Burger report: Prince’s

About ten days ago, I saw a slideshow on the Houston Chronicle’s web site on the best burgers in Houston. They weren’t actually ranked or reviewed, nor were their locations even listed; it just showed photos of burgers and named where they were from. I found some of their choices immediately suspect, given that they included the upscale Reef as a candidate. Anybody looking for “beef sliders” with “sriracha remoulade” can’t actually be looking for the best burger in Houston; too fancy, too pretentious. I further questioned the Chronicle’s taste when some of the photos looked way less than appetizing, although I can’t name names because I don’t remember offhand which ones, and the slideshow seems not to be available anymore.

All this, though, got my mom and me interested in researching for ourselves. We’re in agreement that the best burger either of us has ever had was at this bar in Empire, MI, which we just stumbled into on our way to Traverse City about four summers ago. None of us (the trip included Dan and my dad, as well) can remember the name, but we all definitely remember the burgers. So the mythical “Empire” burger will be our gold standard for judging. As with most mythical things, it’s hard to describe the experience accurately, but we’ll just know at some gut level whether a Houston burger measures up or not.

First on our list was Prince’s Hamburgers on Hwy 59. The service was quick, which was a bonus, and the fries were good. Prince’s serves their hamburgers on a toasted poppyseed bun, which was a nice change and which we agreed was the best part of the burger. The only problem was that the patty was really nothing special. It was thin, not juicy, and a little overcooked. My mom also got a sort of lighter-fluid aftertaste off of it, which I didn’t notice, but I can see how that would be a detriment to rating the burger as “the best.” Our overall assessment: good, not great.

Next up: Pappas Bar-B-Q, probably sometime next week.

3 Responses to “Burger report: Prince’s”

  1. Cheryl
    June 21st, 2008 10:50

    Mmmm…I think I’m going to enjoy this series of posts. I haven’t had a decent burger since I’ve left the Bay Area. I don’t think they exist in Seattle, actually, and believe you me, we’ve looked. Part of it may be the Seattle affinity for a condiment that is suspiciously like “special sauce” (gag)…but I guess they need it to cover the taste of their mediocre burgers.

  2. Daniel
    June 22nd, 2008 20:39

    Finally, a downside to living in the Pacific NW. I was starting to think there weren’t any.

  3. Erin
    June 23rd, 2008 08:20

    The funny thing is that my mom and I have much the same criteria for a good burger, which I’ll discusss in my next review. We even order it almost the exact same way: just pickles and mustard, but with cheese for me and without cheese for her. When Dan gets in the mix, he complicates things, because he appreciates fancy elements, like wheat buns.

    Cheryl — I’ll keep it coming, so you’ll have more reasons to come visit Houston again soon.

Leave a Reply