7525 Burnet Rd
Austin TX 78757
Austin original, opened in 1961. Little has changed since then, thankfully. Features flame-kissed burgers, fried chicken, hand-breaded onion rings, and a friendly family atmosphere.
Top Notch has inspired a couple of artists to create Notch-inspired works. This one is entitled "Top Notch," by Jennifer Balkan, and features a modified Top Notch (the big burger has been transported from the sign to atop the restaurant) mostly as a backdrop to a violin-wielding urchin who seems to be the focus of the painting.
This one, also entitled "Top Notch," by George Boutwell, is a more straightforward tribute to the restaurant, attempting to capture what it might have looked like in its early days. Once again, the famous sign has been modified--moved to the middle of the parking lot and shrunk quite a bit to accomdate the composition. It can be yours for $12.50 as of this writing.
Original Review Date: 08/17/2005
Ahhh, good old Top Notch. It has survived Progress. It seems to have retained all of its charm, which is what puts it up to 3 stars in this reviewer's opinion. That plus the tasty flame kissed burger--a thin patty with a bit of a charcoal flavor. I recommend adding cheddar cheese (a rarity at fast food joints). The onion rings are also very good--made from scratch.
They have full curb service, like Sonic, as well as plenty of seating inside. I would recommend eating in the restaurant to get the complete experience.
Top Notch is just a cool place, from the awesome sign out front (reproduced on t-shirts available at the restaurant) to the friendly family staff to the good burgers. Their fried chicken is supposed to be good also, but I probably won't ever be able to pass up the cheddar cheeseburger.