July 26, 2010

Down Town Burgers

Born in New York, raised in Chicago, Steve McDermott lived in 8 states and spent over 40 years working in nearly every genre of food in the restaurant industry.  Steve says, “My mother was Greek and she and my grandparents and aunts always cooked, so it’s in my blood.”  Among his restaurant victories, he used to have a pizza joint in Lake Geneva, Wisconsin called ‘the Original Chicago Pizza Company’.  Additionally, he spent some time with the Austin icon “El Arroyo” after having met Clay McPhail in New Orleans.  
However, Steve didn’t set out to start another restaurant when “Down Town Burgers” came about.  On the contrary, he started a business called ‘e-cars of Austin’ that consisted of 10 electric cars.  He set up an office for his rental car business out of a trailer which the city wouldn’t allow.  As such, Steve decided to take matters into his own hands and do something out of his trailer that the city would allow: grilling burgers.  Steve’s attitude? “If you can’t beat’em might as well join’em.”  He ran up against another wall trying to get a permit to serve beer and wine.  His solution was to have BYOB and provides Free Beer Fridays with a keg for his customers.  

You better be hungry for a hamburger when you walk up to Steve’s stand; that is all he sells.  In his words, “My menu is limited – I do one thing and do it great.  I’m the original McDonalds; you cant get anything besides burgers.  My grill has a char broiler, and I always fresh meat (never frozen).  We have fresh toppings everyday.  We are the most inexpensive place to eat downtown serving a quarter pounder with fries and a drink for $5.95.”