|I don't recall exactly when this happened (sometime over the last several years, I know) but Hut's Hamburgers on Sixth Street has now become my destination restaurant of choice for my birthday dinner. My birthday isn't until March but I thought I'd post something today about this venerable "joint" that's been in business since the 1950s and has seen many, many changes in the neighborhood. Hut's survived the great Memorial Day flood of 1981 (it sits on the banks of Shoal Creek) and there's no telling how many burgers have been served there over the years.|
The interior is small, dark and slightly cramped but the decor is fantastic. Entering Hut's is like entering a time warp, a trip back to the basement of a 1960s era frat house. There are sports teams pennants everywhere, along with framed sports magazines and black and white photos. But it's not a sports bar. In addition to the sports memorabilia there are vintage pin-ups, glamour shots of famous actresses (hello, Jane Russell!), and tons of pics of old, classic cars. You can spend the time waiting for your order to arrive looking at the walls (and ceiling!) and still not take everything in. There's no place for any new material and the stuff that's on the walls now has been there as long as I've been going there. That's not a knock. It's part of what gives Hut's it's old-time charm.
The other reason Judy and I go to Hut's every March 2nd is, of course, the food. They offer twenty different burgers on the menu. I'm sure they're all good but I wouldn't know. I've never had anything but my "usual", the Dag Burger, a double meat cheeseburger with lettuce, pickles, tomatoes and mayo. Pure bliss.
But it's not just the burgers that are great. Hut's offers the biggest onion rings I've ever seen. These giant steering wheel-sized slices of onion come lightly breaded with a coating that includes a liberal dose of cracked black pepper. These rings are the best I've ever had, anywhere (just beating the sublimely greasy rings at Dirty's). Judy and I always split an order of these behemoths.
My only complaints about Hut's are the postage stamp-sized parking lot which is almost always full up forcing us to seek on-street parking. That wasn't a problem in years past but now there are parking meters on every block and you have to pay to park. I don't like that. Not at all.
But as much as I hate to feed a meter, I'll do it at least once a year in order to feed my one-year older stomach (and soul) with a trip to Hut's. If you're an old-time Austinite you know what a treasure this place is. If you've never been, get down there soon. And go hungry. I guarantee you won't leave that way.