Central Texas burger makes Texas Top 50
Recently, Texas Monthly put out a list crowning the top 50 burgers in Texas. Between Dallas and Austin, only one restaurant in Central Texas made the list.
Joe's Place off Hwy 21 in Wixon Valley near Bryan was recognized for their cheeseburger plate.
"Our cheeseburgers are good enough that they came through, and they judged us and put it on there. I guess we beat out everybody in town," owner Jason Seymour said.
Seymour only assumes that's how he was chosen because he had no idea they were picked for the title or that the restaurant was even being judged. He received a text from his friend Tuesday after the list hit the web, and since then, the restaurant's phone has been ringing non-stop.
The restaurant itself is a family tradition. Seymour recalls when his aunt owned the restaurant.
He said she started with two hot plates from Walmart.
"Friday night she would have a griddle full of patties, a spatula in one hand and a cigarette in her mouth," Seymour said.
Since then the family tradition has stuck the test of time. Once a general store and gas station, they began selling burgers in 1940. Forced to close when Highway 21 widen, they opened right back up - picking up where they left off.
While there have been several changes, the food and quality have remained consistent.
"We have our original burgers it's been the same since we started. We use all fresh local product for our burgers, and it's consistent that's one of the main things," Seymour said.
One of the author's of the list, Pat Sharpe, said the process of choosing the top burger involves several people. Dozens of people test out over 350 burgers.
The criteria for the burger is the freshness and quality of the meat, how it's cooked and the balance of the flavors. Sharpe said the real experience is all in the gut. She said you know a great burger by that first bite.
And it seems like for many of the patrons - they remember that first bite. One high school student remembers first having the cheeseburger plate when she came on a group trip in elementary school.
"The one thing I remember about this place is their burgers and their fries. It's really exciting to come back, and now I'm 17 and it's all coming back to me now," Alexis Girouard said.
Longtime diners like Mandy Burlin were excited to see Joe's Place make the state's top list.
"We're excited, we know Jason real well - my husband works cows with him. It's kinda fun that a little place on highway 21 made the top 50 restaurants," Burlin said.
Joe's Place is already seeing an increased interest. Thursday - just one day after the announcement - Seymour said he saw an additional 50 customers. His daughter, Paityn, is hoping to inherit the restaurant's success.
"I think it's a cool tradition hopefully it's gets passed down to me and keeps the tradition," Paityn Seymour said.
One thing is for certain, you wont go hungry after you leave Joe's Place.
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