Casino El Camino
517 E 6th St, Austin, TX 78701
Phone: (512) 441-5281
Fax Number: (512) 441-5281
Bike Parking: Yes
Cuisines: Burgers, American, Hot Dogs, Bar & Grills
Alcohol: Full Bar
Takes Reservations: No
Outdoor Seating: Yes
Price Range : Below Average
Good For Groups: Yes
08/09/2011Provided by Citysearch -
For the full review, go to our blog where we chronicle our journey into Austin's burger community. We rate each establishment on more than just the burger. We are out to find the best place to eat a hamburger!
Casino El Camino rated 6 burgers out of 10, but check out the blog to read all the details.
www.thoughts dot com/Cooker
02/19/2011Provided by Citysearch -
To the reader:
I am writing this in regards to my visit to Casino El Camino on 2/18/2011.
I have never written a review on any establishment before, but this place takes has earned it!
First, and foremost was the instantaneous bad attitude from the food servers. The girl with the very long hair was just plain rude, condescending, and angry to be there at all. She alone left such an indelible impression that I, after working in food service for more than 20 years, far surpasses any that I've ever seen in the industry. Look, it's simple folks, if your ticked off because you don't like your job, or your life, then perhaps you shouldn't work in customer service and take it out on the patrons. The other server was equally rude and almost took my head off because I didn't know that a burger transaction, and a bar transaction were separate bills. (How did I know?) The third person was behind the bar and treated not just me, BUT 'ALL' with a persnickety manner. All of theses girls acted as if everyone was bothering them. In my years having to work food service and customer service, yes; I have had to deal with difficult customers. No surprise. But I've never encountered it from the opposite side of the bar. Most of this I shook off until the end of the night when I went to pay my bill at the bar. I realize that the servers have an area of the bar that they need access to fulfill orders without the customer being in the way. Oops, I was in the wrong for standing there but there was no other way to get the attention of the bartender (very crowded) At this point the girl (server) with the very long hair rolled up and reminded me rather condescendingly, that this area needs to remain clear. I said ""I know, I'm just waiting to sign my receipt."" Out of nowhere comes the second server barking the same. I had had enough! In plain English and to my credit (without bad language) I reminded them that ""if you can't try this job on for size and wear it, please to try it on publicly to show everyone it doesn't fit!"" I reminded them that half of their patrons have probably worked, and still work with the general public so we get it! YOU HATE YOUR JOB!!! They both started to tag team me after that. I couldn't believe their language. Now at this point the persnickety one behind the bar spins around, slaps my receipt on the bar and says ""DON'T EVER COME BACK HERE AGAIN!!"" So, I wrote on the receipt, NOT NICE SERVICE!!! I was told by the bouncer as I walked up to him that I was being thrown out for being rude to one of the girls? By the way, the bouncer was the only nice one there. I couldn't believe it! I am not imagining this folks, it really went down just like that! Cross my heart!
About the burgers: I did manage to taste a bite of the Amarillo burger that my buddy didn't eat. I found the meat flavorless and uncreative. I can say this because of the sheer amount of experience I have had in food service. My best recommendation to the management is if you want to know how a burger should taste (and you should if this is how you're making a living) then spend some money, and buy a plane ticket for San Diego, go to Ocean Beach and visit Hodad's, or drive about four miles north up the street on Ingraham and visit a little pub called Rocky's. Both have been on the Food Network, and Man VS. Food several times!! Why? Because they earned the right to boast their culinary mastery of a simple burger, and knowing how to treat a guest! I offer this advice knowing that if you want to know how to be the best, you have to know what the BEST 'is' doing. ""Also, please remember, 'You never get a second chance with a first impression.' With that said, I wish Casino El Camino luck, it's about the only friend you've made of a lot of people I saw that night.
10/03/2009Provided by Citysearch -
After reading the great reviews of this place, I expected a funky Austin eatery with super amazing burgers. If the burger had been fabulous, I might have been able to overlook all of the cons, but it was not. To start, I ordered my burger well done. It was charred on the outside, but blood red and cold on the interior. And it took 40 minutes even though fewer than half of the tables in the place were occupied. The waitress was undoubtedly the worst I'd ever experienced. When she was not ignoring our table, she was rude and condescending. The atmosphere was depressing, the food just OK, the wait way to long and the drinks watery. What more can I say?
04/12/2009Provided by Citysearch -
wow. i'm sorry to see the story below. i love casino el camino and have been there a few times since my family from new orleans and i ended up in austin after katrina.
it must have been a stressed out day during sxsw for the kitchen staff to treat someone so poorly, especially another 6th street employee. i know for a fact that casino el camino gives preference to other local restaurant and bar employees so i am pretty shocked to discover this episode.
remember though, the kitchen is usually staffed by just two people, and during south by, the orders for food pile very high. that is likely why the wait was so long for you. how fast were food orders delivered to you during that week in any other 6th street establishment? additionally, i also know 6th street staffs work very long and hard hours during the festival. these things probably add up to infrequent blowups.
i was there during sxsw and my group and i all ordered burgers and fries. yes, it took 45 minutes, but the place was packed, everybody was eating, and i could see that the grill the cook was working on had burgers and dogs on every inch. when we received our food, the burgers were hot and the fries were perfect. i had no problems with the kitchen staff, although it was obvious to see that they were hot and stressed out. that energy wasn't hard to find during south by.
i've also been there since, when the atmosphere is much more relaxed than it is during south by. there were three in our group and we went in at 5:30 on a monday. the burgers took 20 minutes and were just as good as they were during sxsw.
additionally, besides the wicked atmosphere of the place and the interesting juke box, the bar staff is great. many are musicians and performance artists and conversations with them are very interesting. even during south by, it was easy to get a laugh out of them. at some other bars, the bartenders acted like everybody they didn't recognize was a tourist. i don't know about you, but when i go to a bar i'd rather have a great bartender than a friendly cook. besides, aren't bar cooks supposed to be surly? i thought that was a prerequisite.
at casino el camino, i always have a great time and unlike the poor person who posted a couple of days ago, i highly recommend it to austinites as well as out-of-towners.
04/09/2009Provided by Citysearch -
I went to Casino for the last time on Sunday March 22nd. I have been eating and drinking there off and on since 2001. I worked the door at a bar on 6th and like many people would catch a drink or grab a burger there. Back then it wasn't as popular and despite the edgy service it was a cool hang with a great jukebox. I don't know what happened to this place. I have heard from several people that still work downtown that the wait for food had increased from 20+ to 40+and that the cooks had become more surly. The new length of time to wait for the food doesn't have any bearing on crowds or not.
That turned out to be true. I had been a few months earlier for a bite before a show at Emo's and noticed that indeed the wait for food had doubled to 45 minutes. It was still good. The food was never amazing or life changing just good food for downtown. A good friend was in from L.A. for SXSW and I always take him there....it's on his list of things to do while in Austin.
We went back to order and witnessed a screaming match between the cook and some kid from a bar on 6th St. He came to pick up his food and asked for a bag and the girl taking orders got upset because it wasn't discussed when the order was taken.
Who's responsibility is it? How long have people been ordering ""to go"" from this bar? More importantly how big a deal is it to take the paper and foil out of the ""basket"" and tranfer it to a ""box"" while still on the paper and foil? Apparently its a big effen deal! She became rude with him and the cooks started screaming ""...great f u c*i n g time to tell us!"" The customer said he was sorry and that it would be ok. The cook again started to cuss him out and asked him if he wanted him ""... come over the counter. Then you will be f u c*i n g sorry!"" This heated exchange went on for awhile. Our jaws were dropped.
I still ordered ( I was wiped out from SXSW) and it was ok. My chilie dog was warmer than my buddie's Green Chile fries but I guess it is real difficult to time out the two. The fries were almost cold and had been sitting.
We bailed. Casino has always be a ""clubhouse for regulars: bartender friends, etc"" and will continue to tolerate the rest of us. It's sad what has happened to this place. I can get a better burger somewhere else.
02/15/2009Provided by Citysearch -
With all the hype for this place, while in Austin I had to go. Was so disappointed! On tv this place doesn't look like as small and dark as if really is. Not many tables, as it is a bar to begin with. The burgers are indeed thick but they are dry and overcooked. Menu says they are cooked medium but this wasn't the case with either of ours. I couldn't even taste the cheese on my burger, it was one measy thin piece. The bacon however was delicious on the Chicago burger. Next time I will skip this place, one IS enough.
02/08/2009Provided by Citysearch -
Went here after watching it on the food network... this place knows how to make a burger. you may not feel too well afterwards, but so worth it. Take it from me, shre a burger with someone especially if you plan on eating fries (I agree that the fries & queso are a perfection)
As for the decor, you can barely see 2 feet in front of you. Oh and you're not coming here to eat in the bathroom, but if duty calls you may want to hold it. It's as raunchy as raunchy gets in there. This place would do great for a ""To go"" place!
12/10/2008Provided by Citysearch -
As past reviews state, this place is pretty gloomy. The staff are friendlier than stated though.
The food was really good, I have to say we recommend it and we only waited 20 minutes (it was lunch time). The burgers are huge, and the fry portions are also very large. The fries with Chili verde and queso are so yummy, a meal in itself with a beer!
So the bad part... the bathrooms. Oh my. You can't expect terry bloth hand towels in a bar but this was just plain ech! It was apparent that in the past 12 hours someone threw up in there. All I could smell was yak with an air freshener trying to mask it. The floors were filthy, everything looked dirty. it was just nasty in there. Thank goodness I had already eaten! If I return I will pledge not to break my seal at this place...
12/01/2008Provided by Citysearch -
After viewing this spot on The Food Network I convinced my husband to take me for the Thanksgiving holiday. I researched the spot, even made a copy of the menu so when the four of us got there we would be ready to order. We drove 5 hours from Shreveport, LA. to Austin Texas for this and I couldn't wait. We orderd. We waited 45 mins. which was okay since we were playing a couple of games of pool. We had a couple of drinks. And then the burgers came out. I ordered the Amarillo Burger. It was huge, the meat had a very good flavor. The buns were stale, and the burger that I ordered with extra mayo and extra cheese didn't have any of that on it, and it was so dry I almost choked. The fries were great. I can't believe I skipped the traditional Thanksgiving dinner for this burger. The city of Austin is beautiful, the staff was friendly, the decor was fine, the drinks were nice and strong, but the burger wasn't worth all the hype.
10/27/2008Provided by Citysearch -
I have been a vegetarian since 2007 and every year I allow myself the buffalo burger. Its crazy good with bleu cheese and spicy sauce. yes, its against my lifestyle, and its a delish sinful experience. Totally worth it. I wish they had some amazing veggie patty to partner up so I could eat there monthly!
04/07/2008Provided by Citysearch -
Definitely some of the best burgers in town, possibly _the_ best. If you're looking for a typical restaurant atmosphere with sports memorabilia and alligators with sunglasses hanging on the wall, then this is not the place for you. It's a bar - a real bar that leans toward the dive-y side of things, but that's why I love it. Yes, you will have to wait a while for your burger, but it's worth it. And the chefs aren't as surly as everyone one here makes them out to be. The wait staff is attentive and helpful ('Need some ketchup? Here you go!') - I've never encountered any snottiness, rudeness or disregard for clients from them. And yes, they do have the best juke box in town. They only get four stars as opposed to five because finding seating can be a real pain (especially if you're in a group), and I would rather eat and drink while seated. But overall, one of my favorite watering holes and hamburger joints in town.
03/29/2008Provided by Citysearch -
I've been on a burger rampage in Austin trying to find the best patty in town. Naturally, I had to visit this dark, gothic, truly Austin institution. The experience was memorable and I tried to take in everything from the dank, gloomy interior, the chef with the 'tude, and the large patties. But the burger itself was lackluster, dry and not really worth the half-an-hour wait. It was worth trying once, but I dont think I'll be back.
06/18/2007Provided by Citysearch -
Casino El Camino's burgers are among the tastiest in Austin. A thick, juicy patty big enough to soak up all the liquor you've been swilling and hand cut crispy fries on the side, what more can you ask for? Sure the bar is dark and the bartenders are sorta scary lookin' dudes, but the a/c works great, the beer's cold and dim lighting is more complimentary, right? The kitchen staff lost their sense of humor sometime back in the 90's but that's okay, as long as they keep cooking. Order fast and remember it's CASH only at the kitchen. Be prepared for a wait from 30 minutes to an hour on weekend evenings. It's worth it, though. Some of my favorites are the buffalo burger and the Amarillo burger but everything, including the vegetarian sandwich is great. Mmmmmm!
04/16/2007Provided by Citysearch -
This place has a nice patio, but forget trying to eat here. The bar smells awful, urine and mold odors are abundant inside.
I waited an hour and half for a burger, it started out large as I saw them cooking. It ended up tiny, hard and dry. I ate 2 bites and had to go to a fast food joint to actually eat. The hostess was an absolute moron, I had a tab going and at times she charged that other times asked me for cash.
The problem here is you cannot order from the hostess, you have to stand in a window outside the restrrom and order. Then keep going back to see if your food is done. It seems the managers really dont care if you eat or not. The bar is busy enough I suppose they dont have to consider the food.
I will not go back, I wasted my time and more than enough money here.
08/15/2006Provided by Citysearch -
I love this place. It's been said a million times, but the jukebox really does have the highest-quality selection in town. The gothic ambiance of this place is great; it's often loud, but you also have the option of stepping out on the much quieter back porch if you choose. It's great back there when it's not too hot outside. Drink selection is good and the bartenders are fast and friendly.
Now to the food: This place serves the best burgers I have ever had. Austin has more than its fair share of good burger joints, but this place beats them all, and puts most of them to shame. Sure, the service is surly, but that's part of the charm. Know what you want when you get up there and pay in cash or the cook might growl at you. And your burger WILL be medium rare unless you specify otherwise, so those of you who have a problem with that: just make sure you ask for it to be cooked longer up front. The fries are hand-cut right before your very eyes, thrown directly into the fryer, and usually cooked perfectly. You will not find fresher fries anywhere in Austin.