcomed by a ping pong table. Look around you and you’ll see nods to the owners’ service industry knowledge with simple decor and the 86 board.
Make your way to the counter to order but you can still add on to your experience at your seat with servers delivering and taking orders. Or, maybe start at the bar where the array of Texas beers and homemade craft cocktails are aplenty.
WHAT TO ORDER
If you’re going to Industry on National Cheeseburger Day then you ought to try the Industry Burger. This tasty, handheld meal comes with a smoked beef patty, greens, bacon onion jam, dill pickle mayo, tomato and Swiss cheese.
It's a hearty burger but you can’t go wrong adding the crispy fries with parmesan to complete a delicious meal.
If you’re searching for a healthy option, or maybe you’re wanting to indulge, Industry has plenty of choices for both desires.
This San Marcos restaurant’s menu centers around its in-house Texas Live Oak smoker. Smoked meat and vegetables highlight Industry’s offerings.
For appetizers, consider grazing on chips and salsa, or maybe green chile queso. Wanting something hardier to snack on, try crispy Brussels sprouts or mac and cheese.
During a previous visit to Industry, we chose to try the Smoked Salmon Sandwich and the Smoked Chicken Tacos. Both entrees came with chips and a salsa verde. We added fries topped with Parmesan to add to the experience.
Healthier options include the Mediterranean Bowl, Power Bowl and Industry Bowl. Options to indulge on include CFC w/Queso, which includes smoked then fried chicken, smothered in green chili queso, rice and beans; and the Chicken Sando — a smoked then fried chicken thigh, honey lime, sriracha mayo, lettuce and tomatoes.
There are plenty of options for even the pickiest eater.
Finish your meal with a handmade Texas pecan or blackberry cheesecake milkshake or a Hershey's brownie.
IF YOU GO
Industry is located at 110 E. Martin Luther King Dr. Ste. 126, San Marcos
Hours are 11 a.m. to midnight, seven days a week. Weekend brunch hours are 11 a.m. until 3 p.m. Happy hour times are from 3-6 p.m. and 10:30 p.m. until close.
It’s a San Marcos institution and once you’ve tasted their food, well … you’ll know why it’s called Grins.
Since 1975, Grins has been serving up food that’ll put a smile on your face.
Grins offers a wide variety of burgers. Between the classic cheeseburgers and specialty burgers, you’ll sure be able to find one that suits your palette.
Grins has the BBQ-Bacon-Jalapeno-Cheeseburger, Sauteed-Onion-Mushroom-Swiss-Burger and Bacon-Blue Cheese Crumble-Burger. The restaurant also offers the Wholey Moley Cheeseburger, which is a burger that comes with a whole wheat bun topped with guacamole. You can also sample the Southwest Cheeseburger served with green chillies and Monterey jack cheese. There’s also The Jalapeno Popper — a burger topped with bacon, jalapenos and cream cheese. All burgers are served with lettuce, tomatoes, pickles, purple onions, mustard and Miracle Whip.
If you aren’t feeling like a burger, Grins also has a delicious Chicken Fried Steak dinner. The tender cutlet was hand dipped in Grins' Shiner Bock beer batter and fried up to crispy perfection. Top it off with creamy white gravy and it was a hit. What is most impressive about the meal is how the crispy crust keeps its integrity throughout and doesn't get soggy. From start to finish it's delicious.
With the dinner comes a choice of two sides. Mashed potatoes are one section to not turn away from. They’re creamy and wonderful and with a dab of gravy there, too. Heaven! Make no mistake this is a hearty meal and with this meal counting calories isn't on the menu.
For a healthier option, you can consider the Grilled Cajun Catfish.
At Grins perhaps what they’re best known for is their onion rings and their hamburgers. There's also have a variety of sandwiches, soups, and salads.
Not too hungry but want to hang out at a place with a great atmosphere and have a snack, then choose something off their appetizer portion of the menu. They have chicken quesadillas, chile con queso, and potato skins to name a few. Or how about the bottomless chips and salsa?
The service is excellent, and the eatery, known for making you feel right at home, does just that.
It can’t be hot forever so consider relaxing on their enormous tree-shaded deck.
IF YOU GO:
Grins Restaurant is conveniently located up on a hill from Texas State University at 802 North LBJ Drive. Phone 512-392.4746
If you prefer a healthier lifestyle, but still want to indulge in the deliciousness of a cheeseburger while tricking the senses, then consider one of our favorites — Earth Burger.
"Great Cheeseburgers have multiple flavors and textures to give them depth and complexity. Salty, Sweet and Umami work great on a cheeseburger. Crunchy, juicy and creamy textures also add to making the perfect cheeseburger. My favorite cheeseburger has sour pickles, a sweet BBQ ranch, crispy onions and creamy cheese on a Toasted bun," said Earth Burger Executive Chef and Founder Mike Behrend.
If you prefer a healthier lifestyle, but still want to indulge in the deliciousness of a cheeseburger while tricking the senses, then consider one of our favorites — Earth Burger. Daily Record photo by Lance Winter
Earth Burger — a relative newcomer in the food industry — was established just eight years ago by vegetarian pioneers in San Antonio, who created Green Vegetarian Cuisine. Their “big boom” idea was for Earth Burger to be one of the nation's first plant-based drive-thru offering a healthier, lower calorie take on fast food for those on the go.
The exploration into the plant-based universe was a long journey for Behrend, the company’s website read. Behrend was known as the “king” of the chicken fried steak and three-pound cinnamon roll. It was in 2005 that he lost 70 pounds when he switched to a plant-based diet.
He sold his popular eatery Lulu’s Bakery and Café, which was featured on the Travel channel’s hit show, Man vs. Food. He later opened San Antonio’s first vegetarian restaurant — Green Vegetarian Cuisine, which helped the plant-based scene expand in South Central Texas.
Another neat thing about Earth Burger is they are a wildly eco-friendly eatery that believes in sustainability. Their sustainable product list includes: EcoSafe Zero Waste — EcoSafe compostable Trash Bags; EcoProducts — SugarCane bowls, 100% post-consumer recycled lids, and PLANTWARE cutlery (made of plants and compostable); GREENWARE cups and lids — made of plants. compostable, sustainable, and made in the USA; GreenHerc “T-shirt” bags — Biodegradable and recyclable; and WorldCentric Ingeo Soufflé cups and lids — made of plants not petroleum, biodegradable and compostable.
That’s just to name a few.
IF YOU GO:
Earth Burger is located at 656 E. Hopkins Street in San Marcos
Phone: (512) 667-9357
Hours Sunday - Friday: 11 a.m. - 11:00 p.m. Closed on Saturdays