Jess Pryles

Dirty Martin’s Kumbak Place

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It takes a lot of guts to use the word “dirty” in the name of a burger joint…

I’ve never been in a burger joint with so many aliases. Dirty’s, Dirty Martin’s, Dirty Martin’s Kumbak, Martins Kumbak Place, Dirty Martin’s Place… no matter the exact moniker you may know it by, all signs point to the same thing: a classic Austin institution since 1926.

Leave any gastronomic haughtiness at the door, this place truly lives up to it’s name(s) serving no-frills, good ol’ “dirty” burgers from the childhood you always wish you had. Slide into the burnt orange plastic booths and back in time. I can’t accurately express how much I adore this place, and that has so much to do with the full experience than the food alone. Put simple, it is a classic American burger joint, in the vein of Top Notch, one where you celebrate their use of plastic-esque American cheese instead of shunning it.

Case in point, when you order the “cheese tater tots” you can still see the perfect Kraft square, which calls out boldly from the plate: “f*&k you shredded cheese, you think you fancy, huh?”.

And let’s talk about the magnificent bastard of a bacon cheeseburger: you can’t fake that kind of grill grease on a bun, people!
More than just a burger joint, they offer a full menu of standard diner fare, including sandwiches, tacos (hello, you’re in Texas), queso smothered fries and no less than six different fried appetizers (including but not limited to jalapenos, pickles, mushrooms and cheese sticks). Doing the paleo thing? They even offer you a Cheeseburger Salad, though I suspect they didn’t have the diet in mind when adding it to the menu.

Open 7 nights a week ’til 11pm, I suspect for a lot of people Dirty’s will be best appreciated as quintessential drunk food, but you can appreciate the nostalgia so much better when sober.

Dirty Martin’s

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By Jess Pryles

Jess Pryles is a full fledged Hardcore Carnivore. She’s a cook, author, and TV personality specializing in the field of meat, with a particular expertise in beef. She’s also a respected authority on live fire cooking and BBQ. Born in Australia, she now resides in Austin, Texas.

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