Thursday, November 10, 2011

Review: Coal Burger Coal Fired Burgeria in The Woodlands

Update:  I just found out last week (week of May 13-19, 2012) that Coal Burger has closed and that Grimaldi's Coal-fired Pizza will be expanding and taking over their space.  While I'm sorry they've closed, I'm leaving this review up because I did like the concept.  

Grimaldi's Coal-Fired Pizza is a high end, limited run chain that sells awesome Brooklyn Style Coal Fired pizzas.  I've reviewed them and they are a regular pizza stop for me. Now they are experiementing with burgers in their high temperature coal-fired ovens and have 3 locations open so far, one that opened in The Woodlands a few months ago, under the name Coal Burger.  I've actually visited there twice in order to get a real feel for the place, and I can tell you right now, this is a good burger. 

Green Chili Burger
Their menu has a nice selection of different burgers, chicken sandwiches and salads.  They serve only Boylan's all natural sodas, tea, and a fine selection of wines and beer.  They also make thick Gelato milkshakes.  The restaurant,  much like Ruggles Green, is specializing in serving their food in an environmentally friendly, sustainable manner.  For those of you who consider that important, this place has put its money where it's mouth is by using corn-based compostable plastic cups, recycled paper napkins, and even fixtures and plates made from sustainable bamboo.  They even use the tagline "Eat Green. Live Green."

The first time I came I had the Green Chili Burger.  This time I had the steakhouse burger.  Both times I had sweet potato fries seasoned with sea salt, and enjoyed sampling different Boylan's natural sodas.  So without further ado, here are your burger blueprints:

Steakhouse Burger and Sweet Potato Fries
Green Chili Burger:
1/4 lb All natural Niman Ranch Beef Patty
Roasted Green Chiles
sweet jalepenos
provolone cheese
Brioche bun

Steakhouse Burger:
1/4 lb All natural Niman Ranch Beef Patty
horseradish sauce
Sautéed Mushrooms & Onions
Swiss Cheese
Brioche Bun

The 1800 F Degree Coal Fired Oven at Coal Burger
First of all, this beef tastes sweet, has a wonderfuly chewy texture and if you order it medium, it is quite juicy.  Coal Burger defaults to medium well unless you specify otherwise, FYI. When I ordered the Green Chili burger, I defaulted to what was suggested by Coal Burger, but found it a little on the dry side.  Though the cheese and toppings were very fresh and complemented the meat quite well.  I was much happier with the Steakhouse Burger that I ordered medium.  The crew running the coal fired oven had a good idea of how long to broil the burger and it came out true medium:  Pink Centre, Hot and Juicy throughout the burger.  The mixture of the savoury flavours of the creamy horseradish sauce, the umami of thesautéed mushrooms and the acid tartness of the onions and the creamy pungent Swiss Cheese meshed well with the juicy smokey sweetness of the beef for a great burger from start to finish.  Make no mistake folks: THERE WERE NO LEFTOVERS.

The restaurant has a Green, Recycled, Ikea-like, Modern Decor, with an open feel thanks to all the glass that looks out over the Woodland's Waterway.  It has a casual feel to it, but the fact that much recycled material and sustainability were incorporated into its design, it is nice though a tad sterile.  It reminded me a little of Ruggles Green in Design.

The Foodie Professor's Report Card for Coal Burger:
Green Chili Burger: B+
Steakhouse Burger: A
Sweet Potato Fries: A-
Boylan's Sodas: A
     Friendliness: A
     Speed: A
Cleanliness: A
Atmosphere: A-

Overall Grade A-

Coal Burger Coal Fired Burgeria
20 Waterway Ave, Suite 150
The Woodlands, TX 77380
PH: 281-292-6385

And remember:
Eat Happy!!!
Zao an, Y'all!!!

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