Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Phil's Icehouse

Phil's Icehouse

For this review, Dave and I ventured out to Phil's Icehouse to sample some of what they had to offer. Phil's serves the most classic of all American fare - burgers and dogs, and they do 'em both well. Before we dive into the review I thought it would be good to give a little background information on Phil's. Phil's Icehouse is owned by none other than Amy and Steve Simmons. Who are they, you ask? Well, if you've been in Austin for any length of time you've heard the name Amy, or more specifically Amy's Ice Cream. Amy's Ice Cream is a huge part of Austin and is, in my opinion, the best ice cream anywhere. Like it's counterpart Amy's, Phil's exudes the Austin feel. Most importantly though, they produce some of the best burgers in town. Now on with the review.

We'll start with the Brentwood Burger. The Brentwood is as classic as it gets. It's an old American favorite, the bacon cheeseburger.  A simple cheeseburger topped with two pieces of bacon, onion, lettuce, tomato, pickles, mayo, mustard and cheddar cheese. Very simple, and very delicious; Phil's hit's it right on the money with this one. The beef patty itself is nicely seasoned and perfectly juicy. The lettuce stays nice and crisp and you can get a taste of everything with every bite. Like all of their burgers, the bun is nicely toasted adding a great texture to the meal. It is also slightly sweet which adds a very nice extra touch. If you come in to Phil's and can't quite decide what to get the Brentwood is a great go-to menu item. Now the way I see it, if you can't get the simplest things right you might as well just pack it in and go home. There is little out there that is simpler or more classic American than the bacon cheese burger and Phil's makes one of the greats.

Next up- the Jardin (pronounced hardeen). According to their website, this burger is an interpretation of a Mexican style burger that they had in San Miguel Del Allende. Having been to Mexico many times, including to San Miguel Del Allende, I can vouch for the authenticity of this burger. The Jardin is served in similar fashion to hamburgesas served in many of the restaurants in Monterrey, with a piece of ham on top of the beef patty. Accompanying the patty and ham are two strips of bacon, cheddar cheese, jalepenos, tomato, mayo and mustard. The ham may seem like a strange addition but it really brings this burger together. Like the Brentwood the Jardin's bun is also lightly sweet and toasted. This one comes highly recommended.

Foot Long
And finally we have the grilled Foot Long Hot Dog. The dog itself is split down the middle and grilled on all sides with a liberal helping of tomatoes, onions and cheddar cheese spread down the middle of this gargantuan dog. The dog is grilled until it gets that perfect crispy skin texture, and a perfect flavor. Like it's burger brethren the bun on the hot dog is perfectly toasted. The bun is also an appropriate size for the dog. In fact to any other purveyors of hot dogs we are neither fooled or impressed when you use an undersized bun on a large dog. It just looks like you are too cheap to spring for a correctly sized bun and causes a mess. Please stop this behavior. Sorry, I'll get off my soapbox now. If you come in to Phil's and are not feeling a burger, may I humbly submit the Grilled Foot Long for your consideration.

All of our entrees came served with the most American of sides - french fries. The fries at Phil's are in a word, perfect. Nice and crunchy outside and soft inside, and just enough salt. And best of all they serve them mixed. Mixed with what, you ask? Seasoned curly fries? Thankfully no. I'm afraid Phil's is a few steps above that Clown-In-A-Crate place. They come mixed with a serving of their distinguished cousin - the sweet potato fry. Crunchy, soft and a little sweet with just the right amount of salt on top. I only recently discovered this particular creation and have quickly become a huge fan. And to wash it all down we had milkshakes of course. Their Milkshakes are made, of course, with Amy's Ice Cream. And Amy's, as I pointed out at the beginning of the review, is some of the best ice cream anywhere. They also start each shake the right way, with the ice cream flavor of the shake. A chocolate shake does not start with vanilla ice cream and three pounds of syrup from a poor quality choclatier in Pennsylvania, it starts with chocolate ice cream. The same is true of any flavor shake, syrup doesn't count. The portions are large and the prices are reasonable ($4.50-7.50) so you can expect to be left with change and a snack for later!

AFJ Rating: 3 Lone Star points

Phil's Ice House Website
Google Maps Location
5620 Burnet Rd
Austin, TX 78756
Sun-Thur: 11 A.M.-9 P.M.
Fri-Sat: 11 A.M.-10 P.M.

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