Special Day, Special Burger

HAPPY BIRTHDAY to the most amazing, handsome, God-fearing, kind-hearted, dependable, patient, admirable (shall I go on?) man I know!  No matter how ugly, incompetent, ashamed, unworthy I feel, this man always makes me feel like I’m the most important person in his life.

My dear husband, best friend, Kona’s daddy, I hope that I make you feel as special as you make me feel everyday.  Thank you for always lending me your shoulder and lifting me up everytime I fall down.  I LOVE YOU!

As I have declared this week “death” week, Tim was considerate enough to allow me to take him out for a nice meal this past Saturday.  I wish we could’ve celebrated today, but life never seems to let me off that easy.

So where did I take him?  Second Bar + Kitchen in downtown Austin.  Ever since we moved out to the suburbs, our trips to the oh so unique, vibrant, and energetic part of the city have been dwindling in number and fast!  It felt so great to walk along the streets hand in hand with my man.

I chose this place because Tim’s been wanting to try their burger for quite some time now.  Apparently they serve an amazing, legit gourmet burger that’s recognized by burger bloggers even outside the state of Texas.  While I wanted to treat him out to a “fancier” place, I knew he would be more than thrilled with this choice.  Besides, from what it sounded like, this burger was not like anything he’s tried so far…not even close.

The ambience of the restaurant took me to New York with its extreme sophistication and up-scale, simple yet elegant feel.  I immediately knew we were in for a treat.  For Tim, ordering was a cinch.  As for me, it was a toughie.  It must’ve taken me more than 10 minutes and the waiter having to come back around 3 times before I finally decided on something.

First thing’s first.  Let’s take a look at this upscale burger shall we?  I introduce you to the Bar Congress Burger!

With all those house-made condiments (ketchup, peppercorn mayo, dijon mustard), Tim was far removed from his element… definitely not his usual diner-style burger.  I wish you could’ve seen his face!  Pure joy and exhilaration, I tell ya!  He’s so easy to please ;).  I was so excited for him and couldn’t wait for him to take his first bite!

The burger was a house ground chuck and brisket combo served with shallot confit (love saying that word), gruyere (yum!), bibb lettuce, tomatoes, and horseradish pickles.  Yup, exactly.  I, too, was impressed.

As a perfect complement, how about black truffle pommes frites sprinkled with grana padano served alongside truffle aioli!

Ok…so I hardly eat french fries.  But these frites…oh they’re dangerous.  I thought I had better self-control.  You truffle oil stick thingys proved me wrong.

So the verdict?  Let’s just say that this one is going to be Tim’s standard by which other gourmet burgers will be measured.  He was especially impressed by the perfect char and the juiciness of the patty.  I personally loved the addition of gruyere which I felt added an earthy richness to the burger.  And yes, my kind husband offered me a bite..just one bite.

I knew I was in trouble after that one bite.  Once again, I had meal envy.  However, for some reason, I don’t like ordering the same thing as him.  It just seems like a waste of money as I am a HUGE fan of sharing.  Tim’s not, but I still continue to fork my way onto his plate ;).

So what did I order?  First of all, I must say that it was nice to go to a place where choices other than burgers were offered.  Ever since Tim’s creation of his burger bucket list, I’ve been eating more than my fair share of burgers.

This time, I feasted on roasted chicken arugula salad with candied pecans, shallots, roasted beets, and cranberry vinigarette.

The chicken was so juicy, moist, and flavorful that I soon forgot about the burger.  I was extremely content with my choice for once.  And as I’m sure you all guessed, I refused to eat the skin, although Tim did not hesitate to ask me for a little piece.  It was definitely his cheat day.  The fruity vinigarette was an absolute delight!  I must try to recreate it…somehow…hmm…

This was truly a memorable and special dining experience.  We’ll be back, Second Bar!

My content hubby ;).  He simply could not stop talking about his burger the rest of the day.

Whoa whoa..who’s that model? 😉

Happy Birthday, my love!

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19 Responses to Special Day, Special Burger

  1. coci says:

    happy birthday to your hubby. what a great feast of food! 🙂

  2. Linz says:

    Aw happy birthday to your boo!!

  3. Carol says:

    Happy Birthday Tim! Enjoy your special day!

  4. happy birthday to your hubby!!!!! (: That salad look sooooo goood!

  5. thefoodery says:

    Cute picture of the two of you! And this burger place sounds awesome (though I rarely eat them) I love the presentation and variety. It’s kind of fun to have all those sauces and compartments, it’s like having more options. Cute little bucket of french fries, I would probably ask if I could by a few of them! 🙂

  6. andreia says:

    Happy Birthday Tim 😀

  7. Happy birthday Tim! I love this post, you guys are so cute! And what a great restaurant, I’m drooling over here 🙂

  8. How sweet!! Happy birthday, Tim!! You too are adorable! 🙂 Luvy would love this restaurant… he loves burgers!

  9. Aw, what a lovely post! Happy birthday Tim 😀 It sounds like you had a great dinner and I hope you have a wonderful birthday today – this post should help!

  10. Happy Birthday, Tim!!! Oh my goodness, there’s so much elation in that face. You (and the burger) truly made his day, Min! This post left me grinning ear to ear because you both seem so happy; the joy in spilling out through your words. ❤ You truly found a wonderful man to spend the rest of your life with!!

    Okay, moving past the mushy part of this comment…THAT BURGER! THOSE FRIES! Oh. My. I'm not sure what I would have done with myself either! I love Gruyere cheese, and can only imagine how delightful it must be on a burger. My love for truffle oil is even stronger though, and whenever I come across truffle fries, I can't resist the urge to indulge. I think the best part about being married to a dining companion with a taste for richer foods must be that you get to frequently enjoy burgers and fries without full "commitment." I love sampling bites of richer foods, but I don't always want an entire plateful! I know you say you're burgered out, but think how lucky you were to get a taste of that knock-your-socks-off burger! I sure hope I find a burger-loving man someday. 😉

    Your salad looks amazing too! It's hard to find perfectly tender chicken on restaurant chicken salads; it seems like it's always dry or over-grilled! Candied pecans, beets and raspberry vinaigrette? I'm sold. 😀

    I hope you're surviving your death week! You've been in my thoughts and prayers; I know you can do it! Love and miss you x's a zillion!! ❤ xoxoxo

  11. Happy Birthday, Tim!! What a wonderful way to celebrate, you sure know exactly how to make your hubby happy 🙂 I’m so glad you guys got some time to just focus on each other, despite your busy schedules.

    Praying for you as you go through “death week”, you can do it!! 🙂

  12. eatpraytri says:

    awwww that is so sweet! And that burger and salad looks so mouthwatering good. You are a lucky girl to be so close to such good eats. I’m glad you and your honey had a good celebration! 😉

  13. Happy birthday to your hubby! Downtown Austin sounds like such a great place for dates 🙂 I’m glad you were able to take him to a new favorite burger spot! You guys are so so cute together.

  14. Happy belated birthday to Tim!! How did I know that he would want a burger for his special day? 🙂 I swear my consumption of hamburgers has gone up in the past few months solely because of all the pictures you post that make them look so delicious!!

    I hope you exam went well today! You are probably commuting back now – we will have to chat about it later!

  15. Tim says:

    Thank you all so much for the kind birthday wishes! I couldn’t have asked for a better birthday – wonderful food and even more wonderful company…my beautiful bride.

  16. happy belated birthday to your tim! you guys are so cute together. I have been meaning to make a trip to Austin and seems like a nice place for burger and the fries looks so delicious!!

  17. Jessica says:

    Happy belated birthday to your hubby! on a side note..did you guys go to UCD?! Those bikes and buildings look all too familiar (I graduated from there last year!)…

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