Three new locations could open in 2015
Patrick Terry's favorite food pastime has made him a french fry perfectionist.
As a tennis player in high school, he traveled throughout Texas and frequently ate burgers and fries for lunch, picking out his favorite fries from the batch, leaving imperfect fries for last. He said the absence of eateries in West Texas that made good fries is what first started his obsession with perfecting the dish when he founded P. Terry's Burger Stand in 2005.
"We have thrown away thousands of pounds of potatoes until we figured out what we were doing," Patrick said. "For years we didn't know what we were doing. I would call The University of Idaho and talk to their potato department. It was just maddening until we figured it out."
P. Terry's serves vegetarian-fed and hormone-free beef and chicken, veggie burgers, shakes, fries and breakfast foods. Patrick and his wife, Kathy, have opened nine locations throughout Austin in 9 1/2 years.
The restaurant's retro diner theme pays homage to a time in the 1950s and early 1960s when food was made with better quality, he said. Although it costs more to use quality ingredients, Patrick said he wants to keep prices low.
"The idea is to offer something of real quality that no one else would consider doing," he said. "We like to sell food. It's one of the reasons a milkshake is $2.10. We want you to have a milkshake."
The Terrys opened two burger stands in Northwest Austin in 2013. The North MoPac location has already become the top-performing store, he said.
Patrick anticipates opening three more locations in the Austin area by the end of 2015 but said exact locations have not yet been confirmed. After that, he and Kathy will decide whether to expand into outlying cities, he said.
Four times each year, the Terrys donate 100 percent of the business's proceeds from the day to a charity of their choice.
"Patrick and I have a lot of conversations about our employees and the business," Kathy said. "Whatever decisions we make, we just have to do what's right. If we do what we think is the right thing, then it'll all be OK. That's how we've made decisions."
In addition to lunch and dinner, P. Terry's Burger Stand also offers breakfast foods, including freshly squeezed orange juice and Austin-roasted Maya dark roast coffee.
The egg burger ($1.65) is made with local, organic eggs and American cheese and is topped with all-natural bacon, ham or sausage.
Breakfast potatoes ($1.25) come from farms in Idaho.
Banana bread ($1.35) is made with whole wheat and one banana in every slice. Owner Patrick Terry said the recipe comes from a family friend.
12301 N. MoPac, 512-719-4810, Hours: Mon.–Thu. 7 a.m.–11 p.m., Fri. 7 a.m.–midnight, Sat. 8 a.m.–midnight, Sun. 8 a.m.–11 p.m.
12018 Research Blvd., 512-257-0990, Hours: Mon.–Thu. 7 a.m.–midnight, Fri. 7 a.m.–1 a.m., Sat. 8 a.m.–1 a.m., Sun. 8 a.m.–midnight
www.pterrys.com, Twitter: @pterrys