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Everything But the Grill

In Austin, a burger in the raw

Author John Grossmann

Cheeseburger tartare at No Va Kitchen & Bar

Cheeseburger tartare at No Va Kitchen & Bar

Plenty of top restaurants riff on traditional dishes, but in Texas Hill Country, it can be sacrilege to fool with a burger. “Food Network Star” chef Brad Sorenson is not one to stand on ceremony, however. At his No Va Kitchen & Bar in Austin, he offers a hypermodern “cheeseburger tartare” that turns the fried-egg-and-cheese-topped burger on its head.

Each of Sorenson’s 2½ oz patties comes from the tender eye of the top sirloin and is hand-diced (not ground) and combined with minced shallot, chili pickles, Dijon mustard, lemon juice, shaved parmesan and the yolk of a farm-fresh local egg. About the only traditional burger elements not served raw are three slider-esque onion rolls that come with the beef and the beer that Sorenson suggests you drink with it. “An IPA,” he says. “But personally, I’d have a Lone Star in a can.”

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