Off-the-Menu at El Real: The El Real Burger

Categories: Burger Break

el real 1.JPG
Let me start by saying that I haven't eaten a Frito tortilla chip in about 15 years, so when I went out to eat and review the off-the-menu El Real Burger, I was a little skeptical. How delicious could it be, if it featured something I stopped eating in college? The answer is: pretty effing delicious. Here are a few of the notes I took when my waiter, Quinn, brought my burger to the table:

• Oh shit.
• It comes w/ a knife stuck in the middle to keep it all together.
• Good thing I jumped up and down for two hours at Michael Franti/iFest last night.

This burger is obscene, really. This is the kind of giant, cheesy, guac-y, refried bean-y mess -- with Fritos! -- that I'd want to shove down if my husband left me for another woman; it's the Breakup Burger. Thank god my husband was by my side when I ate it, though, because there is no way I could have finished it off by myself.

The El Real burger is piled high with lettuce, tomato, roasted Poblano, cheese, onions and guacamole, plus a layer of refried beans on the bottom bun; somehow they manage to cram Fritos corn chips in there, too. There is no way that one human being can assemble this burger alone, and I am convinced that there is some sort of El Real Burger team on stand-by in the kitchen.

el real 2.JPG
The cross-section. Because you need to see it.
The flavors in the burger are really great--the peppers are smoky and spicy, the guacamole is nice and fresh and cuts through the spice, and the acidity of the tomatoes brighten the whole thing up.

The textural experience is fun as well: meaty burger, plus smooth refried beans, plus creamy guacamole, plus melty cheese, plus crunchy Frito chips, adds up to quite a mouthful with each bite.

This is a serious burger, but a playful one, too. It's served with a side of light cabbage salad -- a good thing, because fries or rice would make the plate impossible to finish, at least for me. I was impressed by how well the bun held up under such strenuous circumstances, and I found that the beans and the guac worked well as binding elements, as well as flavor elements. Between my husband and me, we managed to finish off the burger, plus his cheese enchiladas, which he loved as much as Katharine Shilcutt loved hers -- OMG the cheese.

At the end of our meal, we had a nice chat with the general manager, Justin. He told us about the inspiration for this burger -- the San Antonio bean burger, something we Yankees had never heard of -- and let us know that the burger will be going on the happy hour bar menu soon. Justin also clued us in on the knife thing -- not only does it keep the burger together, it keeps the whole thing upright ... something I was struggling with myself, by the end of the meal.



Follow Eating Our Words on Facebook and on Twitter @EatingOurWords

Location Info

El Real Tex-Mex Cafe

1201 Westheimer, Houston, TX

Category: Restaurant


Advertisement

My Voice Nation Help
9 comments
MMBC
MMBC

LEO's LIVES ! ! !   and, B.S. on all these weenies who ask "What Kind of Cheese?", "I can't get the burger!"...  If Leo were still alive, he'd throw 'em out ! 

Real Cheese Enchiladas!  That's What I'm Talking About!!!!!   (with plenty of Onions...  otherwise it's just dago food...)

kylejack
kylejack

I tried to order it, but the waiter said this burger is only available during happy hour.

Fatty FatBastard
Fatty FatBastard

Interestingly, a group of my friends went on my recommendation about the tamales and enchiladas. Their reaction afterwards? They couldn't stop talking about the frito pie! I know I'm trying it the next time I go. As for this burger? I'll get to it soon enough. I've already been to the place 5 times.

kylejack
kylejack

This looks worth trying. I love Chris Madrid's tostada burger and always have to get one when I go to San Antonio.

juanathan hones
juanathan hones

putting a bunch of garbage on a bun or plate and sticking a knife through it – and then calling it food – is getting old

iMidget
iMidget

Mama's Cafe! Best bet for eating this burger is to never put it down once you pick it up. Easy!

TQro
TQro

I had the exact same thought as I haven't yet wanted to go, but now I do... just for this burger.

Now Trending

From the Vault

 

Loading...