Blind burger taste test proves Texas’ favorite still reigns

This Thursday, July 9, 2015 photo shows a Whataburger restaurant in San Antonio, Texas. The iconic Texas restaurant chain will not allow the open carrying of guns on its properties, taking a stand against a new law legalizing the practice. (AP Photo/Eric Gay)
This Thursday, July 9, 2015 photo shows a Whataburger restaurant in San Antonio, Texas. The iconic Texas restaurant chain will not allow the open carrying of guns on its properties, taking a stand against a new law legalizing the practice. (AP Photo/Eric Gay)

Turns out you don’t even need to open your eyes to enjoy a Whataburger.

Texas Monthly recently held a “highly unscientific blind taste test” to determine how the Texas favorite held up against four other popular chain burgers. Are you surprised that Whataburger came out on top with five out of 11 first place votes, or is it as obvious to you as the choice between spicy and regular ketchup?

Dare you to disagree: 10 great french fries in Austin

According to testers, Smashburger, In-N-Out, Shake Shack and Five Guys don’t really hold up when stacked alongside a Whataburger, which scored 46 out of 55 points and was ranked first the most times.

Check out how the other burgers ranked here, or scroll through our favortie burger options that don’t come from an orange-and-white-striped shack here.

Texans have spoken, and they’re saying “Whataburger forever, y’all.”

Let us know how you feel about the STAAR

Students take the STAAR test at East View High School in Georgetown on Tuesday, April 23, 2013. DEBORAH CANNON / AMERICAN-STATESMAN
Students take the STAAR test at East View High School in Georgetown on Tuesday, April 23, 2013. DEBORAH CANNON / AMERICAN-STATESMAN

Not everyone is happy with Texas’ current standardized test.

A new survey shows the more than 60 percent of “students, parents, educators, business leaders and other people” would like to see Texas’ state test replaced with a national test like the SAT or ACT, the American-Statesman’s Julie Chang reports. On top of that nearly 100 percent of those surveyed said they would prefer a standardized test that doesn’t have trick questions, which critics say are present on the STAAR, and about 95 percent of participants said they want a better way to test students with special needs.

READ: Hate the STAAR? Fine, but what’s the best replacement?

It’s clear many of those who participated in the survey believes the STAAR leaves much to be desired.

INTERACTIVE: Central Texas STAAR passing rates

We want to hear from you. Take our poll below and rank your satisfaction with the STAAR. If you’d like to be more specific feel free to tweet us @statesman or comment on our Facebook post.

How does Austin stack up in this ‘Best Texas Cities for Families’ poll? Not so hot

6/27/12 Ralph Barrera/American-Statesman; Greg Browne plays with his 15 month-old daughter Piercy Joye Browne in cool shallow waters of Deep Eddy Pool, which recently completed a new renovation set for a grand re-opening this weekend. "It's beautiful." says Browne, adding "We love it and actually have been at least a dozen times since it was finished. They did a fabulous job." Browne's wife is a former collegiate swimmer at Arizona, thus that's where Piercy might get her aquatics talent. (feature only)
6/27/12 Ralph Barrera/American-Statesman; Greg Browne plays with his 15 month-old daughter Piercy Joye Browne in cool shallow waters of Deep Eddy Pool, which recently completed a new renovation set for a grand re-opening this weekend. “It’s beautiful.” says Browne, adding “We love it and actually have been at least a dozen times since it was finished. They did a fabulous job.” Browne’s wife is a former collegiate swimmer at Arizona, thus that’s where Piercy might get her aquatics talent. (feature only)

Snow cone in hand, swimsuit-clad baby in another — you might think family life in Austin, especially in the sunshine days of summer, is pretty sweet. A recent WalletHub poll ranking the “Best and Worst Texas Cities for Families,” however, has several reasons why you’re wrong.

Of the 112 Texas cities the site considered in its list, Austin ranked as the No. 63 best city for families in the state. Or as the 49th worst city — depending on how you look at it. Either way, not so hot.

In compiling the list, WalletHub considered how cities ranked in each of four categories: family life and fun; education, health and safety; affordability; and socioeconomic environment. Although Austin ranked above average (No. 24) in the fun category, which looked at factors like weather and how many parks and attractions a city has, it didn’t fare quite as well the other three.

Austin ranked below average in both education, health and safety, and socioeconomic environment (No. 70 and No. 63 respectively). What category did Austin do the worst in? Push your wallet just a little deeper into your pocket, because affordability, measured by factors like cost of housing and living, is not the city’s biggest familial lure. The city ranked No. 87.

And what did Austin rank No. 1 in? Unsurprisingly, unemployment rate, which recently dropped below 3 percent.

What do you think? Does Austin make for great family life? Or does it leave you and your unit wanting?

Austin named No. 1 most ‘surprising city’ where gentrification is displacing poor

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East Austin is rapidly changing due to development and gentrification. Ricardo B. Brazziell/American-Statesman

In what is a surprise to Alternet but not to Austin residents, the city ranked No. 1 on the site’s list of “5 surprising cities where gentrification is displacing the poor.”

Alternet’s Larry Schwartz defines gentrification as “the process by which middle- and upper-middle-class populations move into formerly lower-income neighborhoods, attracted by cheaper housing (and fleeing expensive housing in more affluent areas), transforming the area, driving costs up and forcing lower-income residents out.”

“High-rise luxury condos,” “cocktail and coffee bars” and “artisan pastry shops” are cited as signs that gentrification may be responsible for a neighborhood’s shifting identity; something that, according to the article, only affects one out of 10 cities.

Commentary: 12th and Chicon — a story of gentrification

Alternet reports that the African-American population surrounding Huston-Tillotson University fell 60 percent during the 10 years following 2000. Latino population declined by 33 percent. And the white population (wait for it) increased an astounding 442 percent. The area, which was reportedly once known as the “Negro District,” is now 40 percent white.

Schwartz says, “Rents in Austin are up by 7.5% year to year, averaging now around $1200 a month.” Again, not a huge surprise to Austin residents who are, in fact, writing a $1200 check every month.

WATCH: Inheriting inequality

READ: ‘The Edge Becomes the Center’: Stories of gentrification resonate

Here’s how Austinites say their first weekend without Uber or Lyft went

In a Friday, May 6, 2016 photo, Ryan Murphy and Lindsey Jones look for the Uber they requested on 4th Street in Austin, Texas. Uber and Lyft suspended service in Austin Monday, May 9, 2016, after voters there decided not to overturn city requirements for drivers of ride-hailing companies that include undergoing fingerprint-based background checks. (Stephen Spillman/American Statesman via AP)
In a Friday, May 6, 2016 photo, Ryan Murphy and Lindsey Jones look for the Uber they requested on 4th Street in Austin, Texas. Uber and Lyft suspended service in Austin Monday, May 9, 2016, after voters there decided not to overturn city requirements for drivers of ride-hailing companies that include undergoing fingerprint-based background checks. (Stephen Spillman/American Statesman via AP)

We asked, and nearly 3,000 of you answered. Many were feeling the absence of Uber and Lyft in the first weekend since the ride-hailing companies suspended their services in Austin following voters’ rejection of the Prop 1 bid. According to our poll results, which can be viewed in full below, the majority of respondents (64 percent) said they opted to stay home after failing to find a ride. The second-most popular option was to catch a ride with a friend. Only 6 percent of voters said they opted for an alternative ride-hailing service.

Results as of 7:30 a.m.
Results as of 7:30 a.m.

As a few people pointed out, our poll didn’t include an option for those who chose to drive themselves.

https://twitter.com/James4Prez/status/732254384529137665

Or one for those for whom the change had no effect on.

Some successfully found an alternative.

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While others found the adjustment more difficult.

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You can read more about how Austinites are getting around in this post-Uber world, including Craigslist “creepers,” here.