First Look

Denton's New LSA Burger Company Has Big Buns to Fill, and It's Off to a Good Start

Willie Nelson, Roy Orbison and Stevie Ray Vaughan walk into a bar owned by Jesus and they all eat a cheeseburger and drink a Velvet Hammer and laugh about stuff. There isn't really a punchline here because this actually happened in Denton last night. Well, sort of.

The LSA Burger Company (113 West Hickory) opened last week after a bittersweet farewell to the guiltiest of late-morning pleasures, Denton County Independent Hamburger Co. LSA stands for Lone Star Attitude, as evidenced by Texas-theme (but not Texas-vomited-all-over-this-place) décor and SRV concert playing on the monstrous flat screens behind the bar.

Denton's newest rooftop burger joint boasts big burgers with legendary names like Waylon, Stevie, and Willie, the nicest bartenders north of (HEL)LBJ, and the greatest piece of art in the history of all the art: The Last Supper: Texas. Which sounds like a terrible rendition of Real World, but it's not.

I stopped by last night with my betrothed and was not surprised to find a hungry crowd and a long wait, so we grabbed the last two seats at the bar and met Erin, one of the aforementioned bartenders, who isn't from Texas but will probably stay here forever because I told her to. For a not-Texan, she picked up that Southern Hospitality thing fast. Erin served us beer, burgers and a smile, the trifecta of Texas dining.

For a restaurant trying to invoke a Texas theme, LSA has struck an impossibly perfect balance between heavy-handed gaudiness and vague rustic chic. Enter: The Last Supper. The ultra colorful, a-lot-of-feet by a-lot-more-feet sized piece dominates the entryway and is visible from all corners of the split-level restaurant. From left to right, Jesus is partying with George Jones, Selena, Roy Orbison, Waylon Jennings, Scott Joplin, Janis Joplin, Bob Wills, Willie Nelson, Freddy Fender, Stevie Ray Vaughan, Buddy Holly, and T-Bone Walker. While most people were discussing ways to pilfer the picture and display it at home, several others were marveling over the massive wrought-iron silhouette of Texas adorned with dozens of guitars hanging behind the bar. For a brand new burger bar, LSA has a lot of history.

The menu is basic: burgers of various personalities made from fresh chuck, not burgers of similar temptation, á la carte fries, salads for people who order salad at a burger bar, and desserts featuring Beth Marie's ice cream because hello it's next door. Basic burgers like the Stevie and the Georgie Boy ($6.50) are a hearty half-pound and for most, will require a box of shame if you pair them with the hand-cut fries ($2.50). If you're caught up on bills or don't like your date, you can pony up another buck and a half and go for the garlic parm herb fries. And it's Denton, so the beer is cold and cheap and the pedi-cabs are circling outside in case you take it too far, pal.

Sure, LSA Burger Company has big, beefy shoes to fill given their predecessor's tenure on the famed Square, but a solid menu and nice people make for serious staying power. I'll drink to that. And another Georgie Boy, please.