9828 Great Hills Trail
Eco-conscious burger chain out of Virginia. First Texas location opened recently, and another is planned for the Northcross Mall site.
Elevated over Expectations
Original Review Date: 06/23/2009
OK, this place has been getting very mixed reviews on Chowhound and Yelp. I have hesitated even giving it a try, not wanting to waste a good lunch opportunity. But, I'll have to say that I was pleasantly surprised.
I opted for the "Cheeseburger", which is their single-patty burger with a slice of cheddar. Thumbs up that they offer cheddar (hello Mighty Fine?). The burger is diminutive, thin patty, griddled. None of those qualities makes my list of Burger Perfection Requirements, but given that we are talking about, well, a thin pattied griddled burger here, I thought the burger performed well. It had a good homemade cooked-inside burger flavor. The real cheddar helped too (nice that they don't mess with that American stuff). Veggies just fine. And the size is enough for me at lunch these days, especially when paired with an order of fries.
The fries have also been a subject of some debate online. They fry them in olive oil for some reason (they tout it as "heart healthy", which is a bold claim to attach to anything fried), which is not usually an oil you deep fry in (due to its low smoke point, I believe). However, I found the fries to be quite tasty, a tad different from your usual fry. They are thin cut, fresh, kind of crispy and kind of not crispy, but not at all soggy or greasy. And they give you lots of 'em (they charge lots also--$2.49 for an order). I liked them.
One thing that surprised me is that they don't have fresh lemons for their tea. I usually get water at lunch, and I like to plop a lemon wedge in my water. At Elevation Burger, home of Organic, Grass-Fed, Free-Range, Antibiotic-Free everything, you are offered plastic bottles of that nasty lemon juice concentrate to enhance your beverage. Harumph. [see update below regarding the lemon situation]
The whole eco thing matters not to me. A burger place with a stated Philosophy is kind of silly, but these days, and in this city, it's sure to appeal to lots of folks on those grounds alone (there is a local chain, TerraBurger, that prides itself on the same principles). All I care about is taste and value. I thought they delivered well enough on both fronts for me. I'd go back if in the neighborhood.
Restaurant Bisection Update: Returned 6/26 for another burger and this time went during the lunch rush. The place is a bit hard to navigate when busy. Drink machine seems to be in a bad location. I would recommend sitting on the same side of the restaurant as the drink machine if you plan on needing refills--the line to order pretty much bisects the restaurant into a drink-machine-friendly half and a bathroom-friendly half. Traversing the dividing line mid-meal can be a whip, so I recommend choosing your half according to your dining needs.
Lemon Update: Last visit (8/25/09), there were fresh lemon wedges at the beverage station. They must have read my review!