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10 Best Burgers in Austin for Under $10

by Apple Moving 0 comments

Austin

Lifting furniture and moving boxes torches over 400 calories per hour, so it's no wonder our movers have big appetites. Between moves, the guys like to fill up at some of the best local burger joints in Austin. Here are some of our favorite restaurants where you can get a delicious burger for under $10:

1. Phil's Ice House

Phil's carefully crafted burger menu takes eaters on a tour of Austin neighborhoods. For a little south Austin spice, try the "78704", oozing with Monterrey Jack, jalapenos, grilled onions, sliced avocado, and chipotle mayo, or for a little breakfast adventure, try the "Jollyville" burger, a patty piled high with bacon, egg, and cheese wedged between two pieces of French toast. All burgers come with a delicious mix of traditional and sweet potato fries. If you're still hungry, head next door for Amy's ice cream to top off your meal. Regular size burgers starting at $7.99.
Phil's Icehouse Austin, TX

Phil's Icehouse www.philsicehouse.com

2. Mighty Fine

If you're looking for a simple, classic American burger, this is the place to go. With hand-formed all-natural beef patties and fresh fries cut right in front of you, Mighty Fine lives up to its name. Beyond striving to deliver high quality food, Mighty Fine prides itself on service with a smile and maintains immaculate facilities. Carb conscious burger lovers can ask about the burger bowl.With burgers starting at just $4.19, your wallet will be as happy as your stomach.

3. Boulevard Grille

While this Northwest Hills establishment offers a variety of entrees, patrons especially love pairing one of their burgers with a pint while watching a game on the big screens. A great neighborhood sports bar, make sure to stop by on Mondays before 3 p.m. to snag their 2 for 1 burger deal. The basic Boulevard burger starts at $7.59, which makes the Monday burger special under $4 each.

Boulevard Grill www.blvd-grill.com

4. Hut's

Located off West 6th street in a vintage building that appears to be the lone survivor of downtown renovations, Hut's has been serving Austin burgers since it opened its doors in 1939. The red and black checkered floors and college pendants adorning the ceiling contribute to a retro vibe that takes you back to an era when burgers were real, fresh beef, not the frozen hockey pucks now served up by big chains. Hut's still makes burgers the old-fashioned way, with locally sourced fresh beef and buffalo.  With burgers starting at $5.95, you won't want to miss the 2 for 1 burger night on Wednesdays.
Hut's Hamburgers - 2 for 1 burgers on Wednesday night www.hutsfrankandangies.com

Hut's Hamburgers - 2 for 1 burgers on Wednesday night www.hutsfrankandangies.com

5. P. Terry's

The original P. Terry's is nestled on a small, narrow plot of land just off of S. Lamar and while it has no indoor dining, the outdoor patio invites patrons to sit in the shade with a fence of honeysuckle to shield them from the noisy traffic just on the other side. This location opened in 2005, leading the way for 11 other P. Terry's in the Austin area, all bearing the distinctive teal and red "Googie" architectural design that blends retro with contemporary. P. Terry's' success has been enormous, and for good reason. These people know quality - cooks start their day at 1 a.m. preparing fresh ground patties from local beef, squeezing fresh lemonade, and baking fresh cookies. Consideration is given to every detail, which is evident in the simple but utterly delicious burgers and fries that result. Burgers start at just $2.35, and in fact, the most expensive item on the menu is the combo meal that comes with fries and a drink for just $6.90. This is an Apple Moving favorite for convenience, price, and quality.
P.Terry's Burger Stand

P.Terry's Burger Stand www.pterrys.com

6. Crown & Anchor Pub

Just off UT's campus, Crown & Anchor has been serving up great drafts and equally great burgers since 1987. With pool tables, dart boards, big screens, and ample neon signs, this bar has everything you need to relive your college glory days including college student pricing - the "Class Burger" and fries combo is just $5.50. This place offers fantastic beer specials every day of the week, and you can be sure to find something that suits your taste, with over 30 beers on tap and 100 different bottles on hand.  
Crown & Anchor Pub crownandanchorpub.com

Crown & Anchor Pub crownandanchorpub.com

7. Shady Grove

More than just a hamburger joint, the Shady Grove is an Austin icon. Just off of Barton Springs, close to Zilker Park, the Shady Grove embodies the Austin spirit with it's laid back, inviting patio space tucked under a grove of pecan trees. While there are plenty of options to choose from, our favorite section of the menu is of course the burgers. In addition to the usual burger varieties, a must-try is the Green Chile Cheeseburger, spiced up with Hatch Green Chile sauce and topped with jack cheese on a mouth-watering brioche bun. The basic burger starts at $7.79, and it's worth every penny for the food and dining experience.

8. Elevation Burger

While not exactly a local chain, (you can find a franchise as far away as Dubai), the Elevation Burger in Great Hills is a favorite lunch stop for the Apple Moving crew. EB takes burgers to a higher level with grass-fed beef and environmentally conscious restaurants. While burgers aren't the healthiest food, EB strives to make them a healthier choice with higher quality ingredients. Grass-fed, organic beef has fewer calories and healthier fats than the beef found in most conventional patties. The 510 calorie, double-patty Elevation Burger rings up at just $5.39.
Elevation Burger www.elevationburger.com

Elevation Burger www.elevationburger.com

9. Hopdoddy

There's a reason Hopdoddy usually has lines out the door - it is worth the wait. With fresh ingredients, ample portions, and mind-blowing burger recipes such as the Terlingua burger, topped with chili con carne, Fritos, Tillamook cheddar, and Hopdoddy's own sassy sauce, you are sure to go home full and happy. Pair your burger with a thick and creamy milkshake such as the Nutella and pretzel shake (yum!) and prepare to loosen your belt a notch before slipping into a blissful food coma. Burgers range from $6.25 for the Classsic to $12.25 for the Ahi Tuna Burger.
Hopdoddy - Terlingua Burger www.hopdoddy.com

Hopdoddy - Terlingua Burger www.hopdoddy.com

 

10. Roaring Fork

While Roaring Fork is usually known for its finer dining, it does have a mean burger. The burger offered at lunch makes our list right at the $10 cap. Brimming with flavor, this burger is loaded down with mouth-watering poblano peppers, cheddar, and smoked pepper bacon. With 2 Austin locations, Roaring Fork offers an incredible dining experience with picturesque water views at the Stone Lake location and upscale yet cozy vibe at the downtown location. This is definitely the place to go if you have a little extra time and money to enjoy a fine burger experience.
Roaring Fork www.roaringfork.com

Roaring Fork www.roaringfork.com

We hope you'll treat yourself to one of these amazing (and affordable) Austin burgers this week! Did we miss any of your favorites? Tell us in the comments below and give our moving crew somewhere new to try this week!

11 Ways to Cool Off around Austin Before the Summer Ends

by Apple Moving 0 comments

Austin Things To Do

With school starting again next week for most Austin students and teachers, it may feel like summer is almost over, but we know the summer heat will last for several weeks to come. Here are 11 things you have to do before bidding farewell to summer!

Go For a Swim

1. City of Austin Pools

The City of Austin operates over 50 swimming pools and splash pads that are open to the public. Our all-time favorite is Barton Springs, where you can chill out in constant 68 degree temps and enjoy some of Austin's finest people watching. Don't miss the nearby children's train that offers tours of Zilker Park to the smallest patrons and the sno-cone stand that offers additional reprieve from the baking sun. Most City of Austin pools do close on August 24th, but a handful stay open later or operate year-round. Your best bets are Barton Springs, Big Stacy, Deep Eddy, Bartholomew Pool and Springwoods Pool.  

2. Hamilton Pool

Travis County has a surprising number of parks, and among them an absolute gem - the Hamilton Pool Preserve. This breathtaking pool lies at the base of a 50-foot waterfall where Hamilton Creek drops over the edge of a limestone cliff on its way to the Pedernales River. This swimming hole is wildly popular and often reaches capacity quickly on weekends during the summer. Make sure to get there early and to call ahead for potential closures before making the drive as the pool is often closed for high bacterial levels after excessive rains. This park is open year-round, from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. daily.  

3. Blue Hole - Wimberley

In 2005, the City of Wimberley purchased 125 acres of park land encompassing a stretch of the Cypress Creek with a natural swimming hole. The City's efforts to develop the land resulted in a beautiful and impeccably designed park space, with plenty of room for families to gather at the water's edge to sun bathe and picnic, clean and modern facilities, winding trails, and spacious recreational areas. Spread your blanket out and soak up the sun as you doze off to the sound of children shrieking as they let go of the rope swing and splashes as people plunge into the refreshing waters. The Blue Hole is open daily from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. from Memorial Day (May 25th) to Labor Day (September 7th).

4.  Krause Springs

About 30 minutes northwest of Austin, in the small town of Spicewood, you'll find the impressive property that is still owned by the namesake family. With over 32 springs on the property, you are sure to find a place to cool off. Unlike most swimming holes, you don't even have to go home at the end of the night - pitch a tent and take in the Hill Country stars for a night or two. Krause Springs is open daily from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m.  

Float the River

The Colorado: Drive over the Mopac bridge on any given weekend, and you'll see hoards of people out kayaking, paddle boarding, and canoeing on Lady Bird Lake. Join the crowds and rent a watercraft from one of several docks around the lake.

5. The Rowing Dock

The dock is usually lined with a stunning rainbow of kayaks, enticing kayakers to come for a paddle. Go solo or participate in one of the Dock's special guided tours such as the Bat Paddle that takes kayakers on a 4-mile round-trip to watch the 1.5 million bats vacating their home under the Congress bridge in search of dinner. In addition to kayaking, the Rowing Dock also offers canoes and stand-up boards. Open daily 7:30 a.m. to 8:30 p.m.
Get Kayaks, Canoes, SUPs and more at Rowing Dock in Austin

Get Kayaks, Canoes, SUPs and more at Rowing Dock in Austin

6. Texas Rowing Center

TRC boasts the world's largest SUP (stand-up paddle) board rental operation with over 300 boards, in addition to renting out kayaks and canoes. Additionally, TRC offers sculling and sweep rowing lessons for most ages and skill sets. Open daily 6 a.m. to dusk Tube: If you prefer a lazier day of chilling on the water, grab a cooler and hop on a tube for a river float with some of your best pals. Several companies offer float packages on the nearby Comal, Guadalupe, and San Marcos Rivers.

7. ATXcursions

To maximize your experience, consider hiring a service that will pick you up and drop you off in downtown Austin, such as ATXcursions. They provide everything (including the cooler and ice) except for the actual drinks and food, and offer float trips on rivers within about a 45-minute radius of Austin. ATXcursions offers float trips on most Thursdays-Sundays into mid-October. Check their booking feature for up-to-date availability.
ATX Excursion private & group tubing excursions

ATX Excursion private & group tubing excursions

8. Kayak Camping

If you're craving more adventure, consider taking an overnight kayak trip on the Colorado River. The small islands in the middle of the Colorado are public land, which means they may be used for camping. Pack your kayak (and waterproof bag) and find an island of your own to call home for the night. Just 30 minutes east of Austin, the Bastrop River Company has everything you need for your kayak camping adventure. Go the self-guided route, and BRC will send you off on your voyage with instructions and your kayaks for a 2-3 day excursion. BRC also offers a glamping trip for those that aren't quite as into being one with nature. Like an abbreviated summer camp for grown-ups, this cushy trip comes with guides, catered meals around the campfire, tents & bedding, and even a toilet! Open Sunday-Friday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Saturday from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m.
Moonlight Kayak trips with Bastrop River Company

Moonlight Kayak trips with Bastrop River Company

Waterparks

Whether you have kids or are just a big kid yourself, you're sure to have fun screaming your way down spiraling waterslides and splashing through the chlorinated and shark-less wave pools at these nearby waterparks:

9. Hawaiian Falls Pflugerville

This chain operates 7 waterparks in the U.S. and in addition to the water fun, its Pflugerville location also boasts an adventure center replete with over 1500 feet of zip lines and 1000 feet of ropes courses. While the waterpark closes for 2015 season on September 7th, the adventure park is open year-round. Waterpark open daily from 10:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. through August 24th; open weekends through September 7th. water-parks-pflugerville

10. Shore Club Volente Beach

If you grew up in Austin, chances are you ventured out here at least a time or two as a kid, but the place now won't be quite like you remembered it. A spruced up version of its old self, the Shore Club overlooks Lake Travis and offers its patrons a handful of rides, multiple pools, a sandy beachfront, volleyball courts, and an upscale bar & grill. A more affordable option than most waterparks, this place is great for the whole family. Open select dates through September 7.

11. Schlitterbahn New Braunfels

I can still remember the Schlitterbahn jingle boasting "the hottest coolest time in Texas" that played relentlessly on the radio every summer during the 90s. In case you're wondering, Schlitterbahn translates to "slide" in English, which is fitting given that the New Braunfels resort has miles and miles of slides, rides and coasters to cool you down on even the hottest Texas day. Around since 1979, this park is a can't miss on any Texan's bucket list and now includes 4 other locations including Galveston Island, South Padre Island, Corpus Christi, and Kansas City. Hurry in! The summer season ends September 20th. Hurry out and enjoy the last five weeks of Austin's summer!  

Best Patio Restaurants in Austin

by Apple Moving 3 comments

Austin Things To Do

With an average of 228 sunny days a year, Austin is the perfect place to dine outside. Here we bring you some of our favorite patio restaurants in Austin.

Olive & June

On the northern edge of the Bryker Woods neighborhood, just off of West 35th street, you'll find Olive & June, an Italian eatery with an inviting 3-stories of patio space. You'll feel like you are perched in the grown-up version of your childhood tree top hideaway as you feast on Mediterranean delicacies with a Texan twist. Don't miss out on the generous weekday happy hour, which offers 50% off on select beverages and all appetizers until 6:30 p.m.
2nd story patio at olive & june

The view from the 2nd, out of 3 total stories of patios at Olive & June

Yellow Jacket Social Club

This unassuming hipster hangout is one of the hot spots in the newly revamped 78702 zip code (previously mentioned in our blog as one of the trendiest zipcodes in Austin). Shrouded in bamboo and shaded by oaks, the pup-friendly outdoor space makes you feel as if you are miles away from the city. Relax and enjoy a cold drink and some tasty, reasonably priced grub. While the Frito pie is a delicious and guilty pleasure, the menu accommodates healthier eaters with a variety of salads and sandwiches to choose from.

Mozart's

Just above the Tom Miller Dam, on the eastern edge of Lake Austin, Mozart's coffee offers a spacious deck to take in lakeside views. Mozart's opens early and stays open late, so it's equally perfect for a peaceful morning cup of joe or a late night dessert run with decaf. In December, Mozart's puts on a delightful and impressive holiday light show at the top of every hour.

Enjoy a coffee as you take in the view of Lake Austin

Enjoy a coffee as you take in the view of Lake Austin

El Alma

Named after the head chef and co-founder Alma Alcocer, El Alma serves up delicious Mexican dishes in a warm and inviting atmosphere. You can't miss the Sunday brunch here, replete with Bloody Marias and breakfast tacos. Aside from the food, one of the best features of  the restaurant is the flora-filled hillside deck space that lures you to stay for just one more round of margaritas.

rooftop patio el alma downtown austin skyline

The rooftop patio at El Alma

County Line

Tucked along a small inlet of Lake Austin near 2222 and 360, County Line on the Lake has been offering Texans delectable BBQ and a taste of Texan culture since 1975. Bedecked inside with Texas paraphernalia, one of the charms of this place is the audio perpetually playing in the bathrooms that teaches non-Texan patrons "how to speak Texan" by expanding their vocabulary to include such terms as "y'all" and "fixin' to". If you're overwhelmed by the level of Texan inside, mozie out to the deck to enjoy the view of the lazy creek that is home to many a turtle and occasional boats passing through. The place even offers turtle food if you are eager to feed the turtles who swarm for easy eating.

Kick back and relax on the deck at County Line on the Lake

Kick back and relax on the deck at County Line on the Lake

Contigo

The inspiration for this place was a ranch by the same name in South Texas. The owners loved the original ranch so much that they decided to bring it with them to Austin and open this restaurant on the fringes of the now booming Mueller development. The open concept restaurant is almost entirely outdoors, with just the kitchen, bar and a few tables actually under a roof. Most of the seating consists of long rustic tables with string lights overhead and a gravel floor that makes you feel like you're dining in the middle of a ranch. The menu boasts carefully crafted versions of favorite foods such as the melt-in-your-mouth grilled cheese with housemade brioche and scrumptious beef tongue hash.

Contigo outdoor dining

Casual outdoor ambiance on the Contigo patio

Dry Creek Café

Along the winding and hilly Mount Bonnell Drive, overlooking the opulent Lake Austin mansions, is a little bar called Dry Creek Café that is so unassuming that you might miss it the first time you drive by. A friendly, seasoned bartender greets you with a smile as she hands you a beer and tells you to grab a koozie from the colorful pile by the door. Upstairs on the deck, you can take in the sunset while the juke box hums with old tunes. A great place for hanging out on a unhurried Saturday afternoon, this place is so popular by word of mouth, it doesn't even need a website.

The Grove

The original sits in Westlake Hills, at the corner of Bee Caves and 360, with a 2nd location in Lakeway and a 3rd that just opened downtown on 6th street with views below of Shoal Creek. The original may be our favorite, with its massive deck, brilliant string lights, and laid back atmosphere. The Grove offers an assortment of fine wines, with some available to try by the flight, and has a menu that's sure to whet your appetite.

Grove Wine Bar patio in downtown Austin, TX

The patio at the Grove Wine Bar's new downtown location

Central Market on N. Lamar

You don't often think of spending a relaxing evening at a grocery store, but Central Market is an exception. Inside, this grocery offers a foodie's paradise of fresh produce, the finest meats and cheeses, a wine collection sure to satisfy even the pickiest palette, and a bakery with some of the best tortillas in town. Outside, a two-story patio overlooks a stage where bands will often play several times a week and a playground for the smaller customers. This is a fun place to go for a bottle of wine (you can buy it in the store and have it uncorked at the cafe) or for a gathering of the whole family. It's a great place to go when you don't feel like getting dressed up to go out.

Juliet

This new restaurant took over the space on Barton Springs previously occupied by Umama Mia and completely transformed it. As you come in from the parking lot (yes, it has its own parking!) you are ushered into an inviting outdoor oasis that is for the most part shaded by awnings and trees so you won't fry in the scorching Texas sun. If you'd rather sit inside, you'll be equally delighted by the careful attention to detail that makes the space feel refined but appealing. The menu offers Italian inspired dishes sourced from right here in central Texas.

The patio at Juliet

Escape in Juliet's Tranquil Outdoor Space

Even though summer is drawing to an end, you still have plenty of time to get out and enjoy one of these great patios before any cold weather hits, and we hope that you will!

What to Know Before Buying a Condo in Austin!

by Apple Moving 0 comments

Austin

The daily bumper to bumper traffic on Mopac is a constant reminder of Austin's population boom. Once a small hippie haven, Austin is now the 11th largest city in the United States. With that growth comes increased demand for housing and maximization of land space. About ten years ago, we saw a new wave of development take over downtown Austin as builders responded to the housing needs by ripping down the existing buildings and throwing up a smattering of new, swanky condos. Austins condos are filled with a wide variety of people - poolside at any downtown condo, you may see the retired couple who downsized from their more sprawling suburban digs, young single professionals, or families living out the urban dream with their first baby in tow. While condos appeal for myriad reasons, including 24 hour concierge staff, security, amenities, and proximity, there are things you should know before you set out on a quest to buy a condo.

 1. Know what you're buying - is it warrantable?

If you're like most people, you probably have no idea what this means. We recently had friends who set out to buy a townhouse style condo in a lovely, central neighborhood in Austin. The price seemed reasonable, the property well-maintained, and the condo was walking distance to local eateries and shops. It seemed ideal until the listing agent asked them to submit a pre-approval letter specifically for a non-warrantable condo. Immediately, they called their lender to get information on what exactly this meant. Yes, the lender responded, they were pre-approved, but the condo's nonwarrantable status would change the terms of financing and they warned, could cause future resale issues. So what exactly is a non-warrantable condo? A non-warrantable condo means that it does not meet certain FHA guidelines, and therefore, the loan cannot be sold to the government lending institutions more commonly known as Fanny Mae or Freddie Mac. Generally lenders arrange your financing and then bundle and sell of mortgages to another entity so they don't have to hold the loan on their books. This 2nd tier of lenders require FHA compliance because they are part of Fanny Mae and Freddy Mac. Because non-warrantable condos do not meet FHA guidelines, the related loans cannot be bundled and sold in this fashion, which means they usually end up sitting on the books of the original lender. Because of their higher risk nature, non-warrantable condo loans tend to come with higher financing costs. That is of course avoidable if you are able to pay cash. Many lending institutions will only offer adjustable rate mortgages, or if you're lucky, fixed rate financing at higher than market rates. Often lenders also require 20% down on the purchase price.

2. What makes it non-warrantable?

There are several reasons that a condo may be considered non-warrantable. Here are some of the most common:
  • Renter/Owner Occupant Ratio: Generally, if more than 50% of the units are occupied by renters rather than owners, a condo is deemed non-warrantable. This is considered a riskier investment because as non-invested parties, renters decrease property values. Think about the mentality of renters - it doesn't matter much to them if they put holes in the walls or stain the carpets, because they don't own it and can walk away when the lease is up. Renters are not expected to care for the property like an owner would, which makes it less appealing as an investment.
  • Reserve Fund: The physical condo building is owned by the Homeowners Association (HOA), which means that each resident owns a piece of all of the property's common spaces. Generally, all residents are assessed a monthly HOA fee that goes towards paying all of the bills associated with keeping this building up and running: repairs, cleaning services, the concierge wages, pool upkeep, etc. The board meets annually to set a budget that designates the use of these HOA fees. Under FHA guidelines, the HOA budget should flag at least 10% of its budget for a reserve fund. The reserve fund is basically an emergency fund set aside for major repairs on the building. For example, if the roof needs replacing, there should theoretically be enough money in the reserve fund to cover this expense. If the reserve fund is insufficient or nonexistent, residents are levied a special assessment to cover the cost. This could potentially cause a big cash flow issue for some residents if they get levied additional expenses they were not expecting.
  • Insufficient Insurance: Since the building is owned by the HOA, the owners' individual insurance policies cover the contents of their unit, similar to a renter's policy. The building itself should have separate insurance that is sufficient to cover major damage - i.e. the roof getting blown off or some other big event.
These are just a few of the reasons a condo can be considered non-warrantable. If there is a specific condo project you are interested in, you can check its status here https://entp.hud.gov/idapp/html/condlook.cfm#sthash.4yIx5ywN.dpuf. Make sure to ask the listing agent if the condo is warrantable or not before making an offer! You may even consider asking your lender if they have a warrantable condo checklist for the HOA or management company to fill out.

3. So the condo you are interested is non-warrantable - what's the big deal?

First of all, can you obtain financing? Most lenders will require at least 20% down, a healthy credit score (think high 600s +) and a maximum debt ratio of less than 40%. Additionally, are you comfortable taking on an adjustable rate mortgage? This means your interest will be fixed for intervals of 3, 5, or 7 years, but are adjusted after the end of the fixed term which can lead to some scary results. Read here if you need convincing http://www.bloomberg.com/bw/stories/2006-09-10/nightmare-mortgages. Even if you can pay cash or aren't concerned about the increased costs of financing, consider your future pool of buyers when you go to sell the unit. Many people simply don't have the cash to put 20% down and wouldn't want to deal with the hassles of obtaining special financing. This greatly reduces the resell potential. When our friends found out what non-warrantable meant, they walked away from the deal because although they could afford it, they didn't want to be dealing with the repercussions down the road. There are over 2,000 condo units currently under construction in Austin with plenty of old inventory for sale as well. If you want to avoid buying a non-warrantable condo, there should be plenty of other options to choose from.