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Whole Foods Mothership Burger

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There aren't that many hand-formed burgers to be had in Austin. So I was surprised when Jer, the grill cook at the Whole Foods flagship location at 5th and Lamar, patted out my burger to order. When I complained that a third of a pound was kind of skimpy, she made it extra large. She also gave it to me medium-rare as requested. Jer told me she graduated from Bowie High School and considered herself a South Austin bubbette, hence her comfort level with red meat, righteously rare. We ate outside in a crowded patio dining area amongst a lot of kids and dogs.

The main problem with this burger was that the round bun sat up on top of the meat patty like an ill-fitting derby. The bread to meat ratio was off on the too much bread side. And the bread was too dense and tough. The standard Texas burger here included the typical mustard, lettuce, tomato and pickles. But the onions were missing and there was ketchup added unless you stopped them. The hand-cut French fries that come with the burger are very good.

If you go, prepare to be amazed, horrified, or just overwhelmed. This one of a kind Whole Foods store is officially known as Whole Foods Lamar Culinary Center. It's a restaurant, grocery store, wine and beer retailer, nut roaster, cheese aging center, bakery, espresso bar, cooking school, etc. etc. It's also the first grocery store I have ever seen with a concierge desk.

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