A Bunch of Good Beers, One Great Burger at The Hay Merchant

Categories: Burger Break

hay1.jpg
Photo by James Lawrence Porter
My buddy's version, with bacon and a fried egg.
On the website for The Hay Merchant, the burger is advertised as "the cheeseburger we'd give you at our house."

I want to live in that house.

The Hay Merchant would stand on its own two feet for any number of the awesome things it offers: great service, a fan-fuckin-tastic beer selection, prime location and excellent food. All together, it's everything you want in a place to go have a drink and a bite.

The burger is exceptional. When I asked our server what cuts of meat were in the burger, he gave me a somewhat flippant response of, "well, we grind it daily in house, and they just sort of throw a bunch in there."

Good enough for me.

The burger, though cooked all the way through to an almost dim brown, was one of the richest, beefiest and most delicately-textured patties of meat I've ever crammed down my craw.

The cheese comes standard, but my buddy Jimbo and I both added bacon, and he opted for a fried egg. The egg was lightly breaded and browned to a crisp, with just the right consistency to get a solid, even mash down, giving him excellent egg-to-bun ratio.

My one complaint is the noise -- I'm a 65-year-old woman when it comes to noise in restaurants. I like my dining experiences quiet and peaceful, and The Hay Merchant, at least when we went, was pretty slammed, so it was anything but. Considering the location, hipness and quality of the place, though, this isn't going to change. Nor should it.

But all of that melted away when I dug into the burger. I don't really want to know the fat content of the meat, but it wasn't like any 90/10 or even 80/20 experience I'd ever had. The meat was so soft and juicy that it stopped just short of falling apart upon first chew. It was a trifle on the small side, to be sure, but the richness, excellent bun, cheese and bacon on top should be plenty of meal for even the heartiest of appetites. Add on the crispy, salt-and-peppery fries and a couple pints of hoppy IPA to offset the fat, and, baby, you've got yourself a stew goin'. You'll also ingest enough calories to power an entire Inuit village through seal season.

Truly, this is a unique burger experience -- it's quite unlike any other burger I've had, and in a somewhat over-saturated market, that's saying a lot. You have to respect a place that takes the time and concern to hand-grind their meat every day, as well as a place that has enough beer options to satisfy even your most liver-scorching, desirous thirsts.

As it says on the menu: "Just straight up delicious."



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The Hay Merchant

1100 Westheimer Road, Houston, TX

Category: Music

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17 comments
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mofo
mofo

I don't mind the size of the burger.  It's small enough that I don't feel too shamed for stuffing myself with the fried pig's head cheese before it.

Robin
Robin

Your words do a good job of conveying "straight up deliciousness," but the photograph conveys overcooked-egg-and-patty-unsavoriness.  Although, on closer inspection, I can see burger innards juice soaked into the bottom bun.  Redemption!

Ricky G
Ricky G

The burger is tasty as hell, my only complaint would be the small size.

Jalapeno
Jalapeno

And the all important bun information???  The make or break component.  What is it?

Slingblade
Slingblade

Attn: blogger Mai----

Pls, pls, help these unfortunate blogger colleagues take pics. This goodness looks badness. And that's not right.

Donald
Donald

I think you mean, stop using your crappy cell phone to take photos and get yourself a decent point and shoot. 

Bkj
Bkj

How do you bread an egg?

Bkj
Bkj

I asked The Oracle and I guess it involves first poaching the egg, dipping in a typical breading, then frying. Huh. That one's new for me.

furioso ateo
furioso ateo

That egg's not breaded. Doesn't look like it in the picture anyway. The egg that comes with the pulled oxheart is breaded, but not the burger egg.

carrie
carrie

yes, please explain the breading of the egg.

Terry Alexander
Terry Alexander

Good looking burger. I thought I read that brisket was ground for this one. I could be thinking of elsewhere though.

I wonder how long before the shit tards come out to bitch about not saying anything about beer? TA

Sam Brown
Sam Brown

Brisket would make sense.  Shit tards never do.

Bruce R
Bruce R

Shit tards, fuck tards, eurotards, webtards.  It's like saying retard except without being politically incorrect.

Matthew
Matthew

i like burgers

Slingblade
Slingblade

i like french fried taters. you like french fried taters?

Matthew
Matthew

i do like french fried taters.

Stunts McCunts
Stunts McCunts

Reading this comment would have saved me a lot more time than reading this article.

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