The Texas Kobe Beef Burger at Branch Water Tavern

Categories: Burger Break

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What's in a gourmet burger? At Branch Water Tavern, it starts with the size of the patty.

"Everyone does an eight-ounce burger," explained Branch Water Tavern's Executive Chef David Grossman, "so I thought, let's make it nine ounces."

Ground in-house, topped with cheese, bacon, red onions, tomato and butter lettuce, and set on top of a fluffy bun, Grossman's Texas Kobe cheeseburger is a gorgeous mouthwatering vision that sits close six inches tall. Just looking at it made me hungry.

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Prepare ahead of time for the messiness, because you won't be able to eat it without getting your hands dirty. Even after squishing it between my hands to flatten out the bun, I was barely able to take a full bite from top to bottom.

I was surprised to find that this burger did not taste overly fatty. In contrast to the Akaushi beef burger from The Burger Guys, which always manages to make me feel like a greaseball, Branchwater Tavern's Kobe burger was juicy but did not give me that artery-clogging sensation.

This begs the question: Isn't it blasphemy to grind Kobe beef? Isn't the point of Kobe beef to enjoy the marbling and the fattiness of a heavily petted, well-fed cow?

Don't get me wrong, I can't deny the tastiness. But I'm not so sure I'm sophisticated enough to discern the subtle differences between ground USDA prime and Kobe without a side-by-side tasting.

It's still a darn good burger, and I'm not the only one who thinks so. Bon Appetit Magazine gave Branch Water Tavern the number five spot on its national list of 10 Favorite Burger Spots this past September, the only Houston restaurant to get that distinction.

And at the end of the day, when I'm craving an over-the-top burger made with the world's most prized and expensive meat, I'm more than happy to plunk down the $13 to get it.



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Location Info

Branch Water Tavern - CLOSED

510 Shepherd, Houston, TX

Category: Restaurant

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18 comments
el guapo
el guapo

i would still rate this burger the best burger i've ever had... granted i haven't been to BWT in over a year, but when it first opened i got the burger for dinner and was floored by how good it was. all of our food was great that night, but the burger stole the show going away... totally unanimous favorite amongst my party that night.

Roy
Roy

Great article Mia! Made me hungry!

David Grossman
David Grossman

Think about it. You walk into a restaurant, you see an 8 oz. burger sittin' there, there's a 9 oz. burger right beside it. Which one are you gonna pick, man?

daguttgrl79
daguttgrl79

I just had this burger here last week, and honestly I totally loved it! Glad I am not the only one. Regardless of the minor flaws, this burger is still quite tasty, juicy, and delicious.

Wolf Pack
Wolf Pack

The Burger Wolf Pack had the exact opposite experience.

anon
anon

Let me start by saying that I love this burger, it is definitely in my top five in the city. But it is not Kobe beef, a real nine ounce Kobe beef burger would cost you about 30 or 40 dollars at minimum. The burger is probably made from "american kobe" aka wagyu beef. same brand of cow, very very different growing conditions and requirements. One would think this is something a food blogger would know...

Matthew
Matthew

i want more info on this burger.

how was the bun? sweet? fluffy? chewy? toasted? griddled?

how was the bacon? crispy? thick? chewy?

how were the veggies? fresh? were they a good complement to the meat without over shadowing it?

what kind of cheese, and what condiments did they use?

how were the fries? were they crispy? slightly bendable? sea salt? any herbs?

was the patty seasoned? did it come out at the doneness you requested?

give me more! thanks!

Mai Pham
Mai Pham

Thx for reading, Roy, that was the idea! :)

GarthRocker
GarthRocker

It's like, this one here goes to 10. Now look at this one. You see. Go ahead, look closely. It goes to 11. That's the beauty. It goes to 11.

Mai Pham
Mai Pham

Meaning you didn't like it or it was overly fatty?

Kuinoluis
Kuinoluis

It's delicious!!! And its great one of the best in town!!!! That's the important thing!!!

Mai Pham
Mai Pham

Yes, of course you are right. I didn't elaborate on "Texas kobe" because I thought that would be understood. Even if it's not from Japan, the same applies as far as the marbling - you buy wagyu, Texas kobe, akaushi for the marbling and fattiness, which is supposed to give it more flavor and tenderness.

TQro
TQro

She did specify "Texas Kobe".

Mai Pham
Mai Pham

Hmmm, ok here goes: I thought the bun would be too doughy, but it wasn't. Slightly crisp, almost like a brioche but not so sweet. The bacon was, I believe, regular smoked bacon - did not take away from the flavor of the meat, which was what I was trying to focus on. Veggies were extremely fresh, and as you can see from the picture, nothing came out wilted. I liked the red onions which were sweet but not overpowering. Fries were house made slightly bendable, with plain sea salt. I didn't eat too many; trying to cut down on the carbs. Patty was well seasoned, perhaps a tad overly salted but then I'm a bit sensitive to salt. It was well cooked. I asked for medium rare. After I took my pictures, I cut it open and it was still very pink. All in all, I was very pleased.

ClementV
ClementV

I can't get no....satisfaction....

ChetBellman
ChetBellman

Grossman's a little young to get that joke...not to mention, a little too earnest.

kylejack
kylejack

The problem is our labeling laws that allow something to be called Kobe which isn't, or which allows a patty with only 1% Kobe beef (or less) to be referred to as a "Kobe burger".

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