Saturday, November 19, 2011

Phil's Ice House

The fine folks of Amy's Ice Cream created the "Austinville 78704" retail triangle at South Lamar and Manchaca. All locally-owned businesses, including their own: a second installment of Phil's Ice House, this one an actual hybrid of Phil's and Amy's under one roof. A treat for big kids and little kids alike!
I think this location has been open for almost a year. Usually when I drive past in the evenings, the place is overflowing with cars, literally, as they park on the South Lamar shoulder. I have figured that lunch would be my best time to take a stab at Phil's. But, taking a chance on Friday night around 7:45, we were pleasantly surprised to find a few open parking spots in the lot, and there were a couple open tables inside, and plenty available outside. The noise level was a little high, as it is a kid-friendly establishment, but it soon quieted down some, and the noise from the kids playing outside didn't affect us.

The burgers mostly have neighborhood names, very catchy for Austin. They've also got dogs, frito pie, chicken sandwiches, and some vegetarian options. Cleverly, they have a sampler basket with three sliders, mini versions of their grown-up neighborhood namesakes. And that became my choice for dinner, cooked medium rare, along with onion rings. My dining companion chose what I believe was the Travis Heights burger, with Swiss, grilled onions and mushrooms; I don't see it on the online menu. The chatty high school order taker said it was her favorite, and suggested adding blue cheese, which he happily did.
Both the regular burger and my sliders were good sized portions. My slider basket consisted of (from top to bottom in the picture) the Crestview, with chili and cheese; the Rosedale with mesquite bbq sauce; and the Violet Crown, with blue cheese and grilled onions. The Crestview burger was cooked to more of a medium/medium well, and while there was enough chili to make it messy, there wasn't a ton of chili on it. The mesquite on the Rosedale was very sweet, and probably my favorite was the Violet Crown. Sort of surprisingly given the strength of blue cheese, it was the one where I could best taste the grilled flavor of the burger. All three were served on kolache-style rolls, as in, a sweeter bread, rather than just a traditional roll. (The large versions each come on specialty breads, like jalapeno cheese buns.) The onion rings were a nice thin cut, with a light batter, and were really good! Likewise the sweet potato fries. And there was no complaining about the Travis Heights burger, and the eater definitely liked the blue cheese addition.

So after burgers and beer, these big kids could happily take home a pint of Amy's Mexican Vanilla so we didn't have to overdo it at Phil's! Solid food, friendly, fun service. They've got a good thing going!


  1. Thanks for the LOVE South Austin Foodie! We are proud to be a part of local business in the 04!
    Amy and Steve