Flat Top

Flat Top

1900 Manor Rd.
(512) 366 5154
flattopburgershop.com

Nostalgia is trendy these days. Just look around: young men sport handlebar moustaches; ladies sip classic cocktails; The Great Gatsby is back in vogue. It’s nostalgia for the 1950s that inspired Flat Top Burger Shop. Think American Graffiti or Happy Days. Wholesome, simpler times. Decked out in all-American red, white and blue, this old-fashioned burger shop serves up both nostalgia and tasty fare.

Wedged on a triangular patch of land that formerly housed a car repair shop, Flat Top is a casual spot with both in and outdoor seating. White picnic tables beneath a shaded awning are topped with cheerful red umbrellas. Indoors, behind roll-up garage doors, are chrome diner tables and a full-service bar. As a nod to its UT neighbors, the overhead TVs are usually tuned to the Longhorn Network. Twinkle lights and bold red accents brighten up concrete-brick walls and cement floors. Enormous fans keep a pleasant breeze blowing through the whole place.

When you’re ready, step up to the counter and place your order. In a few minutes, a friendly staffer delivers it in a paper bag, each item individually wrapped. The menu is classic and basic, but with a few twists, such as grass-fed beef, the latest micro-brews and the Flat Top secret patty ingredient: onions. Beef patties are hand-formed daily and mixed with chopped onion, then cooked on its signature flat-top grill.

The Original burger is a quarter pound 80/20 chuck patty loaded "All The Way" with lettuce, tomatoes, pickles, mustard and mayo. We added jalapeños for a spicy kick. A fresh, soft bun holds it all together. The Grass-Fed burger is similar to the Original but with a patty that’s slightly more healthy, moist and flavorful. Both the Original and the Grass-Fed burgers are available with cheese and as double half-pounders. Chicken and veggie burgers are also offered.

Side dishes include hand-battered onion rings that are tempura-light and perfectly sliced so they’re not too thin or too thick. Rustic, hand-cut fries are cooked with the skin on. They had possibility, but unfortunately ours arrived cold and chewy.

We washed it all down with a fresh-squeezed cherry lemonade that was sweet and tart and very refreshing. We also sampled a local draft beer from the newly opened bar, which features wine and specialty cocktails as well. We resisted but were tempted by the hand-dipped milk shakes offered in a variety of Blue Bell flavors. Flat Top Burger Shop is owned by Austin restaurateur Carlos Rivero (El Chile, El Chilito) and the kitchen is run by his partner/chef Alma Alcocer-Thomas (Fonda San Miguel, El Alma). Before collaborating as business partners, these two culinary pioneers worked at Austin’s legendary Jeffrey’s.

Every neighborhood deserves its own burger joint. And now Cherrywood has one with Flat Top. It may be less than two years old, but the locals seem to already be feeling nostalgic about it.

Album

A former automotive shop was transformed into the charming Flat Top Burger Shop.