Austin >Casino El Camino
As a friend of mine recently put it: "Scary staff, good burgers." Famously good, in fact -- Casino El Camino consistently racks up various "Best Local Burger" awards in town, and has been featured on the Food Network. Note that you'll probably have to wait a while -- as in, possibly up to two hours -- but the crazy delicious results are worth it. When I'm feeling particularly gluttonous, I go for the Amarillo Burger: a medium-grilled Angus patty topped with roasted serrano chiles, spicy jalapeno jack cheese and cilantro mayonnaise.
the best example of what makes austin so unique.
wow. i'm sorry to see the story below. i love casino el camino and have been there a few times since my family from new orleans and i ended up in austin after katrina.
it must have been a stressed out day during sxsw for the kitchen staff to treat someone so poorly, especially another 6th street employee. i know for a fact that casino el camino gives preference to other local restaurant and bar employees so i am pretty shocked to discover this episode.
remember though, the kitchen is usually staffed by just two people, and during south by, the orders for food pile very high. that is likely why the wait was so long for you. how fast were food orders delivered to you during that week in any other 6th street establishment? additionally, i also know 6th street staffs work very long and hard hours during the festival. these things probably add up to infrequent blowups.
i was there during sxsw and my group and i all ordered burgers and fries. yes, it took 45 minutes, but the place was packed, everybody was eating, and i could see that the grill the cook was working on had burgers and dogs on every inch. when we received our food, the burgers were hot and the fries were perfect. i had no problems with the kitchen staff, although it was obvious to see that they were hot and stressed out. that energy wasn't hard to find during south by.
i've also been there since, when the atmosphere is much more relaxed than it is during south by. there were three in our group and we went in at 5:30 on a monday. the burgers took 20 minutes and were just as good as they were during sxsw.
additionally, besides the wicked atmosphere of the place and the interesting juke box, the bar staff is great. many are musicians and performance artists and conversations with them are very interesting. even during south by, it was easy to get a laugh out of them. at some other bars, the bartenders acted like everybody they didn't recognize was a tourist. i don't know about you, but when i go to a bar i'd rather have a great bartender than a friendly cook. besides, aren't bar cooks supposed to be surly? i thought that was a prerequisite.
at casino el camino, i always have a great time and unlike the poor person who posted a couple of days ago, i highly recommend it to austinites as well as out-of-towners.
Go Somewhere Else!.
I went to Casino for the last time on Sunday March 22nd. I have been eating and drinking there off and on since 2001. I worked the door at a bar on 6th and like many people would catch a drink or grab a burger there. Back then it wasn't as popular and despite the edgy service it was a cool hang with a great jukebox. I don't know what happened to this place. I have heard from several people that still work downtown that the wait for food had increased from 20+ to 40+and that the cooks had become more surly. The new length of time to wait for the food doesn't have any bearing on crowds or not.
That turned out to be true. I had been a few months earlier for a bite before a show at Emo's and noticed that indeed the wait for food had doubled to 45 minutes. It was still good. The food was never amazing or life changing just good food for downtown. A good friend was in from L.A. for SXSW and I always take him there....it's on his list of things to do while in Austin.
We went back to order and witnessed a screaming match between the cook and some kid from a bar on 6th St. He came to pick up his food and asked for a bag and the girl taking orders got upset because it wasn't discussed when the order was taken.
Who's responsibility is it? How long have people been ordering "to go" from this bar? More importantly how big a deal is it to take the paper and foil out of the "basket" and tranfer it to a "box" while still on the paper and foil? Apparently its a big effen deal! She became rude with him and the cooks started screaming "...great f u c*i n g time to tell us!" The customer said he was sorry and that it would be ok. The cook again started to cuss him out and asked him if he wanted him "... come over the counter. Then you will be f u c*i n g sorry!" This heated exchange went on for awhile. Our jaws were dropped.
I still ordered ( I was wiped out from SXSW) and it was ok. My chilie dog was warmer than my buddie's Green Chile fries but I guess it is real difficult to time out the two. The fries were almost cold and had been sitting.
We bailed. Casino has always be a "clubhouse for regulars: bartender friends, etc" and will continue to tolerate the rest of us. It's sad what has happened to this place. I can get a better burger somewhere else.
Once Is enough.. With all the hype for this place, while in Austin I had to go. Was so disappointed! On tv this place doesn't look like as small and dark as if really is. Not many tables, as it is a bar to begin with. The burgers are indeed thick but they are dry and overcooked. Menu says they are cooked medium but this wasn't the case with either of ours. I couldn't even taste the cheese on my burger, it was one measy thin piece. The bacon however was delicious on the Chicago burger. Next time I will skip this place, one IS enough.
OMG SO TASTY!!!! Food network was right on at this place.
Went here after watching it on the food network... this place knows how to make a burger. you may not feel too well afterwards, but so worth it. Take it from me, shre a burger with someone especially if you plan on eating fries (I agree that the fries & queso are a perfection)
As for the decor, you can barely see 2 feet in front of you. Oh and you're not coming here to eat in the bathroom, but if duty calls you may want to hold it. It's as raunchy as raunchy gets in there. This place would do great for a "To go" place!
Bring your flashlights and enjoy.
As past reviews state, this place is pretty gloomy. The staff are friendlier than stated though.
The food was really good, I have to say we recommend it and we only waited 20 minutes (it was lunch time). The burgers are huge, and the fry portions are also very large. The fries with Chili verde and queso are so yummy, a meal in itself with a beer!
So the bad part... the bathrooms. Oh my. You can't expect terry bloth hand towels in a bar but this was just plain ech! It was apparent that in the past 12 hours someone threw up in there. All I could smell was yak with an air freshener trying to mask it. The floors were filthy, everything looked dirty. it was just nasty in there. Thank goodness I had already eaten! If I return I will pledge not to break my seal at this place...
Not all its cracked up to be.. After viewing this spot on The Food Network I convinced my husband to take me for the Thanksgiving holiday. I researched the spot, even made a copy of the menu so when the four of us got there we would be ready to order. We drove 5 hours from Shreveport, LA. to Austin Texas for this and I couldn't wait. We orderd. We waited 45 mins. which was okay since we were playing a couple of games of pool. We had a couple of drinks. And then the burgers came out. I ordered the Amarillo Burger. It was huge, the meat had a very good flavor. The buns were stale, and the burger that I ordered with extra mayo and extra cheese didn't have any of that on it, and it was so dry I almost choked. The fries were great. I can't believe I skipped the traditional Thanksgiving dinner for this burger. The city of Austin is beautiful, the staff was friendly, the decor was fine, the drinks were nice and strong, but the burger wasn't worth all the hype.
Sins for beef. I have been a vegetarian since 2007 and every year I allow myself the buffalo burger. Its crazy good with bleu cheese and spicy sauce. yes, its against my lifestyle, and its a delish sinful experience. Totally worth it. I wish they had some amazing veggie patty to partner up so I could eat there monthly!
Cool bar. This is an awesome bar with great burgers. One of a few worthwhile bars downtown. You should definitely check it out.
best jukebox in town and damn good burgers. Definitely some of the best burgers in town, possibly _the_ best. If you're looking for a typical restaurant atmosphere with sports memorabilia and alligators with sunglasses hanging on the wall, then this is not the place for you. It's a bar - a real bar that leans toward the dive-y side of things, but that's why I love it. Yes, you will have to wait a while for your burger, but it's worth it. And the chefs aren't as surly as everyone one here makes them out to be. The wait staff is attentive and helpful ('Need some ketchup? Here you go!') - I've never encountered any snottiness, rudeness or disregard for clients from them. And yes, they do have the best juke box in town. They only get four stars as opposed to five because finding seating can be a real pain (especially if you're in a group), and I would rather eat and drink while seated. But overall, one of my favorite watering holes and hamburger joints in town.
A Unique but Overrated Experience. I've been on a burger rampage in Austin trying to find the best patty in town. Naturally, I had to visit this dark, gothic, truly Austin institution. The experience was memorable and I tried to take in everything from the dank, gloomy interior, the chef with the 'tude, and the large patties. But the burger itself was lackluster, dry and not really worth the half-an-hour wait. It was worth trying once, but I dont think I'll be back.
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