Who doesn’t love a good burger? Okay, besides vegetarians?
God didn’t have to make cows taste good, but he did. Especially in thick, juicy, half-pound patties adorned with various vegetables. Being wedged between buttery, greasy carbohydrate discs doesn’t hurt.
I eat a lot of burgers. Living near Houston, there are a lot to be had. I can drive 30 minutes and enjoy Lankford Grocery, Stanton’s City Bites, Grub Burger, and the original Bernie’s Burger Bus. There are plenty of spots I haven’t tried yet, but so long as my cholesterol allows, my burger-sampling shall continue. And with Shake Shack all moved in and In-n-Out on the way, even the chain game is growing beyond the Whataburgers of the world.
While I have more exploring to do in the city, I have eaten my way, for the most part, through Katy’s burger joint options. Here are my top three, and two honorable mentions:
If this were a list of best burgers, Bernie’s would possibly top the list with The Detention, a double-pattied behemoth stacked between two bacon grilled cheese sandwiches for buns. But this is a ranking of the overall eatery, and while I love Bernie’s, I find their regular menu a little redundant and, other than The Detention, lacking in panache.
Still, it is ridiculously tasty, and the heaping helpings of fries and ever-changing menu of special burgers keep things interesting. Having visited their Houston location, I was pumped when they expanded into Katy in La Centerra.
Located in Old Katy near the high school, Willy Burger is a throw-back diner with fantastic customer service and a menu that has the variety Bernie’s lacks. My faves are the Uncle Charlie (pictured as a double, with double bacon…duh), the Fred Sanford (which is not a burger at all, but a fried pork chop sandwich), and the garlic parmesan fries. You’ll also love the Sonic-style ice in your drink and the fact that every time you come you can order something different and not be disappointed. Even their patty melt is good.
The staff is clad in all white and magically appear when your tabled needs bussed. One guy gave me a fist bump and messed with my kids playfully. The burgers are worthy of the second spot on this list. The atmosphere and service is the best of these three establishments by far.
With barely room for a half dozen people to sit and enjoy their food, Joy Love Burger is in a strip mall across from Academy Headquarters on Mason Road. You’ll know you’re at the right place, because there is usually a line stretching out the door, past the tiny metal tables and chairs set up under their awning for extra seating, swelling their capacity to ten or so. What they lack in ambiance they make up for in taste. The namesake burger is a beef patty AND a chicken breast. You’re welcome. The Crazy Burger is a personal fave and a can’t miss. And the bread…oh, mercy. You could squeeze it like a sponge and drink the nectar that spills forth and it be worth the price.
It’s a no-nonsense place. If you want your burger in three minutes and to be doted over, you’re in the wrong place. But if you want the best burger in Katy, Texas, this is your place.
I’m going to give honorable mention to two burger restaurants. One is not from a traditional burger joint, but from Red River BBQ & Grill. The bacon cheeseburger here is served on sourdough and just almost melts in your mouth. Skip the bbq and snag the burger…it’s the best thing on their menu. My second cap-tip goes to the OMG Burger. A halal place, I mourn the lack of bacon, but they turn out a tasty burger and I’ve never had a bad experience. It’s not a once-a month kind of place, but it’s not a place I’d say “no” to for a lunch meet-up.
Titus Benton is the founder and Executive Director of The 25 Group, a Katy-based nonprofit making “less least of these” all over the world. Find out more and make a donation to help the hungry, thirsty, and marginalized in Katy and all over the world.