Hubcap Grill proclaims itself to be “the king of downtown burger joints.” Self centered cockiness or truth?

To be fair, I’m not really a hamburger aficionado. Given the choice, I’ll choose hot dogs over hamburgers 90% of the time. I’m hard pressed to name the top burger places in Houston because I don’t seek them out. I’ll probably never be the one in my relationship to suggest we go out for a burger. You get the point.

But dang, do I crave burgers now that I can’t seem to get a good one.

Sadly, I have only been to Hubcap twice. But I sure liked it both times. Whenever I hear about owner Ricky Craig’s newest hamburger creations, my mouth waters. Cheetos burger? Yes, please. Sometimes I wonder if, unlike Alison Cook, I needed someone who would “dress up” my burger before becoming a true burger fan.

I’ve heard great things about Hubcap’s unadorned burger, but what they’re probably best known for is piling all sorts of things on a burger that you might never have thought would belong there. Craig’s creations besides the Cheetos burger include a Frito Pie burger, Greek burger, and the Black and Bleu burger. I’ve tried the Sticky burger, a bacon cheeseburger smothered with crunchy peanut butter, and the Muffalletta burger, topped with a house made dressing and olive salad. Both were insanely good, the toppings blending perfectly with an incredibly juicy beef patty. The sticky burger was everything my pregnant cravings wanted – salty, crunchy, peanut buttery, meaty. (Next time though, I want to put jelly on it). Both my dining companions each time ordered the seemingly redundant yet apparently irresistable Philly Cheese Steak burger, which has the customary all beef patty topped (yes, topped) with Swiss cheese and grilled thinly sliced ribeye, onions, and green peppers.

The Hubcap Philly Cheese Steak burger

Besides the delicious toppings, I love the way the Hubcap burger itself tastes, and that’s something, coming from someone who isn’t usually partial to burgers. The meat is loosely packed and incredibly juicy while still seared to a char on the outside. The buns are soft and avoid the trap of being bready or starchy which sometimes detracts from the burger. And the fries! Everyone I know swoons over the Hubcap fries. Don’t get Craig started on them unless you like listening to diatribes on potato starch content and double frying.

Hubcap recently started running a burger truck with sliders, whose hours and location you can follow via twitter (@hubcap_grill), for those of you who can’t make it downtown for their lunch hours. Lunch at their downtown location is routinely packed, and seating can be cramped, especially in the hot summer months when no one really wants to sit on the outside patio, so it’s always best to arrive early or be willing to take your lunch to go. Go try for yourself and see if they don’t make a hamburger convert of you!

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