ROUND ROCK, Texas – Texans know that beef is the biggest factor in a good burger and here at Svante’s the bovine that’s bestowed upon burger lovers here has a long linage in our great state.
Chris Swenson helps his sons with their booming burger business that all got started with a food truck.
“Like any good fathers, ‘Okay, I’ll help you out a little bit.’ I gave him a couple checks to get started, thinking, ‘Well, I’ll never see that again,’” said Swenson. “ He did a pretty good job and he also kind of hired me.”
The secret to their success can to be traced all the way back to Sweden. That’s where their great, great grandfather Svante Magnus Swenson immigrated to Texas from and is said to be the first Swede to ever step foot in the Lone Star State.
Svante was a merchant and good friends with Sam Houston. Over the years Svante acquired land all over Texas and by the late 1800’s he owned over 600,000 acres. His sons Eric and Swen started a cattle business based in Stamford, and the Swenson Ranch was born.
“All the meat we get here, all the beef comes from the ranches that he founded,” Swenson said. “He bought the initial land, initially bought the land for that in 1853, and his sons came back and started ranching in 1882, so all the beef we get here that makes the burgers and the steaks and the chicken fried liver we’re working on, all grass-fed, all-natural beef that comes right from our ranches.”
Robert Lopez is the man behind a mythical burger at Svante’s.
“Whenever I found out these guys were doing grass-fed beef from a ranch that’s been in their family since the 1800s, I knew it was something I wanted to be a part of,” said Lopez.
Today we’re cooking the Space Jam burger.
Lopez doesn’t waste any time getting straight to the beef.
“It always starts with the beef. So, it’s our ground beef, we portion it out ourselves. It’s a nice five ounce burge,” Lopez said. “It is a little on the smaller side, but once you eat it you can definitely tell it’s filling.”
The beef is given a dash of lavish seasoning – rosemary – and the burger cooks in a small batch of olive oil for about four minutes on each side for a nice medium rare burger.
A fresh baked bun gets toasted up, and by fresh baked we mean made that day by Svante’s in-house baker.
Once toasted, Lopez puts the house-made toppings to work starting this off with a garlic aioli, some local greens, and their bacon jam. Made with just four top secret ingredients, one being bacon, of course.
“When we came up with the menu, I didn’t want an overly-complicated burger to overpower the beef flavor,” said Lopez. “That’s really what we’re truly highlighting is the beef. Everything else is just, comes second fiddle to our beef.”
The burger is topped with pepper jack cheese and sent to the launching pad, where we’re ready to take off for a high flying adventure.
After allowing all in the ingredients time to come together, our taste buds gave top-notches to this Texas burger.
It’s between the sweetness of the bacon-onion jam and that incredible garlic aioli – which has a little bit of kick to it – but the main flavor is the beef. So tender, so cooked perfectly you could bite into this thing with your lips.
“The way it all ties together I think is terrific. You taste the healthier meat, but you also get some other flavors that sort of run through it,” Swenson said.
There’s just so many flavors going on in the Space Jam it really does send you off into space!
“It goes back to the history of Texas, it goes back to the founding of Texas, and it’s still as relevant today, still tastes good today. It’s the best beef you could ever taste,” said Swenson.
A little taste of Sweden, a little taste of Texas, and a big taste just all around here at Svante’s in Round Rock, Texas.
“You’re going to be tasting a part of history, you’re going to be tasting part of what’s good now and what was good then, and you can’t beat it,” Swenson said.