Occasionally, I crave a burger. Imagine that! Most of the time, I head to Houston’s well-known burger joints such as Mia’s, Rodeo Goat, Bellaire Broiler Burger or, well, The Burger Joint.
But I’ve found four restaurants that specialize in other types of cuisine — places where you might have to do a little digging to find their excellent burgers on their menus. It’s often said that Houston is America’s burger town. Everyone has their favorite, but give these unexpected burgers a try. They just might surprise you!
My favorite new restaurant of 2018 also just happens to have one of my favorite burgers. La Lucha’s Classic H-Town Pharmacy Burger is traditional as far as toppings go (cheese, pickles, onions, mustard, lettuce, tomato). The draw here is the burger’s perfect construction. Each ingredient is juicy, melty or crunchy exactly as that ingredient is intended to be. Not much this year has given me so much pleasure to bite down on! In a recent Burger Friday column, the Houston Chronicle’s Alison Cook reported that chef Ford Fry created this burger as “an homage to the ones he remembers from Whataburger and the original Avalon Diner.”
The Dom Burger at Laurenzo’s is without a doubt the thickest, messiest, juiciest, most guilt-ridden burger in all of Houston. Just look at this ingredient list: A half-pound of beef, capocollo, fresh mozzarella, roasted red peppers, arugula, brown mustard and spicy mayo! It goes without saying that the burger is delicious, as is everything at Laurenzo’s. The only challenge is to finish it in one sitting! (I can’t.) Arriving and parking at the restaurant is easy. Laurenzo’s has an ample self-parking lot. What a happy surprise, not having to dig for valet cash. Even if it’s complimentary, there’s always the tip.
I have no problem standing in line to order Niko Niko’s Souvlaki, Moussaka, and Greek salad. But their Athenian Mushroom Burger is a hidden gem. There’s a thick charbroiled patty, then they add feta cheese, that special creamy yogurt sauce, and sautéed onions, bell peppers, and mushrooms. When they call your name, get ready for fireworks! The burger oozes perfectly when you take the first bite, and it’s so big you may not finish it — especially if you save room for the hand cut skin-on fries that are piled next to the burger. If you don’t want to go “all the way” with the Greek-style toppings, note that Niko Niko’s regular Cheeseburger Special is just as filling.
I recently wrote about the marvelous, star-studded dinner I had at Café Annie. But who knew that a quick lunch at Bar Annie would be one of life’s little pleasures? Annie’s USDA Prime Hamburger with Smoked Cheddar Dressing is a standout. Though it arrives quickly, it’s perfectly cooked to exacting order. Fries are first rate, and this burger is best enjoyed with a glass of one of Annie’s lively reds.
1801 N. Shepherd Dr. Houston, TX 77008
713-955-4765 – LaLchaTX.com
4412 Washington Ave. Houston, TX 77007
713-880-5111 – Laurenzos.com
2520 Montrose Blvd. Houston, TX 77006
713-528-4976 – NikoNikos.com
1800 Post Oak Blvd. Houston, TX 77056
713-840-1111 – CafeAnniehouston.com