Kenney, Texas – Next to the railroad tracks in north Austin Country, you’ll find a town that once was a bustling business center.
Today, the post office and the Kenney Store are about all that remains, and that’s all it needs to bring in hundreds of hungry Texans six days a week.
Tony and Rita Krueger took over the Kenney Store a few years back. Married 16 years, this couple met in one interesting place, but not for the reason you might think.
“She was a sheriffs deputy, and I was a jailer,” Tony said. “We met in jail.”
Busting bad guys was fun and all but Tony and Rita had a hankering to get out to the country and try something different.
“We love the food,” Tony said. “We love the music. She had 20 years in law enforcement. I was right at 20 years in Houston is where I was ending my career up. She was working for the state, and we just wanted something a little bit more simple, something a bit more quieter.”
The Kenney Store was the perfect place. Built in 1887 in Chapel Hill, the building was later hauled by logs and mules to Kenney. Originally a General Store, the hangout evolved to a beer joint and a place to pick on your guitar, but now it’s so much more. Serving some serious home cooking only added to the old Texas tavern.
“We wanted to keep it the way it was,” Rita said. “The store has such a spirit about it, just a calming spirit. When you walk through the doors, you’re like this is a calming place. I could just hang out here.”
With down home cooking, we could only imagine what the burger would be like, and we got a big surprise with the spinach and artichoke burger.
“They try it out of curiosity and end up ordering it again because they love it,” Rita said. “But our burgers are huge.”
Things get started with 10-ounce patty of 81/19 beef that gets splashed with worcester and secret seasoning. While cooking the burger, little chunks of steak caught our eye.
“We got ribeye bites, chicken fried steak bites, the gizzards, cat fries. Everything is cut up,” Tony said. “We really promote laziness here at the Kenney Store. If you’re going to have to work when you’re going out to eat, well then you probably shouldn’t be going out to eat.”
Once the behemoth beef is about done, house made spinach and artichoke dip is put on the flattop.
“Got to put a lot on there you know to match that size of a patty,” Tony informed us. “That’s not a dollop, that’s a scoop right there.”
Once the concoction is crowned on the burger, parmesan cheese is placed to melt while the bun gets topped with your usual suspects.
It is just a massive burger. Look at that patty, almost an inch thick, and all that spinach and artichoke dip just oozing out of there. I’m telling you, it’s huge, and has a huge flavor profile to match. A real squishy, wonderfully gooey, just all over your mouth flavor.
“You just get that taste in your mouth and you’re like, ‘I’d never think you could taste something like this. This is different.’ It’s so crazy,” Kenny Store regular, Cassie, said when describing the spinach artichoke burger.
You always know spinach and artichoke dip is great with chips, but you put it on a burger and it takes it to a whole new level.
While the burgers alone are well worth a stop, they’re not the only thing that keeps people coming back to the Kenny Store.
“You need to visit a place in a town that has 59 people that has awesome food, awesome bands, awesome atmosphere, and you can bring your kids,” Kenny native, Patty said. “Why wouldn’t you come?”
For us, after 99 burgers featured on the show it’s amazing to find something so unique for our 100th burger here at the Kenney Store. Well worth a stop on The Texas Bucket List.
“You’re going to leave here with another friend than you came with,” Tony said. “I promise you that.”