100 Favorite Dishes: No. 6, Saigon Burger at The Burger Guys

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​This year leading up to our annual Best of Houston issue, we're counting down our 100 favorite dishes in Houston. This list comprises our favorite dishes from the last year, dishes that are essential to Houston's cultural landscape and/or dishes that any visitor (or resident) should try at least once.

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Before the yolk-letting.
Yes, there are "traditional" burgers at The Burger Guys. There's a Houston burger with caramelized onions and mustard made with Saint Arnold Lawnmower beer, for one. And there's the oddly named Indianapolis, which is as basic as it gets here: lettuce, tomato, bread and butter pickles. And they're good. After all, The Burger Guys goes above and beyond in sourcing all of its ingredients -- even the ones on the basic burgers.

But that's not why you come here. You come here for the big guns.

You come here for the Shipley burger, an occasional cameo appearance on the menu that uses two freshly-baked Shipley's donuts from the shop next door in place of buns. You come here for the $35 Perigord burger topped with foie gras. And you come here for fascinating fusion burgers like the Saigon.

The Saigon burger is essentially a burger married with a banh mi, two of Houston's most popular sandwich foods. Like a banh mi, it comes with a smear of pate, a dash of lime juice and Sri Racha sauce (they're combined here into a heady aioli) and hefty threads of pickled carrots, daikon radish, jalapeños and cilantro. And like the best of banh mis, you can even get a fried egg on top.

This combination of classic banh mi ingredients with a fat, juicy beef patty under an eggy Burger Guys bun is ingenious. It's not too far in either direction for the wheels to fall off -- the well-seasoned meat doesn't taste out of place among the ingredients, and the ingredients never threaten to overpower the patty -- as happened with the now-discontinued Phuket burger. No, the Saigon burger is an instant classic, and one that draws people to The Burger Guys from across the city.

I don't have to tell you, of course, that this Vietnamese-American hybrid tastes best when expertly combined with The Burger Guys's other fusion creation: the thick, rich cafe sua da milkshake. What are you waiting for?

The list so far:

No. 100: Dumplings at Heights Asian Cafe
No. 99: Mixta Pizza at Friends Pizzeria
No. 98: Veggie tacos from Radical Eats
No. 97: Bean pie from Conscious Cafe
No. 96: Swiss chard crepes from Giacomo's Cibo e Vino
No. 95: Eggs Mia Bella at Mia Bella
No. 94: Mulligatawny soup at the Queen Vic
No. 93: Helado de Lúcuma from Pollo Bravo
No. 92: Black bean burger from Natachee's
No. 91: Chupacabra pizza from ERA
No. 90: Roast chicken from El Norteño
No. 89: Eggs El Salvador from Brasil
No. 88: Frank the Pretzel from Eatsie Boys
No. 87: Caldo Tlalpeño from Tacos del Julio
No. 86: English pea soup at Brasserie 19
No. 85: Falafel from Zabak's
No. 84: Buttermilk-fried pork loin with fried eggs at Canopy
No. 83: Grillades and grits from BB's Cajun Cafe
No. 82: Haemul dolsot from Seoul House
No. 81: Pandan waffles at Parisian Bakery III
No. 80: Pita bread and hummus at Phoenicia
No. 79: Goat pepper soup at Peppersoup Cafe
No. 78: Melon and Texas feta salad from Beaver's
No. 77: Hot Italian beef from BB's Beef & Hot Dog
No. 76: Bacon-avocado burger from Facundo Cafe
No. 75: Pancakes from Fountain View Cafe
No. 74: Hobnobs from Fluff Bake Bar
No. 73: Chu chee eggplant from Nidda Thai
No. 72: Sausage sampler from King's Biergarten
No. 71: Shawarma from Abdallah's
No. 70: Moules-frite at the Broken Spoke
No. 69: Hong Kong-style French toast at House of Bowls
No. 68: Sashimi sampler at Sushi Miyagi
No. 67: Baleadas from Honduras Mayan
No. 66: Snow ice from Star Snow Ice & Teriyaki
No. 65: Boudin balls from MerCheri's
No. 64: Miso ramen at Umai
No. 63: Grim burger at Lankford Grocery
No. 62: Dabeli at Bansuri Indian Food Corner
No. 61: Wine and cupcakes at 13 Celsius
No. 60: Pâté de France from Spec's
No. 59: Steak and eggs from Ninfa's on Navigation
No. 58: Breakfast pita at Niko Niko's
No. 57: Vegan curry at Cafe TH
No. 56: Samosas at Shiv Sagar
No. 55: Ceviche at Latin Bites Cafe
No. 54: Wicked Philly at Pappa Geno's
No. 53: Pork chop at Perry's Steakhouse
No. 52: Soft-shell crab at Pico's Mex-Mex
No. 51: Sno-balls at MAM's House of Ice
No. 50: Whole catfish at Saigon Pagolac
No. 49: Nova fish box at New York Bagel & Coffee Shop
No. 48: Sojok mana'eesh at Cedars Bakery
No. 47: Pho ga at Pho Ga Dakao
No. 46: Sicilia salad at Trevisio
No. 45: Dahi puri at Sweet 'n' Namkin
No. 44: Hot dogs at Moon Tower Inn
No. 43: Real guacamole at Yelapa Playa Mexicana
No. 42: Akaushi short ribs at Soma Sushi
No. 41: Country-fried chicken livers at Haven
No. 40: Seafood gumbo at Cajun Town Cafe
No. 39: Tacos at Karanchos
No. 38: Crepes at Melange Creperie
No. 37: Gua bao at Yummy Kitchen
No. 36: Guanciale burger at Plonk
No. 35: Snapper al cilantro at Teotihuacan
No. 34: The Houstonian at James Coney Island
No. 33: The Montrose at Amy's Ice Cream
No. 32: Lobster bisque at Philippe
No. 31: Tacos de cabeza y orejas at El Ultimo
No. 30: Oyster stew at Danton's
No. 29: Fried oysters at TQLA
No. 28: Banh mi at Cali Sandwich
No. 27: Captin's fried chicken at Zelko Bistro
No. 26: The Brisket House Special at The Brisket House
No. 25: Menudo at La Mexicana
No. 24: Chargrilled oysters at Wild Cajun
No. 23: Breakfast tacos at Revival Market
No. 22: Sticky toffee pudding at Branch Water Tavern
No. 21: Tex-Mex burger at El Real Tex-Mex Cafe
No. 20: Lasagna at Capri Pasta Pizza & More
No. 19: Pork rillette at Feast
No. 18: Chicken fried steak at Triple A
No. 17: Crème brûlée bread pudding at Killen's
No. 16: Migas at La Guadalupana
No. 15: Snapper with grapefruit at Kata Robata
No. 14: Venison carpaccio at Thanh Phuong
No. 13: Mesquite-grilled shrimp poboy at Goode Co. Seafood
No. 12: Tamarind-glazed salmon at Samba Grille
No. 11: Bone marrow service at Stella Sola
No. 10: Ribs at Gatlin's
No. 9: Shrimp and grits at Brennan's
No. 8: Barbacoa at Hugo's
No. 7: Texas shrimp chaat at Pondicheri



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The Burger Guys - CLOSED

12225 Westheimer Road, Houston, TX

Category: Restaurant

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10 comments
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Bodl
Bodl

Great place. Loved the Phuket burger, and am eager to try the Saigon replacement. I do have a problem with the egg running all over the plate. It a great visual, but there is a better way. The sunny-side up egg should be placed yolk down on a bare bottom bun. That way, all the goo soaks into the bun, and gives full impact to the burger, instead of oozing all over the plate. Although I like capturing the wayward yolk with duck fries, it is much better on the burger.

Fred
Fred

God you are so right!! Place that egg yolk down on the bun! I am drooling to try this!!

William Philpot
William Philpot

Made it to Burger Guys for the first time a couple weeks ago. It's a magical place.

spy008
spy008

It's like a banh mi on a bun!! I think I'm in love...

Yumyum
Yumyum

The Shipley with duck fried fry's and a Dubin Dr.Pepper is a Fat, Carb, Protein overload that is a major Yumyum.  Somehow you try to justify it by saying the fried egg on top is "healthy".

LW
LW

Do they serve the cafe sua da milkshake pretty frequently? The few times I've been there, I've missed out on it, and I really, really want to try it. 

Katharine Shilcutt
Katharine Shilcutt

It seems like I've seen it every time I've been in, but I could just be lucky. They're also working on a strawberry shake right now that sounds basic, but tastes like a jar of strawberry preserves. Wonderful stuff.

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