The Rest of the Best: The Top Ten Burgers in Houston 2013
8. Down House
Photo by Kaitlin Steinberg Just try to not eat the whole Lone Star Burger. Just try.
As a food writer, I often have to eat multiple lunches or dinners in one day, and I've learned that such an endeavor is impossible unless I merely taste the food everywhere I go rather than cleaning my plate. Down House totally threw off my game when I ordered the Lone Star Burger on a recent visit. It's a big ol' hunk of grass-fed beef that's ground in-house and cooked over a fire for a texture that's seared and crispy on the outside and still gloriously juicy on the inside. A very generous helping of Vermont Cabot cheddar cheese is melted all over the patty to the point that it covers the entire thing. I was most pleasantly surprised by the house mustard and aioli that were hiding beneath other ingredients until I got into the middle of the burger and found the zesty, garlicky condiments. Oh yeah, and then I ate the whole thing when I knew full well I had more eating left to do that afternoon. Damn you, Down House. Damn you and your delicious burger!
Photo by Kaitlin Steinberg The Squirrel Master Burger from Cottonwood needs no improvement from condiments whatsoever.
Though some of the previous burgers on this list are large and in charge, the Cottonwood burgers are the first ones so far that I'd label "gourmet." I give the gourmet distinction to burgers that feature ingredients not readily available at the average burger joint. Like blue cheese, bacon jam and peppery shoestring onion rings. Cottonwood makes two stellar burgers: the blue cheese-stuffed and the "Squirrel Master Burger" (the winner of the No. 7 spot on this list), which is stuffed with chopped poblano peppers then covered in Pepper jack cheese and a fried egg with bits of bright green jalapeño sprinkled on top. This burger doesn't need a single other ingredient. Forget the ketchup. Forget the mustard. Forget my beloved sriracha and Tabasco. The Squirrel Master is a complex work of art, and it is perfect just as it is.
2800 Kirby Drive, Houston, TX