In order to celebrate National Burger Month, I traveled to several burger joints around town to sample some of the finest burgers Houston has to offer.
Located on Holcombe near West University, Jerry Built is a quick yet upscale burger restaurant. Boasting a menu ranging from 100% pasture-raised burgers to organic egg sandwiches, Jerry Built offers fresh, tasty fare. The patties taste better than most, and the restaurant offers a wide variety of toppings. The buns, however, are what set Jerry Built apart. They are obviously fresh and baked daily. The fries are crinkle-cut to maintain proper crunch-to-potato ratio, and the Jerry Built Fry Seasoning adds fantastic flavor.
Overall: 7.5 out of 10
Elevation Burger (Chain)
Elevation Burger, located on Kirby, had a lot of potential yet failed to meet the bar. Marketing itself as an organic burger chain, Elevation Burger uses 100% certified organic, grass-fed, free range beef. Unfortunately, they sacrificed taste for health. Unless you and a friend aim to have an eating competition using their “Vertigo Burger” – a burger that you can stack with three to ten patties – I would not recommend the restaurant. The industrial-meets-ski-lodge decor was intriguing, but they dropped the ball where it mattered. The patties were large but lacked the juiciness and seasoning of a good burger; the buns were identical to those of every fast food chain, and their “fresh fries cooked in 100% Pure Olive Oil” appeared sickly and limp, tasting just as bland as their appearance suggested.
Overall: 4 out of 10
Stanton’s City Bites
Stanton’s City Bites – a burger lover’s paradise – is a house-turned-convenience-store-turned-restaurant in the First Ward Art District. Voted by several food critics and magazines the best cheeseburgers in town, Stanton’s also boasts some of the best turkey burgers around. The three kitchen staff members bustle around, churning out succulent burgers every minute. The Turkey Burger is topped with mayonnaise, spinach, caramelized onions, smoked Gouda cheese and bacon. The patty is flavorful and slightly gamey, and the Gouda cheese and bacon make up for the intrinsic dryness – and nutritional value – of the turkey. The fries are cooked to a perfect golden brown with a good crunch on the outside, yet a soft inside.
Overall: 10 out of 10
Bubba’s Texas Burger Shack
Nestled on a narrow strip of land under the Westpark Tollway and I-59 sits Bubba’s Texas Burger Shack. Known for their Buffalo burgers, Bubba’s – literally a shack under the highway – boasts some of the best and most interesting burgers in town. Their veggie burger, while not your traditional veggie patty, provides vibrant flavors to excite your palate. An amalgamation of sauteed toppings, the burger oozes juices down your hand; however, Bubba’s does not offer fries, and the potato chips are a mediocre substitute.
Overall: 8 out of 10
Five Guy’s (Chain)
Well known, especially on the East coast, Five Guy’s offers great, cheap burgers. The patties are cooked to near-perfection. While the buns are slightly on the soggy side, the patty itself offered good flavor and succulence. The fries, however, are too big and not crunchy enough. They were floppy and did not have enough taste.
Overall: 8 out of 10