I would normally consider Stanton's outside the Heights, but hey if Heights Blog considers it part of the Heights, that's good enough for me. A couple of my friends went to Stanton's for the first time and were fairly impressed, so Stanton's has been on my mind today. I originally wrote this review for the Fearless Critics, but it didn't make the cut. I think that's a damn shame, but Stanton's is starting to get the following they deserve. The burger market sure is crowded in Houston, but I truly believe Stanton's serves one of the best burgers in town. Here goes.
Houstonians are used to finding some of the best hamburgers in the dingiest of locales, and Stanton’s certainly qualifies. Stanton’s City Bites occupies a non-descript grocery store in the shadows of downtown Houston. The tattered storefront is reminiscent of a classic New Orleans neighborhood convenience store, complete with a well worn interior and uneven foundation. It’s the kind of place where a handful of dropped marbles would congregate in the front corner. Your instincts may say “stay away,” but if you stick to your guns, you’ll be rewarded with one of the best burgers in this burger crazed city.
Stanton’s cheeseburgers are a tour de force. The meat is fresh ground and (thankfully) cooked to order, although they tend to overcook (order medium rare for a pink medium burger). The hand-formed burger patty is substantial, thick, juicy, and well seasoned. Ordered all the way, the burgers come with a slice of tomato, crisp romaine (not iceburg) lettuce, and fresh sliced red onions. Condiments (for flavor only) include a small swipe of mustard and mayo. As with every great burger, the sum is greater than its individual parts.
Regrettably, the sides don’t live up to the burgers. The French fries are previously frozen, with an unfortunate manufactured crunch on the outside. The tots are a slight improvement, but are still only school cafeteria quality. The onion rings are the class of the sides, which isn’t saying much. Like the burgers, all of the sides are served in to-go Styrofoam containers and will turn soggy if not opened within a few minutes. Drink options are surprisingly good, with various bottled sodas (including Mexican Cokes), teas, and other pedestrian beers. Also present are an assorted selection of questionable 40 ounce beverage options, all individual selections chilled, many available in cases to go.
Run by a hospitable Asian couple, the restaurant does an admirable job of fulfilling orders. While all items are cooked to order, there is usually little wait. Keep in mind that there are no tables to eat inside the store and everything is strictly To-Go. Burgers this good are best enjoyed super-fresh, so we suggest taking your order to a nearby park, or better yet, just go to it in the comfort of your automobile. And remember, take plenty of napkins.