Sometimes you just gotta eat a burger -- a burger that looks like this:
It's a Phil's Ice House burger. Lots of people in Austin like Hopdoddy Burger Bar (a.k.a., Hopdoddy's), but I think it's overpriced and maybe a little too upscale. What I like about Phil's is that it's unpretentious. They don't go on and on about an "organic" philosophy; they just make food. Here's how I see it: If the two restaurants were siblings, Hopdoddy's would be the snobby older brother who went to Yale and was on the rowing team,* and Phil's would be the devil-may-care youngest brother who went to State and played guitar in a couple of bands.
The thing is . . . I like the youngest brother better. I like his style of being. Let's take it back to Phil's, the restaurant. At Phil's, the paint doesn't necessarily match the decor, and there's a photo booth in the corner, next to the bathrooms, which are basically just two closets. Food is served in baskets, and the ketchup comes in red squeeze-bottles. The music is a pretty rockin,' and the fries are greasy. Next door to Phil's is an ice cream place, which tells me two things about this illusory Phil: 1) He knows that sometimes people need fat in their lives, and 2) He's not afraid to share the consumer wealth (even though he sells his own milkshakes).
I'll put it one more way: While Hopdoddy's is a burger "bar," Phil's is what I would call a burger "joint." I guess I like joints better than bars??? Hm.
At any rate, that burger today was good. When I eat burgers (which seems to be a lot lately!), I feel good about life, and that's good.
*Although I love rowing more than many, many things in this world, I'm aware that it has a preppy, pretentious tone. I'm okay with that. But I'll still make fun of it, if I want to.
Thing I'm thankful for: rowing