4308 Manchaca Rd.
Austin, TX 78704
5602 N. Lamar Rd.
Austin, TX 78751
610 Old San Antonio Rd.
Buda, TX 78610
844 Airport Blvd.
Austin, TX 78702
Hours vary by location
The earliest memories of my initial dining experiences in Austin have mostly faded away over these 30 years: as have many of the establishments I patronized. But one experience still lingers with me: that first cheeseburger at Dan’s. I became a fan that day, and while that little store at Manchaca and S. Lamar has moved up the street to Manchaca and Ben White, they’re still getting my business.
I have two prime requirements for my ultimate Cheeseburger. The roll must be fresh and the meat has to have a boatload of flavor. Dan’s large cheeseburger at $3.99 (with everything on it) is one of the best deals around because it delivers, on a consistent basis, the kind of tastes I crave. You can really go for it and get the Double meat cheeseburger but that should be reserved for serious carnivores only. Nonetheless, it is fun to look at and in my rare moments where I have a meat epiphany, it’s a very tasty gorge. Likewise I am known to indulge in the Jalapeno Cheeseburger with Bacon. This is a Texas tradition and the requisite heat generated from the peppers simply adds to the overall taste sensation and the subtle back flavors provided by the bacon. There are also many fans of Dan’s Hickory Cheeseburger which arrives with an ample dose of their sweet and savory hickory sauce. Probably not my first choice as I am not personally inclined toward the sauce but in my regular visits to Dan’s I’ve noticed this burger getting s lot of play.
And there’s more to Dan’s than just burgers. There are some very tasty sandwiches that also have very sensible price points. The Fish Sandwich is one of the better ones in the area. Why? It’s crispy, not greasy, and has a very satisfying flavor. I also sometimes opt for that American classic, the BLT. I like mine with a slice of American cheese and some mayo. It works every time. And you really haven’t experienced the quintessential Dan’s until you’ve tried the Chicken Fried Steak Sandwich. This is a tender, love-at-first-bite experience that will ratchet up your appreciation for the guys behind the counter. And it’s a deal at $4.79! And you want the ultimate comfort food? Try the Grilled Cheese. It’s just about perfect when you need that back-to-the-hearth taste experience. Indeed it’s right up there with Mom and Apple Pie in the nurturing category!
And be they regular or curly, Dan’s French fries are always crisp and have some shelf life. I hope they choose to opt for some sweet potato fries as well (for us complex carb partisans) as I’d sure they could do a great job. The Onion Rings have always been good at Dan’s and my children liked to dip them in Ranch Dressing. Now grownups, they still use the Ranch. I prefer catsup but the rings have that requisite crunch, regardless of your choice of condiment. And the perennial favorite, Dan’s milkshakes, are thick, not overly sweet, and should be, by all rights, the last flavor rush in your repast at Dan’s.
Oh, and did I mention they do a rousing full breakfast service each morning till 11am? So take your pick of one of their four locations and enjoy this family-owned Austin institution. I sure as heck do.