Sawdust Road just south of the Woodlands is home to dozens of small restaurants. Most are forgettable, but there are a few gems, like Hello Taco, Kobe Japanese Steakhouse, and The Olive Oil.

New on the strip is The Omega Grill, an upscale casual American concept from the people behind The Olive Oil. Taking over the physical space that was a succession of two-letter grills (JP's, PJ's, etc.) the former faux 50’s diner space has been transformed.

The new space is comfortable, contemporary, and inviting.

In the kitchen, Hubbell & Hudson Bistro alum Jason Bielefeldt is creating his take on American comfort food favorites, including pork chops, chicken-fried steaks, hot dogs, and a burger made with 44 Farms beef

Our quick lunch at The Omega Grill was fresh and tasty. The new kitchen is finding its groove, and new menu items are being rolled out on a regular basis

We're excited to return and sample more of Chef Jason's menu.

Omega Grill | 399 Sawdust Road | The Woodlands 77380 | 832-299-6665

Update: Robard's excellent Social Hour burger added to the list.

One of the questions we're asked most often is "Where should I eat".

Here is our list of our favorite places to eat burgers in the Woodlands area. This list represents our ideas about the best burgers in the Woodlands. We enjoy burgers at each of these places, and we think you will, too.

Our Favorites

Del Frisco's Grille - This more casual American bistro concept from the highly-regarded steakhouse chain knows its beef, and their burgers reflect this expertise. A custom grind featuring aged sirloin is formed into two quarter-pound patties. High quality cheese, fresh, crisp veggies, and an airy, eggy bun complete the package.

Hubbell & Hudson Bistro - What happens when a classically-trained chef with a love for burgers has access to the best ingredients in the world? The Bistro Burger at Hubbell & Hudson Bistro. Chef Austin Simmons starts with a carefully developed custom grind of prime beef, hand formed into a generous patty and cooked to temperature. It's covered with melted, aged cheddar and thick-cut bacon, then toped with handcrafted veggies, included oven-dried tomatoes, two process onions, and three styles of housemade pickles. No sauces are needed to dress up this master course in burger execution. For our money, this is the best burger to be had in the Houston area.

Robard's - Tucked away on the Social Hour menu may be the Woodland's best burger value. This classic steakhouse burger, a half-pound custom grind based on Robard's USDA prime steaks, is stunningly good. The beefy, expertly-handled patty is finished with high-quality cheese and fresh veggies. The value is amazing: This serious burger and excellent fries (parmesan truffle or plain) for $8.

Also Recommended

Beck's Prime - Mesquite is the key word at the well established local chain. Certified Angus beef, your choice of cheeses, sauces, and fresh veggies have kept burger lovers coming back to Beck's for decades.

Crisp - This Heights import burst on the Woodlands scene and caused quite a stir with it's Italian-accented take on casual American cuisine. The well executed burger is highlighted by addictive purple onions marinated in balsamic vinegar. It's a surprising blast of acid that pairs nicely with the high quality, hand-formed beef patty.

Fielding's Wood Grille - An obsession with high-quality ingredients and unique flavor profiles elevates Fielding's above the norm. Chef Edel Goncalves starts with 44 Farms angus beef, and artfully combines it with hand-selected cheeses, veggies, and housemade sauces to create some of the most unique burgers we've tasted. We keep coming back to his Texas Blues burger, featuring Point Reyes bleu cheese, pickled red onions, fig jam, and jalapenos.

Grub Burger - This college station import grinds its own beef, bakes its own buns, and combines this solid base with a variety of fresh ingredients to create some unique burger combinations. Don't be afraid to sample the often odd-sounding monthly special - a recent muffuletta burger was a surprising favorite.

Jax Burgers - This local take on an old-school burger joint serves up big, hand-formed patties with plenty of melted cheese and your choice of toppings. There are no gourmet pretentious here - just big, classic burgers executed well.


One of my least favorite things to do is to write a bad review about a new, locally owned restaurant. So our review of JerryBuilt burgers was a tough one to write. We loved the concept, we loved their attention to detail... but we didn't love the burger. We visited several times, and the odd beef patty that so put us off the burger was apparently by design. So we shared our impression, which wasn't a good one.

We'd recently heard that there had been some changes at JerryBuilt, first and foremost being a new, improved burger patty. We were invited by JerryBuilt to come sample the new burger, and in the interest of fairness, we decided to give 'em another chance.

We visited the JerryBuilt location in the Woodlands, located just off the ring road surrounding the Woodlands Mall. The location is bright and airy, with ample parking.

Stepping inside, we see that the interior of the restaurant has undergone a subtle refresh since our last visit. But the formula is still the same; counter service, fresh food, lots of options. 

We ordered our traditional classic cheeseburger in order to avoid being distracted by too many toppings. In short order the burger arrived, and the presentation had changed since our last visit; gone was the clever but somewhat unwieldy vertical delivery of the burger.

Biting into this burger was a revelation. Gone was the weird texture that ruined the old burger. Front and center was a handmade beef patty, slightly juicy, with an aggressive char and a big, beefy taste. The nice quality American cheese (our choice) and the fresh, crisp vegetables completed this classic burger.

Comparing it to the old, flawed burger was like night and day. This is a very respectable burger, and one we'd not hesitate to order again. We're very pleased that JerryBuilt addressed their problems; they're now an establishment that we can fully recommend.

If you'd given up on JerryBuilt, give them another try. We think you'll be pleasantly surprised.

JerryBuilt Homegrown Burgers | 1335 Lake Woodlands Dr. (on the mall ring road)
The Woodlands, 77380 | 281-367-2874 |


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We were excited to hear about new restaurant projects from Johnny Carrabba, a scion of the famed Mandola restaurant family, and founder of one of Houston's great Italian spots, Carrabba's.

So on a recent weeknight, we met friends before a concert for a meal at Mia's Table, the new fast casual comfort food concept from Carrabba. Mia's is named after his daughter, a charming tradition that continues with his other new spot, Grace's, named after his grandmother.

Mia's is a casual, inviting space, reminiscent of an older (but meticulously maintained) Hill Country home. Patrons order at the counter, and are presented with an eclectic menu of Texas comfort food: Sandwiches, tacos, burgers, and an assortment of fried entrees, from chicken to chicken-fried steak to fried shrimp and snapper. We ordered at the counter from a helpful and friendly teenaged staff member, and were off to find our seats.

The sprawling dining room was filled with families and small groups enjoying an early dinner; the organizer of our gathering had reserved a semi-private space in the rear, away from the hustle and bustle. The room had a distinct energy; patrons were enjoying their meals, laughing, and seemed to be in a boisterous mood. Mia's is not the spot for a quiet, intimate dinner, but it's a great place to hang out with friends and family.

Our food arrived shortly.

No one will be surprised that we had to sample Mia's cheeseburger, an interesting architectural diversion from this classic American staple. The de rigeur beef patty, slightly melted cheese, and fresh veggies were placed on a distinctly oval bun - the two patties were essentially side-by-side, instead of stacked. This is an unusual arrangement, and resulted in a lot more bun than we prefer; we were essentially eating two smallish burgers instead of one big one. The patty was cooked medium well and was slightly dry; the veggies were fresh, and the bun had a nice texture but very little flavor.

All in all, a solid burger, but not one we'd go out of our way to order again.

Next up was the Chicken Fried Chicken, a generous chicken breast breaded in the style of a chicken fried steak (the more traditional Southern Fried Chicken is also available) and topped with cream gravy seasoned with bits of jalapeño.

This dish was a winner - moist, juicy, well-breaded chicken, with a nice peppery kick, accented by just enough cream gravy and a mild jalapeño burn. Balance was the word that came to mind with the chicken; good balance between the meat and the crust, good balance between the fresh chicken flavor, the creamy gravy, and the spicy counterpoints.

Sides were a mixed bag. Mashed potatoes were very good; creamy, smooth, with just enough pepper to be interesting. Green beans were uninspired, limp, and lacking in flavor.

All in all, Mia's is a nice addition to the Kirby restaurant scene. It's a great spot for families and groups looking for a quick bit of Texas-style comfort food in an upscale but casual setting.

We'll be back.

Mia's Kitchen | 3131 Argonne Street | Houston, Texas 77098 | 713-522-6427 |

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The restaurant scene in the Woodlands is growing and thriving. New places open each month, but none have intrigued us as much as the Republic Grille, a new concept debuting in the Panther Creek Village Center in the Woodlands.

Republic Grill replaced one of the Woodlands' oldest restaurants, Ace Chinese, a restaurant that had lasted well beyond its sell-by date due to the fact that it was one of the only Chinese delivery spots serving the central Woodlands.
We'd heard rumors about Republic Grill, and were excited to hear (via our Woodlands Area Foodies Facebook group) that Monday was opening day. So we changed our lunch plans and headed over to investigate.

We weren't prepared for the full experience of walking in the doors. The dank, dated Ace Chinese interior was nowhere to be seen. The new space was stunning.
We were immediately impressed by the total makeover of the location, which had apparently been gutted down to the studs. The interior has an upscale, rustic vibe that's immediately at home in the community. Lots of stone, wood, dark iron, and photograph from around the community locate the restaurant firmly in the Woodlands. This isn't a chain that's just moved in from Los Angeles.
It was time for lunch, and after scanning the lunch menu, we were, not surprisingly, drawn to the Republic Burger. Our server took our order, and the burger appeared after a short delay.
The nicely charred, hand-formed patty of certified Angus beef had the flavor of open-flame grilling which accented its rich, beefy undertone. As requested, it was cooked medium rare. A generous slice of cheddar cheese had been melted atop the burger, and it was stacked with crisply fresh purple onion slices and lettuce at our request. We chose the jalapeño cheese bun from the proffered options, and it added a gentle whisper of heat to this well designed classic burger. Waffle fries that accompanied it were seasoned well with salt and pepper; we applaud a restaurant whose kitchen isn't afraid to season its food.
We were so taken by lunch that when our evening ran late and it was time for dinner, we gathered up friends and family and headed back for round two.
The restaurant is perhaps even more inviting by night, with the rich surfaces and dramatic lighting creating a very cozy space. We could easily imagine the Republic Grille being the backdrop for an intimate date night. Being the Woodlands, there were plenty of families in attendance; apparently word had gotten out that they'd opened.
Our large group ordered a variety of items. My son quickly zeroed in on the chicken-fried steak, the entree I'd planned to order.
Fortunately, I was able to snare a bite before the budding power lifter devoured his dinner. The steak is a slab of certified Angus beef, very tender and lacking the gristle that is often found in this dish. The crust was light, crispy and flavorful. Finishing off the entree was house made cream gravy, subtly peppery, rich, and delicious. Without a doubt this is the best classic chicken-fried steak that I've found in the Woodlands area.
My bride ordered the lighter Texafornia sandwich, a grilled chicken breast topped with avocado, tomatoes, red onions, and a tangy chipotle mayo.
Presented on the jalapeño cheese bun we tried at lunch, this lighter sandwich featured nicely grilled chicken, and the flavor accents of the chipotle and tomato melded well with the lush, creamy avocado.
Since my son had spoken for the chicken-fried steak, I perused the well edited menu for a different entree to try. My attention was drawn to the Chicken Woodlands entree, a grilled chicken breast smothered with goat cheese, sundried tomatoes, and finished with a lemon basil sauce.
This unique combination of flavors was an unqualified success. The smoky grilled chicken and the lush, creamy goat cheese were balanced by the tangy counterpoint of the lemon basil and the sundried tomatoes. Chicken dishes are often an afterthought on restaurant menus, but this one deserved its spot at the top of the entree list. The sides were tasty as well; we sampled the light, airy sweet potato cakes, and the beautiful large stems of grilled asparagus.
We've learned not to set our expectations too high on a restaurant's opening day, but the pros behind Republic Grill opened with guns a blazin'.  Everyone we spoke with, from the partners (who bring experience from Tailgator's and Stadia Grill) to the managers, to the well-trained servers were smiling, confident, and had obviously worked hard to open this brand new concept with such polish and verve. We spotted some familiar faces from around the Woodlands, including Hali Hensley, our favorite server from Fielding's Wood Grill, who was now putting her culinary expertise to work in Republic Grille's kitchen, and Kimberly Lewis, who was working the floor in her role as manager, making sure the lunch service ran smoothly.
We can confidently recommend this restaurant to anyone looking for hearty, well-prepared Texas cuisine served in an upscale atmosphere that's perfect for family and friends. It's a great addition to the neighborhood and to the Woodlands. We're looking forward to visiting again soon.

The Republic Grill | 281-719-5895 | 4775 W Panther Creek Dr | The Woodlands |

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Growing up in Houston, Bennigan's was one of those restaurants that I felt was always going to be around. They were a better version of Chili's or TGI Friday's, with all the expected casual dining standards, plus a few signature items. The bar was also a hoppin' happy hour scene, with groups of coworkers unwinding after a hard day at the office.

Over the years, as other restaurants in their segment updated their concepts, Bennigan's stayed pretty much the same. That turned out to be their undoing, because the chain declared bankruptcy in 2008, with most of the stores (including all of the ones in greater Houston) closing shortly thereafter.
I was surprised to hear that Bennigan's was returning to the Woodlands - it would be the second first location to return to the Houston area. They selected a location that has housed several short-lived establishments, most recently Aldo's. The building is on I-45, and was somewhat dark and uninviting.
The new Bennigan's opened their doors last week, and we decided to check them out recently for lunch. Our first impression was a good one; Bennigan's has gutted the building, and the result is much brighter and far more modern.

The Bennigan's dining room
We like how the space was visually divided into different areas - the design is open, but not too open, avoiding the barn-like ambiance that seems to plague many new establishments.
When we've mentioned to friends that we tried the new Bennigan's, we keep getting asked one question, over and over again: "How's the Monte Cristo?" This sweet and savory deep fried sandwich was Bennigan's signature dish, and we couldn't wait to see if it was still as delicious as we remembered.

Monte Cristo at Bennigan's

We're happy to report that the Monte Cristo may be even better than we remembered. Layers of thinly-sliced ham and turkey and American cheese are batter-dipped and deep fried, dusted with powdered sugar, and served with a side of raspberry preserves. The coating was golden brown, delightfully crisp on the outside and tender within, without a hint of greasiness. We approve, although our doctor might not.

But man does not live (long) by Monte Cristo alone, so we sampled some of the other items on the menu. We couldn't resist the Guiness Glazed Bacon burger, a half-pound patty cooked to order (although medium rare was more like medium well, a common problem) and glazed with a Guiness Stout-based sauce, topped with cheddar, thick-cut bacon, and fried onion strings.

Guiness-Glazed Bacon Burger at Bennigan's

Biting into the burger we were first hit by the tangy-sweet flavor of the Guiness glaze; the mild cheddar flavor and the smokiness of the bacon were good counterpoints. The onions added more texture than flavor, but the large patty's juicy beefy flavor came through the melange of toppings. This is a solid burger, and one we'd order again.

A dining companion chose the Irish pot roast, which turned out to be a credible though not memorable version of the classic comfort food. Along with the pot-roasted beef were potatoes, carrots, onions, and a bit of garlic.

Irish Pot Roast at Bennigan's
We were excited to learn of Bennigan's rebirth, and were pleased to see the Woodlands chosen for a  Houston area location. The comfortable atmosphere, friendly and competent service, and well prepared food should pack in the guests looking for a hearty, comfortable meal. The classics are all represented, and they've stood the test of time. We're happy to declare Bennigan's relaunch a successful one, and look forward to returning for another Monte Cristo soon.

Bennigan's | 18450 I-45 South | Shenandoah, TX 77384 |

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The opening of a new independently-owned restaurant in the Woodlands is always an exciting thing for us. We look forward to discovering a great new place to enjoy and recommend to our friends and readers.

We were particularly happy to hear about Fielding's Wood Grill, the new project from Cary Attar and chef Edel Goncalves. Cary has a long history in the culinary industry, most recently as founder of Hubbell & Hudson, the organization that operates a gourmet market, a cooking school, and two exceptional restaurants in the Woodlands. Chef Edel opened the Hubbel & Hudson Bistro and the late, lamented Rouge on Westheimer.
Fielding's is Cary's new concept, and it is an ambitious one. It is a cozy, upscale, casual restaurant located on Research Forest near Six Pines, in a small new shopping center. The decor is modern with a rustic twist, and the space is an appealing spot for friends, families, or couples out on a relaxed date.

Housemade is the central theme at Fielding's: Meats are ground in-house, bacon is smoked in-house, bread is baked in-house, ice cream is churned in-house. We applaud this very labor-intensive approach to creating food, and were looking forward to seeing how well Fielding's executes this non-trivial plan.

Cary Attar greets guests at Fielding's Wood Grill
Clever touches are seen all over the space, including something we've never seen before. An iPad bar. Fielding's guests can sit down at one of the iPads and surf the web (we recommend as a good starting point) Facetime with friends, or check their e-mail.
iPad Bar at Fielding's Wood Grill
The kitchen at Fielding's is open to the restaurant. Behind the order counter you'll see a glass-front rotisserie, the cooking line as well as other prep areas. To the sides you'll see the grinding room where all the proteins are prepared, and a charcuterie locker, where the housemade bacon is hung to age.
Open Kitchen at Fielding's Wood Grill
The focus at Fielding's is on burgers - both traditional and extremely creative. Everything from a simple hamburger to exotic meats like buffalo and tuna are available.
We stepped up to the counter, and placed our order with the energetic (and well trained) staff member. When I asked for suggestions there were given without hesitation (and they turned out to be spot on.)
For this first visit, we decided to try something on the traditional side. The Smoke burger is Fielding's take on a traditional bacon cheeseburger, albeit an elevated one. We customized ours by removing the egg (we're not big fans of eggs on burgers).
Smoke Burger at Fielding's Wood Grill
What appeared is a very modern, housemade rendition of the classic bacon cheeseburger. Fielding's sources 44 Farms natural Texas black angus, and grinds it in-house. It's topped with house-smoked, wood-grilled bacon, aged Italian provolone, oven-dried tomatoes, grilled onions, shredded iceberg lettuce, and a housemade truffle bacon mustard, all constructed atop a freshly baked milk bun.
The result was delicious. The high-quality 44 Farms angus was soft and lush, with a smooth, almost creamy beefy swagger, oozing with juices. The mild provolone didn't outshine the beef, and the excellent housemade bacon added its smoky counterpoint. The largeish grilled onions added a hint of acidity, and the rich tomato flavor layered upon that. The mustard wasn't overpowering at all, and used its tanginess to tie all of the different tastes together. The smallish milk bun was a good choice; the meat-to-bread ratio was spot on.
We sampled two different types of fries. The house fries were outstanding. Hand cut in house, fried to perfection with a crisp outer layer and a slightly dense, slightly chewy interior, seasoned delicately with a hint of smoky paprika. We dipped them into the truffled bacon mustard, and the result was superb.
Hand Cut Fries at Fielding's Wood Grill
We also tried the truffled fries. Perhaps due to the different technique of preparation these fries were somewhat lighter and airier than the house fries, befitting the aroma of truffle and freshly shaved parmesan. Another excellent fry. Making great hand-cut french fries is not an easy task, but Cary's team has nailed it.
Burgers are clearly the specialty at Fielding's, but one of the other featured items are their milkshakes. They start with housemade ice cream, and the attention to detail is impressive: Fielding's specified large diameter straws that make imbibing these thick shakes less likely to be hernia-inducing.
We sampled the chocolate malt, Madagascar vanilla, and a unique strawberry offering with basil and bits of pretzel. Our favorite was the chocolate malt - a deft hand was used in the proportions, so the malt flavor complemented the housemade chocolate ice cream rather than overpowering it. We enjoyed the vanilla and strawberry shakes as well, and were impressed by the care taken to move these traditional flavors away from the ordinary, without losing what is elemental about each one.
Chocolate Malt at Fielding's Wood Grill
Madagascar Vanilla Shake at Fielding's Wood Grill
Strawberry Shake at Fielding's Wood Grill
All in all we were very impressed by our experience at Fielding's Wood Grill on opening day. Many restaurants aren't ready for prime time when they open their doors, but Cary Attar and his team of professionals has things running very smoothly. We look forward to returning for a follow up visit soon.
Fielding's Wood Grill | 1699 Research Forest, The Woodlands, TX 77380 |

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As the Woodlands grows, many new burger concepts are moving into the area. But savvy locals know that burger joints aren't the only place to get great burgers. Many of the higher-end restaurants offer burgers on their lunch and dinner menus, but they're rarely the focus of the establishment.

Hubbell & Hudson Bistro is different. Executive Chef Austin Simmons is no stranger to high-end cuisine, creating composed entrees that have garnered recognition from savvy diners and critics alike. We think he's the most talented chef working in the Woodlands today, and that his dishes can hold their own against anything you can find in the Houston Area.

But Chef Austin's culinary attention isn't restricted to his superb entrees - the chef has a love of excellent burgers.

What happens when a classically trained chef devotes his refined palate and considerable talent to creating great burgers? Over the past few years we've been extremely impressed by the creations of Chef Austin, first in his tenure at the late, lamented Tesar's Modern, and more recently in his position as executive chef at Hubbell & Hudson.
For this chef, burgers are more than an item on his menu. They're a passion. Talking with him about burgers, his eyes light up just as they do talking about the exotic tasting menus he devises to satisfy his most demanding guests. The same attention to detail, and the same quest to source the highest quality ingredients is present here, and that's a rare thing in the world of burgers.
And unlike some chefs who develop one impressive burger and rest on their laurels, Chef Austin is constantly experimenting with new creations. The best ones appear on his seasonally-changing menus at the Hubbell & Hudson Bistro. Knowing of our love for burgers, the chef invited us to sample his latest creations.
First up was Chef Austin's latest take on a classic cheeseburger. Dubbed the New Bistro Burger, it's a half-pound patty of ground sirloin topped with aged Vermont cheddar. (As we've heard from both Chef Austin and Chef John Tesar, if you're not going to use a high quality cheese on a burger,  don't use any cheese at all.) The burger is dressed with thick-cut applewood smoked bacon, bibb lettuce, oven dried tomatoes, and served on a challah bun.
Biting into this burger we were hit first by the rich beef swagger. Cooked a perfect medium rare, and oozing succulent juices , the flavor of the sirloin was accented by the creamy beautifully melted, slightly sharp cheddar. The smoky bacon was a superb counterpoint, and the slightly chewy texture contrasted well with the soft, tender beef. We're not usually a fan of tomatoes on burgers, but the chef's oven-dried examples brought a bit of acidity and tang to the burger without adding too much moisture. All the flavors were in harmonious balance - each spoke with a distinct voice. In summary, the New Bistro Burger is a perfect example of a classic burger that's been crafted by a focused, talented chef. If you enjoy a classic bacon cheeseburger, this may very well be the best one you'll have ever tasted.
The second creation was as exotic as the first was traditional. The Sirloin & Braised Short Rib Burger is built around (not surprisingly) a patty that is a blend of ground sirloin and braised, shredded short rib. Cheese isn't a part of this creation - instead, the desired creaminess is derived from a petite slab of seared whole foie gras, skillfully cooked and sporting a gorgeous sear. Bacon is replaced by 600-day aged Numero Uno proscuitto, and the greenery is unique lemon-accented arugula. The burger is dressed with a subtle mushroom puree. On the side is an ounce of a port demi glace that can be added at the diner's discretion. Add it.
If you don't like to sample burgers that are beyond the range of the traditional, stick with the New Bistro Burger. But if you venture out to enjoy a bit of culinary adventure, you will be amply rewarded by this burger. The complex, earthy flavors from the sirloin/short rib patty combine with the smooth, buttery richness of the the foie to create a lush base, and the aged proscuitto brings a slight hint of saltiness and sweetness, and the more elastic texture creates a substantial mouthfeel. The meat is moist and tender, but not oozing in great quantities, no doubt attributed to the less fatty short rib.

The smooth mushroom puree provides a contrasting sort of earthiness, and the sharp, bright flavors of the lemon-infused arugula combine with the acidity and tang of the port demi to create powerful high notes that balance the deep, earthy character. This decidedly untraditional creation is a lush, powerful burger, with a symphony of distinct flavors, and the sum is considerably greater than each of the excellent ingredients that Chef Austin has combined.

Many chefs add high-end burgers to their menus, with varying degrees of success. We'd place Chef Austin Simmons' burgers alongside the best elevated burgers we've ever enjoyed, those of chefs like Daniel Boulud, Hubert Keller and John Tesar. Each of these talented men puts his encyclopedic culinary knowledge behind each burger he designs, and burger lovers owe it to themselves to sample their creations to experience just how superlative a master chef's burger can be. Houstonians are lucky that Hubbell & Hudson Bistro doesn't require a plane ticket as a prerequisite for this culinary experience.
Hubbell & Hudson Bistro | 24 Waterway Ave | The Woodlands, TX 77380 | 281-203-5641

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Residents of the Woodlands have no shortage of good burger places in the area. From national franchises to local chains to mom-n-pop stores to chef-driven restaurants, folks in the Woodlands can eat burgers every day for a month and not visit the same joint twice.

And yet the new burger concepts keep coming. As your intrepid servants, we feel that it is our duty to check out the most interesting burger concepts and pass on to you the ones that are worth a visit.

The Woodlands Waterway neighborhood is now home to the Houston area's first BurgerFi location. BurgerFi is a Florida-based burger chain that picks up where other "better burger" concepts leave off.
BurgerFi Woodlands Waterway location
A primary focus is on healthier, all-natural ingredients, including grass-fed, never frozen burger patties. Uniquely, BurgerFi offers different types of patties to choose from, including grass-fed Natural Angus, 28-day dry-aged ground brisket, and crisp quinoa-based veggie. They even offer an all-day breakfast burger, with ingredients such as bacon drizzled with maple syrup and hash browns.
Clearly, this isn't your average burger joint. But how do these interesting creations taste? We find out.
(Disclaimer: BurgerFi was so anxious for us to sample their food that we were invited along with a hundred of our closest friends to sample the food on the day before the opening. BurgerFi picked up the tab, and also wooed us with swag including sunglasses and cool stretchy bracelets. We returned for a second visit on our own dime, and thus this qualifies as an actual review, not a retelling of a media preview.)
As purists, we wanted to sample a basic burger in all its nearly-naked glory. Some burger chains hide a mediocre burger patty behind a lot of "gourmet" toppings, and we think this is like putting lipstick on a pig. (We're looking at you, The Counter.) So we started with a basic double bacon cheeseburger, selecting American cheese from the available varieties.
Cheese is generously applied on the bacon cheeseburger at BurgerFi
What arrived was a petite, 4" bun piled high with two quarter-pound hand-formed patties, freshly cooked thick-cut bacon, and a generous portion of melty American cheese. Veggies were crisp (in the case of the lettuce) or nicely grilled (the onions.)
Biting into the freshly branded (with the BurgerFi brand logo) bun revealed a lush beefy flavor, accented by the mild American cheese. The beef was cooked medium well, but hadn't lost its juiciness; a credit to BurgerFi's process. The bacon added a nice smoky and slightly peppery undertone, and the veggies brought welcome crispness and a zing of acidity to the mix. All in all a nicely balanced burger, which we devoured in record time.

How does it compare to other "better burgers"? I enjoyed it more than Five Guys, but less than Smashburger or Beck's Prime. My biggest complaint was the size. Rarely do I feel hungry after eating an upscale burger, but about one and a half of these would have been perfect. For light eaters this may be a positive.

We also sampled several of the most popular sides: Fresh-cut fries, Parmesan and herb fries, and the ginormous onion rings.
Yes, that is a single onion ring on the left.
Clearly, the highlight was the onion ring. Huge, freshly cut union slabs were divided into rings, generously breaded with a barely-sweet batter, then deep-fried to golden brown crispness. The flavor was superb; the only downside was that the rings were so large that a knife and fork were required to eat them.
The fries were tasty but unremarkable. We preferred the extra flavor provided by the parmesan and herb dusting. We can't help but wonder if the trouble and expense of cutting fresh potatoes is worth it.
We also sampled the interesting brisket burger. Topped with both swiss and bleu cheese, two quarter-pound patties of dry-aged ground brisket brought a very different flavor profile to the table.
Brisket Burger at BurgerFi
The rich, beefy flavor of the regular Angus patty was replaced by a deeper, more earthy and robust flavor, reminiscent of a barely smoked beef brisket. The swiss and bleu cheeses added a lush, tangy tone. It was a tasty sandwich, but the patty just didn't say "burger" to us. We don't think this burger is for everyone, but some folks are going to love the different approach to creating a cheeseburger.
Finally, our favorite. The veggie burger. OK, we're kidding. We didn't try the veggie burger. You should know better.
Downsides? The burgers aren't huge, and the meals are a bit more expensive than we'd prefer, attributable to the slightly pricey fries and drinks.
All in all, we enjoyed the offerings at BurgerFi, and feel that they are a nice new option for burger lovers in the Woodlands. 
BurgerFi | 1501 Lake Robbins Blvd | The Woodlands 77380 | 713-389-5826

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The McDonald's Big Mac may very well be the most popular hamburger in the world. But how is it made? Is the sauce a secret? Dan Coudreaut, Executive Chef, McDonald's, shows us how to make a Big Mac at home from ingredients you can get at the grocery store.

Bon appetit.

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