After this Memorial Day's BBQ with three different kinds of hamburgers (with credit to Leighton and Wes, we made "Hometown, H-town, Get Down burgers (also called "regular" but where is the fun in that?), Chimichurri burgers, and B-4 Bacon and Blue Cheese Bunker Buster Burgers) I got to thinking about some of the best burgers in Houston. This is in no particular order, and if you know if an unlisted place, please pass it on in the comments.
1. Christian's Tailgate. These are big, greasy and delicious burgers. I like to add grilled jalapenos to mine for that extra little kick. Additional points for onion rings. Points deducted for karaoke contests, terrible weekend parking, and lots of Cougar High (University of Houston undergrad) students.
2. Lankford Grocery. This place is relatively new to me, but has been a Houston tradition for many years. Even though they are only open until 3 pm and closed completely on Sundays, you need to try one of the Fire House Burgers. Jalapenos, extra hot mustard and a home made habanero sauce that will literally make you cry. It's incredible. But you will cry. And it's worth it. Extra points for charm and tater tots, not to mention clientele. Without a doubt, I was one of the smallest people in the entire restaurant when I went for the first time.
3. Pappas Brother's Burgers. These are huge burgers. Very juicy, very tasty. Points deducted for cost (not cheap), terrible fries and huge crowds at peak times. Still, a good burger.
4. Hub Cap Grille. A tiny place in down town that is cash only, the Hub Cap Grille is simply great. They have good fries, and even better sweet potato fries. Extra points added for home made buns. One of the best burgers I've ever had, let alone in Houston.
5. Smash Burger. A lot of people say a lot of good things about Smash Burger. It's pretty good. But it's not great. The fries come in a number of options and the gourmet version with olive oil and rosemary is good. But the burger was only pretty good. I'm not saying it was bad, but it was far from great. I feel like burgers are like hot wings. It is not hard to make a decent one, but, despite the simplicity, is difficult to make an exceptional one. Smash Burger was good, not great. The smash sauce, incidentally, tasted a lot like Thousand Island dressing and Tabasco.
6. Onion Creek, Dry Creek and Cedar Creek. All these burger joints are owned by the same people, so I've included them in one listing. The places create an Austin feel and the burger are good. Much like Smash Burger, they are short of great. But the turkey burger with guacamole is a highlight.
7. Max's Wine Dive, despite its cost, has a great Kobe Beef Burger. Its around $25, but its incredible. Everything on the plate is top notch. Fries, burgers, sauces, cheese, grilled onions and on and on. It's hard to believe, but this is worth the price. It's as good as a steak. Good thing, because it costs as much as one.
8. Barnaby's. I'm including the one on West Grey close to Taft and not the others simply because I've only been to this one, but the burgers are very good. The only problem is that there are so many other options, such as Fattoush, that I rarely get the burger there. Bonus points for stimulus brownies. If you don't know what that is, until the Dow hits 11,000, brownie sundaes are one dollar. Major bonus points.