Orthogonal Thought | Random musings from the creator of Cooking For Engineers and Lead Architect of Fanpop





What I Ate: August 19, 2009 (Maria's Taco X-Press, Elevation Burger)

Posted 19 August, 2009 at 10:42pm by Michael Chu
(Filed under: Food, What I Ate)

Two good meals today - both restaurants we'd visit again. Unfortunately, neither meal photographed well - aluminum foil, paper wrappers, and messy foods.

Lunch: We tried Maria's Taco X-Press (2529 S Lamar Blvd, Austin, TX‎ - (512) 444-0261‎) for lunch.
Maria’s Taco X-Press

I ordered the three crispy taco plate with two beef and one chicken taco. The fillings were very flavorful and fresh. The taco shells however were a tad stale - not quite crunchy and soggy on the bottom where the filling sits. On a couple of the taco shells, they fell apart and I had to eat the filling with a fork. It came with rice and beans - both of which were also delicious.
Maria’s Taco X-Press - Crispy Tacos

Tina had two gorditas - one al pastor and the other picadillo. The gorditas were made with two thick masa patties that had been fried and used like sandwich bread. The thick chewy and crispy corn flatbreads really made this dish delicious. I love sopes and this had much the same flavor with the added benefit of having and additional crispy texture.
Maria’s Taco X-Press - Gorditas

Maria’s Taco X-Press - Interior

Dinner: Tina and I went to a food blogger event at Elevation Burger (9828 Great Hills Trl, Austin, TX‎ - (512) 608-4054). Elevation Burger isn't your typical burger joint - for one thing the burgers are pretty expensive at $6 for a double patty, double cheeseburger. However, considering the ingredients, the price is justifiable - only grass-fed, organic beef is used (at $5 a pound wholesale price for grass-fed organic ground beef, charging $6 for 6-ounces is fair especially with the added cost of real cheddar cheese, organic veggies, furniture made of recycled materials, low-VOC paints, bamboo flooring, Energy Star appliances, compact fluorescent and LED lighting, and other green activities). The big question is: does the burger taste good? I had the Elevation Burger (Double Meat, Double Cheese) with "Original" toppings (elevation sauce (which tastes like a runny Thousand Island dressing to me), pickles, lettuce, and tomatoes. The burger was good - but I felt the beef patties were a little too lean and having two of them stacked together just made it a little to heavy for me. I'll try a regular cheeseburger next time. The bun (a potato bread) was a tad sweet and didn't hold together as well as I'd like a hamburger bun to. Overall, it's a burger worth eating. Is it worth $6? If looking at flavor alone - no. But given the environmental, health, and humane aspects of the food and restaurant, $6 is a bargain.
Elevation Burger - Elevation Burger and Cheeseburger

The fries were crispy and fluffy at the same time. They fry them in 100% olive oil and don't start cooking them until your burger starts to cook so they are done at the same time.
Elevation Burger - French Fries

Jennie Chen of Miso Hungry Now ordered a Vertigo Burger with 10 patties. I took a few pictures as they made this ridiculous burger.
Elevation Burger - Vertigo Burger Cooking Patties
Elevation Burger - Vertigo Burger Assembly
Elevation Burger - Vertigo Burger Carried in Tray
Elevation Burger - Ten Patty Vertigo Burger

2 comments to What I Ate: August 19, 2009 (Maria's Taco X-Press, Elevation Burger)

steviechug, August 20th, 2009 at 8:32 am:

  • I usually got to Maria's when I am in town but usually for breakfast. I found the place when Kerby Lane Cafe - South was too busy and Matt's El Rancho is close for breakfast too. I think their breakfast tacos are the best.

Michael Chu, August 20th, 2009 at 10:05 am:

  • They had a huge menu of breakfast foods. I'm going to have to try it next time.