100 Favorite Dishes 2013: No. 48, El Real Burger at El Real Tex-Mex Cafe

Photos by Kaitlin Steinberg
I'm sorry I originally neglected you, pretty burger.
This year, leading up to our annual Menu of Menus® issue, Kaitlin Steinberg counts down her 100 favorite dishes as she eats her way through Houston. She'll compile a collection of the dishes she thinks are the most awesome, most creative and, of course, most delicious in town. It's a list of personal favorites, things she thinks any visitor or Houstonian ought to try at least once and dishes that seem particularly indicative of the ever-changing Houston foodscape.

I have a confession.

I made a grave mistake a few months ago when I compiled my list of the best burgers in Houston. As I was traversing the city, consuming burger after burger, several people suggested I go to El Real Tex-Mex Cafe and try the El Real Burger. But I resisted. No, I thought to myself. It's too fussy. Fritos on a burger? No. Keep my Fritos and my Tex-Mex and my hamburgers separate, thanks.

But then, a few weeks later, I stopped by El Real, drawn in primarily by the fact that I love the decor of the refurbished movie theater (someone there really likes ZZ Top) and because El Real serves some of the best -- if not the best -- puffy tacos in town. I pulled up a bar stool, ordered a Michelada and began the mental debate between barbecued pork and picadillo when a waiter strolled by with the El Real burger in hand.

This story continues on the next page.

Location Info

El Real Tex-Mex Cafe

1201 Westheimer, Houston, TX

Category: Restaurant

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I'm more interested in a burger I recently saw on a food truck menu; it was made with a combination of beef and chorizo.


Put off by Fritos on a burger? I thought you went to Trinity - Tycoon Flats much?


@rwsteward Mama's Cafe also puts Fritos on their bean burger, and it's delicious (even though the beef isn't as fresh as El Real's).

KaitlinS topcommenter

@rwsteward I actually only went to Tycoon Flats once I think. I was more of a Bombay Bicycle Club or Rebar kinda gal. 

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