I will gladly pay you Tuesday for a hamburger today.
I was in Las Vegas for a conference last week and had dinner one night at Burger Bar at the Mandalay Bay Casino. For those not familiar, Burger Bar serves a large variety of burgers, many obscenely expensive (there is a Kobe burger with foie gras on the menu for $60; only in Vegas!). Burger Bar is a favorite of mine for its beer selection; however, the burgers are pretty good. We ordered the American Classic (cheese and bacon), medium please. On the plus side, the burger was cooked a perfect medium, with a pink center. On the minus side, the fries were pretty terrible and there was no mayo on the bun or in the condiment trays on the bar, although they did eventually bring some when we asked.
Here in Houston, we are both blessed and cursed on the burger front. Blessed, because we have a ton of quality burger shops who understand how we like it. "All the way" means what we all expect. Cursed, because the number of places that will cook a burger to order is the rare exception rather than the rule (no pun intended).
A Hamburger Today has come up with a much more extensive categorization for burger styles, but for simplicity sake, I've come up with two categories: thin and thick. Note to all burger shops, if you serve a big thick burger and either refuse or just plain fail to serve it under well done, you're really screwing up.
I also judge a burger place by its container (the bun, extra points for a slight griddle crunch) and its fries. The french fried potato... why is it so hard to get a good burger AND fries? Consider this list: Lankford, Christians, and Hubcap. All serve crappy fries. Why? Why?!?!
I know there are some great burgers out there in the Heights. What are your favorites? Pros and cons? There are quite a few great burger spots just north of 610, so I'm adding that area to the discussion, but let's keep it somewhat close (note the gradient).
I'll start. Stanton's. Pros: Great hand formed burger, bun, and condiments. One of Houston's best. Cons: was cooked past requested medium rare and the fries are awful.