100 Austin Burgers: Boiler Nine Bar & Grill

Boiler Nine Bar & Grill
800 W. Cesar Chavez St. at the Seaholm Power Plant (look for the smokestacks), Austin (map), 512-220-9990, www.boilernine.com
Hours: 11am-11pm Sun-Thu; 11am-midnight Fri-Sat
Burger available at lunch only
By Mike Sutter | © Fed Man Walking | 10.20.16
Building on the success of Second Bar + Kitchen downtown and now at the Domain, chef David Bull and La Corsha Hospitality opened Boiler Nine in July of this year. With as much ductwork, steel, concrete and stairs as the set of Metropolis, Boiler Nine capitalizes on the Pink Floyd industrial lay of the former power plant complex it shares with condos, Trader Joe’s and True Food Kitchen. By night it’s a swanky, boozy, New American grill with second- and third-story bars. By day it’s a place for a fried chicken sandwich, a Green Goddess salad and a burger with fries and a stiff midday drink.
 B9 Burger: An open kitchen holds few secrets, and the B9 is a straightforward burger that leans hard on fresh chuck with a hard sear and medium-rare core, with sharp cheddar, lettuce, tomatoes and a Thousand Island-style sauce. But an open kitchen also carries obligations for flare, which takes the form of sweet-and-sour onion jam. Take your server’s advice to add lightly grilled jalapeños, and then enjoy the interplay of sweet and heat. The burger’s only drawback: A bun like a crusty baguette, with a bite-force that pushes everything closer to the exits with every bite.   ($14 with chips, plus 50 cents for jalapeños)
 On the side: The burger comes by default with house-fried salt and vinegar potato chips. But for $4 more, I’d suggest upgrading to steak fries as good as their truffled counterparts at Second Bar + Kitchen. Boiler Nine fries are shaggy, skin-on wedges that run crisp from shell to center, with a crusty armor of parmesan cheese and a shower of rosemary and chile flakes, offset by eggy mayo for that Pulp Fiction twist.
 Wash it down: Boiler Nine and its bar-centric upper levels — Boiler Room and Deck Nine — bring together one of the city’s best beverage teams: Congress veterans Jason Stevens for cocktails and Paula Rester for wine. From Boiler Nine’s cocktail menu comes the Odelay, a swirl of sherry, tequila and grapefruit bringing sweetness, nuttiness and bitterness, with just enough oil to give it depth and staying power ($11). Rester’s wine list is as charismatic as its curator, with surprises like the Scholium Project’s “Blowout” sparkler, Spanish txakolina and the cedar chest swerve of Chateau Musar from Lebanon. Boiler Nine also pours 11 wines by the glass ($8-$17) and six local beers on draft.
100 Austin Burgers
(Photos by Mike Sutter © Fed Man Walking)