Famous Austin smash burgers find a new flagship on East 6th Street
Opening a restaurant called Not a Damn Chance (NADC) is an ironic move for a chef who keeps flipping opportunity like burgers anywhere he goes. Add one more location to that list, as NADC Burger moves into its first flagship location today, December 4.
Phillip Frankland Lee, who rose to prominence in Season 13 of Bravo's Top Chef, has since been building a culinary empire around Austin. With help from his wife, Margarita Kallas-Lee, that includes two fine dining restaurants that have produced successful spinoffs: Pasta Bar and Sushi by Scratch, decorated with a Michelin star in Los Angeles (where the Michelin guide exists).
Frankland Lee has a different collaborator for the back-of-house burger joint, which slings stacked up smash burgers oozing with cheese out of a window behind the Rainey Street bar Idle Hands. Professional skateboarder Neen Williams, whose brand of spice rubs gives NADC Burger its name, adds both cool points and flavor to the operation, which could easily disappear into obscurity, but keeps drawing cultish visitors.
The food menu is short and simple, with just one option: a third pound of Texas Wagyu, American cheese, "secret sauce," onions, pickles and fries. According to social media and Reddit buzz, this formula certainly ain't broke — so they're not fixing it. There is technically one way to put a twist on the recipe, by adding cheese, pickles, jalapeños, special sauce, and seasoning to the beef tallow fries.
Instead of drawing burger lovers into the shadows (which does have its perks for people who like to feel like they're in on an industry secret), the new location at 1007 E. 6th Street will be its own brick-and-mortar with 20 indoor bar seats.
It'll keep the industry feel, though, by situating those seats around the chef's work area "so guests can watch them cook and have a good time together," according to a release. (It even adds a special for after-shift service industry visitors after 11 pm: a PBR Tall Boy, a burger, and a shot of Jameson for $20.)
It shares this in common with Frankland Lee's other restaurants, which take a chef's table form. Considering how casual this venture is in comparison, it will most likely feel more like Kallas-Lee's pastry workshop, Wolf and Wheat, next door. The burger spot will even feature her desserts as a rotating menu item — although it might be worth it to wander from one location to the other for the vibes alone.
The new location also adds outdoor seating and the restaurant's first bar and cocktail program, basically replacing what Idle Hands provided at the first location. Visitors to the Chicago location can compare to the Drop In bar, where NADC operated a similar burger window. Both bars are part of Pursuit Concepts — owner Matt Wolski continues to stay involved on East 6th. (NADC will also join another Pursuit concept, Other Racquet Social Club, as a food truck when it's ready.)
In addition to some beers on hand, that means four new cocktails, including the unique "Deathwish," a rum punch with spiced orange, pomegranate, and passionfruit boba.
NADC Burger is open now. Hours are noon to midnight Monday through Thursday and Sundays; noon to 3 am Fridays and Saturdays. Find updates on Instagram.