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519 Shepherd Drive
Houston, TX 77007 (map)
Big Red Conundrum –
“You should try the burger at BRC”. These are the words a coworker said to me that, unbeknown(st) to her, would change Burger Tyme history forever. She then said something that I did not quite understand, “The bacon jam is sooo good.”. Oh-kay. Well, this particular coworker has been around Burger Tyme for years so I trusted her recommendation and set out to do a little research. BRC is a gastropub which is something I’ve never heard of before. I’ve come to learn that a gastropub is not so much of a bar as it is a place that has a wide variety of food items on the menu along with more extensive bar type offerings. So now that that mystery is unraveled, what does the acronym BRC stand for? The answer became glaringly obvious upon our first visit. From the giant red rooster statue on the corner of Shephard Dr. and Blossom St. to the many photos and paintings of roosters which seems to be the driving theme of the interior decor, BRC obviously stands for Big Red…. Chicken… At least, that is how you should refer to it in polite, social situations.
Another bit of information that came in handy was that BRC has a special on Mondays where the burger and fries are only $6.50. Done. Say no more. I set my Burger Tyme targets, recruited some friends, and waited… Waited for Monday. Monday finally came and to BRC we went. When we arrived and made our way inside, I was surprised by how nice this place was. It was a little more trendy and upscale than I expected. I think the pictures of chickens everywhere gave this place some much needed farm yard humility. We were given our menus and began to peruse.
Gastropub Bypass –
There is only one burger on the menu. The BRC Pub Burger. That’s it. There is not eight different burgers all marginally different with unexplainable pricing. Just one burger, one price, with the caption “BRC will be happy to try to customize the burger upon your request.”. Well, let’s see, it comes with a 100% White Hereford beef patty ground on-site daily, marinated tomato, aged cheddar, maple bacon, and something called “really nice” sauce. No need for customization here. This sounds amazing! I placed my order for the Pub Burger Special and added a Peanut-Chocolate Chip Cookie milkshake to round out this burger indulgence.
While we waited we fell under the spell of the laid back atmosphere and were in no hurry. This place is designed for enjoying company and conversations. It is dimly lit, comfortable and a little loud. After a reasonable wait my milkshake was brought to the table and yikes. This thing was huge and in what, unfortunately, looked like something a girl at spring break would drink out of. I embarrassingly admitted to the people at the table next to us that it was for my wife. For what it is worth, the milkshake was tasty. It had a nice texture with the peanut-chocolate chip cookie bits slightly blended through the shake. The burgers now made their entrance. On a plate sat an amazing looking burger and a mini fry basket full of fries. Wow! This looked much better than $6.50 burger special I imagined in my head. I picked the burger up and the first thing I noticed was how soft the bun was. It was toasted and molded wonderfully around the contents inside which helped to keep the burger together while I ate. The first bite had it all. The patty was seasoned well, and moist but not juicy. The perfectly melted cheddar cheese added plenty of creaminess to the patty. I am not typically a fan of bacon on burgers however this mapley sweet, thick cut bacon was terrific! The marinated tomato didn’t taste like anything other than a tomato but the flavor was somehow more intense. This was a straightforward, traditional style burger that is perfectly executed! The fries were great too! Hand cut, thin, and twice fried. French fry perfection!
The Wrap It Up –
All the words I know can’t express how much I enjoyed this burger. It was so good that I returned the following four Mondays after my initial visit. Each time it remained the same. $6.50, great burger, great fries.I did opt for the canned coke instead of the giant, girl glass milk shake on these subsequent visits. Per the initial recommendation, we ordered the Bacon Cheddar Biscuit appetizer which includes the “Bacon Jam”. It was awesome! Imagine jam… then add bacon. Brilliant!
A few chinks did, however, appear in BRC’s brightly feathered armor. The waiters were usually very nice, but the host, hostesses, and bartender can be less than friendly at times. There is definitely an air at BRC that dining there is your pleasure and not theirs.
For $6.50 this is the best burger deal in Houston on Mondays. On any other night the Pub Burger is $8.50 and fries are additional $3, the cheapest drink other than water is a $2 canned soft drink (no refills), add in tax and tip and you’ve suddenly got a good but pricey burger at a place that is not really happy you are dining there. For now, that is a price I’m willing to pay but only on Mondays.