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Backstreet Bar and Grille
214 West Methvin Street
Longview, TX 75601-6309(map)
Back in the saddle again-
Longview, Texas! Never heard of it? Well my friend it is the quaint little industrial town nestled quietly between Shreveport, Louisiana and Dallas, Texas. I can’t say that it’s a traveler’s dream destination. Nor can I say that it is an incredibly exciting town. However, if, like me, you are called upon to visit for work, it is not a bad place for a few week project. There are plenty of tennis courts, every chain restaurant you could want, but most importantly an abundance of local restaurants that are actually very good. I won’t go in to the surprisingly great sushi at Osaka on Tyler St, or the great Italian food at Joe’s. No, we are here for burgers. Well, for work, but I make the best of every travel opportunity by trying to find the best burger every where I go! So, upon the recommendation of one of our clients, we traveled to downtown (I use the term loosely) Longview to a place called Back Street Bar and Grill! Now, as the pictures may suggest, this is a bar but they serve lunch and dinner here. It is a favorite of mine because of the atmosphere. There are a few tables, a small dance floor, and beer advertisements that span many decades. I have been to Longview a few times over the past three years and Backstreet has not changed a bit. That is not a bad thing either. I always know what to expect when I go there. Grimy atmosphere with a not so subtle hint of cigarette smoke. So on this occasion I rounded up my co-worker and we met my wife who decided to visit Longview for a day and we headed to Backstreet Bar and Grill! Their menu is surprisingly (not really) diverse. There is burgers, steak, potatoes, salad, and any variation of those four that you can think of. We took our tall bar stool seats at a table with many names carved/burned into it and considered our options. Being that this is not Salad Tyme or Steak Tyme or Potato Tyme, we knew exactly what to order.
Takin it to the streets –
“A cheeseburger with everything on it and fries please”, I said to the nice older lady who came to take our order. I also ordered a coke because I think it was the only drink there that didn’t contain alcohol. My wife and coworker placed similar orders. Now we waited. We admired the nostalgic bar memorabilia and gazed in wonder at the Golden Tee 2000 machine! While there weren’t many people inside with us eating, the workers did seem very busy with to-go orders which is a comforting sign. Before long our order came out. It is the most unglamorous, unassuming burger that you could have. Fortunately it tastes much better than it is presented. The patty is hand formed and especially flavorful being almost on the verge of too salty. It is a fried burger and the cheese definitely helped the flavor but it was a little dry. The bun was a nothing special, run of the mill white burger buns but they butter and toast it on the griddle which is always a plus….always! The veggies were sub par. The lettuce is shredded thinly that it tended to fall out of the burger however the tomato was a decent slice that helped add some much needed juiciness. The fries seemed like they were frozen and store bought, which they very well could have been but they were cooked and salted well enough to make them enjoyable. All in all it is a pretty big meal. The burger takes two hands to start with but can easily be managed with one after a few bites. SO you must be saying to yourself “This can’t be a good burger. This description is horrible”. Well, read on, burger tymer!
The wrap it up-
Folks, this was a good burger. I know, I know. I gave it some pretty harsh critiquing, but the beauty of the Backstreet Burger is that in spite of it’s plane origins, the skillful old ladies put together a tasty burger combination that can satisfy a Burger Tyme craving in a place like Longview. The atmosphere is definitely great for a burger dive and the service is great. The wonderful ladies there treat you very nicely and even remembered me after these many years. This is not an elite burger. This is not a great burger. It is a good burger. While I wouldn’t recommend anyone go out of there way to go to Longview, Texas, I would recommend that if you are there, give Backstreet Bar and Grill a try! You won’t be disappointed! Particularly given the other burger options that exist.
Hint – If you like Patty Melts, Backstreet has a great one. It’s the same burger patty with swiss cheese and grilled onions on rye bread that they grill with butter. Greasy but tasty. Patty Melt Tyme!!!!!!!!!