Thursday, November 14, 2013

Review: Downhouse's Lone Star Burger

DownHouse is a Heights area eatery that has a mixture of coffee, cocktails, food and desserts that are meant to appeal to all kinds of palates.  They also have a certain infamy resulting from an incident involving Twitter a couple of years ago that was way overblown.  Since then, I admit I've struggled with whether or not I should ever visit there due to issues surrounding what happened.  However, being the lover of good food that I am and the strong belief there are always many sides to a story, I made my way out on this Fall afternoon with the intent of trying a good, locally sourced burger.  A good number of my friends in the food community have recommended the Lone Star Burger and that's what I had my mind set on when I arrived.

One thing I give Joey Treadway and Chris Cusack many props for is the design of the place.  It makes me think of some reclaimed industrial sites converted to restaurants I visited in Prague, Czech Republic in the mid 1990s with a bit of the ironic such as the German Periodic Table of the Elements with open slots (like a Deutscher Breaking Bad icon) and the references to Charles Darwin's home in the name.  I really like their motto where they say "Who says restaurants have to have bad coffee or bars have to have bad food?"  That is a very good point.

Truth is, while I perused their menus and saw some great cocktails and coffee drinks I definitely want to try later, I was here for the Burger and Dang Well I was going to get it. The Lone Star Burger is covered with melted Cabot Cheddar, Heirloom Tomatoes, Lettuce, House Mustard and House Mayo on a Slow Dough Challah Bun.  If you look at that pic you can see it's a beauty.  I got mine with their Twice-fried French fries and their house iced tea.  The burger is quite good.  Very beefy, not greasy, nicely seasoned and has a good, chewy ground beef texture.  The Cabot Cheddar was melted to gooey levels and worked well with the Heirloom tomatoes--like out of my mom's garden.  The bun is a bit fluffier and less crusty than some Challah bread I've had, but I am not complaining--very tasty and holds all the contents together   The fries were crispy and salty--I love the texture that comes out when they're given the double-fried treatment for sure.

The atmosphere is casual--you have reclaimed diner furniture, leather seats and couches, with an old pub-ish bar and an industrial stripped ceiling.  Personally I liked the collage of reclaimed materials used in putting this place together.  The staff is reflective of this collage of Houstonia between long hair tied back on a guy, to a gal wearing a maid/dirndel with a short skirt and leggings plus headscarf and a half-preppy dark-haired gal with armsleeve tattoos.  Yes folks, it could be accurately said that DownHouse is a metaphor for the hodgepodge rabble of conservatives, liberals, creatives, ordinaries, students, worker bees, moms, recovering addicts, philistines, foodies, and so forth of every education, ethnicity and locale you can think of that make up the Houston area, make it great, and make it a great place to start over and be reclaimed within.

The Houston Restaurant Scene
is Darwinian at times
Report Card for DownHouse: 
     Lone Star Burger: A-
     Twice Fried French Fries: A+
     Speed: B
     Friendliness: B
     Dining/Bar Area: A
     Men's Room: Incomplete
Atmosphere: (Hodgpodge reclaimed): A+

Overall Grade: B+

DownHouse is located at:
1804 Yale St.
Houston, TX  77008
Hours of Operation
9 AM - 12 AM Daily
PHONE : (713) 864-3696

Eat Happy, Y'all!!!

Down House on Urbanspoon

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