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





What I Ate: September 7, 2009 (Coco's Cafe, Burger King)

Posted 7 September, 2009 at 8:58pm by Michael Chu
(Filed under: Food, What I Ate)

Lunch: Braden and Kelly drove up from San Antonio and we met up for lunch at Coco's Cafe (8557 Research Blvd # 118, Austin, TX‎ - (512) 833-6588‎). Originally, they had suggested Din Ho Chinese BBQ but we had a couple of bad experiences there and Tina flat out refused to go back. We suggested Coco's Cafe next door to Din Ho which has a good reputation. We didn't know it was the same Coco's Cafe (in a different location) that we ate at a couple weeks ago.

We ordered several things to try. I had the pork belly with rice for my main dish (they called it Bacon Pork w/Rice - but I don't think it's bacon unless smoke is involved or it has been cured). My pork belly was chewy and tough.
Coco’s Cafe - Pork Belly with Rice and Pickled Vegetables

We also had the Spiced Kelp, Green Onion Pie (scallion pancake), Pickled Vegetables, and Rice Ball (Pork & Bamboo Shoots). I liked the kelp (it wasn't special though - tasted like kelp), scallion pancake, and pickled vegetables (even though it wasn't what we expected and quite sweet with a little bit of spice).
Coco’s Cafe

Dinner: Between errands, we found ourselves next to a Burger King, so we ducked in to refuel - I had a Whopper and shared fries with Tina. The Whopper's meat patty was cooked through, but there was very little browning of the surface of the patty looked a little like it had been boiled or cooked in its own steam. There were a couple of grill marks, but most of it was a bit pale. Biting into it, it tasted just like how I remember Whoppers tasting - there is a particular flavor to the beef that triggers my brain to think it's been cooked over an open flame and has been nicely browned. BUT, having seen the patty, I knew this was not the case. So, I'm going to go out on a limb and say that Burger King adds something to their ground beef to make it taste like it's been browned. What it is, I do not know. (I just looked it up in Burger King's Ingredients Declaration and they say the Whopper patty is 100% ground beef… I don't know…)
Burger King - Whopper

Updated (2009/09/08): A realized that it might be a bit hard to see why I thought the burger wasn't flame-broiled. Here's a close up showing that the patty has the pattern that I associate with boiling or steaming ground beef.
Burger King - Whopper (close up)

5 comments to What I Ate: September 7, 2009 (Coco's Cafe, Burger King)

Optimista, September 7th, 2009 at 9:11 pm:

  • Have you guys been to Sunflower in the same strip as Din Ho? It and its "sister" restaurant (husband and wife divorced; wife got Sunflower; husband opened Le Soleil further north on Lamar) are my favorite Vietnamese restaurants in Austin, hands-down. Slight edge to Le Soleil - better service, better atmosphere, slightly better food (although menus are nearly identical).

Scott, September 7th, 2009 at 10:08 pm:

  • I used to work at Burger King at my first job. It is indeed cooked over a flame. The frozen burger patties are fed into a conveyer belt and fed through the machine just like at Quizno's, except it is indeed gas-fueled flame.

    After the burgers are cooked, a small number are kept in a steamer for a short time, ready to go.

Michael Chu, September 8th, 2009 at 2:45 pm:

  • Haven't been to either Sunflower or Le Soleil. I'll have to check it out.

    As for the Burger King burger patties - I must have gotten one that had been in a steamer for a bit which would give it the appearance that it did.

Scott, September 8th, 2009 at 6:40 pm:

  • Yeah, typically I think it was supposed to be 20 minutes, might have been 1/2 hour…I think it was the chicken tenders than were 20 minutes…but that was…16 years ago now, so things may have changed.

christina, September 9th, 2009 at 7:20 am:

  • sunflower has the worst service. it might have been because i'm in college, and i'm really young . . . but the whole staff gave my boyfriend and me the worst service.

    they didn't refill our water, nor did they deliver our food in a timely manner. we saw it sitting in the window for a while before the woman (i assume owner) graciously dropped it off.

    don't go to sunflower.