I couldn’t stay away from my beloved burger for very long. As much as I enjoyed the delectable Seared Beef Tongue at Noble Pig, I was quite delighted to get back to my Saturday tradition. This past weekend the wife and I headed out to Moonie’s Burger House. Moonie’s is a family-friendly, local joint serving Texas-sized, made-to-order burgers. First opening its doors in Cedar Park in late 2005, MBH now boasts 4 locations total in the Austin area.
We visited the Northwest Austin location, and upon opening the door, we were immediately greeted with the musty smell of meat being cooked on the griddle – not necessarily a bad thing…just be prepared to enjoy that beefy smell the rest of the day as it embeds itself into your clothes and clings to the hairs in your nostrils. Moonie’s is situated at the corner of, honestly, a drab-looking strip. However, the inside of the restaurant is quite the contrary. With large iron stars as a major decorative component, the restaurant was (no offense to the gang at Moonie’s) surprisingly clean and well furnished — I really need to get rid of this preconceived notion that all burger joints are gonna be run-down and dingy. It had a nice, comfortable atmosphere with plenty of room for large groups (I hear it’s the place to take the kids after sporting events).
I was torn between two burgers – the Western Burger (bacon, cheddar cheese, smoky BBQ sauce, and a fried onion ring) and the Swiss & Mushroom Burger (sautéed mushrooms & onions, Swiss cheese, lettuce and tomato). Upon the recommendation of the cashier, I went with the latter. I was a little concerned about eating at Moonie’s because they use…..sweet buns. My first experience with the sweet bun didn’t go so great, but I was determined to give it another shot. So am I a convert? Nope. Still not a fan…but I will say I enjoyed it more this time around. The bun was perfectly toasted (even on top!). If nothing else, the sweet bun makes for a nice picture…
Moonie’s advertises the use of quality meat. Too bad I can’t confirm this, since my patty was cooked extra well done. No pink inside…dry as a bone. I probably should’ve specified the doneness that I wanted, but I thought I’d try it their way for my first time. My mistake. It’s a shame cuz the patty was seasoned well and the mushrooms and onions were delicious. As for their “fresh fixins”? The tomatoes were pale and bland, and the shredded iceberg lettuce was wilted and brown. I did enjoy their fries, though, and the extra large drink that you get when you order a combo meal.
I had high hopes for the burger when it was placed before me piping hot, but there were too many missteps for me to enjoy this adventure. Moonie’s Burger House is a nice, local establishment trying their hand at a better burger and providing an atmosphere agreeable with every member of the family in the process. Although I didn’t have the most ideal experience this time around, I do hope to go back and try their Western Burger and enjoy some of that quality meat cooked in a manner in which it can be appreciated. There’s just something about a fried onion ring on a burger that I can’t resist.
Location: 13450 Research Blvd, Austin TX