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The Burger Palace
2800 Sage Road #1100
Houston, TX 77056 (map)
Thanks to a certain “Group Coupon” website, I obtained a coupon to a burger place in Houston that I had not heard of, The Burger Palace. For $7 I could enjoy $15 of all The Burger Palace had to offer. A quick glance at the menu online would show you that $15 is just enough to enjoy a full burger meal (burger, fries, and drink). So on a quiet Friday night, my Burger Wyfe and I made our way to the premier shopping destination in Houston, the Galleria. In the back corner of a strip mall caddy corner to the Galleria itself, The Burger Palace has set up shop. This was about 7:30pm and I expected there to be lots of people enjoying some gourmet burgers before continuing on with there evening, but when we walked in, we found the place rather empty. We were told we could sit any where we like by our polite but melancholy hostess/waitress. We took a seat and began looking over the menu. They proudly serve “100% Akaushi Beef” which is “Rated Higher Than Prime”. Given the average $10 cost for a burger this seemed like a decent deal for kobe style beef. There was a small selection of vastly different burger options including burgers with grilled pineapple, tahini (sesame) sauce, or mushrooms and parmesan cheese. While deciding on what to order I glanced around at the decor, which had a very upscale, modern feel to it. Being that we were the only other couple not already eating, the waitress was patiently waiting for our cue that we were ready to place our order.
King for a day –
I settled in on the “American Classic” which included white cheddar and a secret sauce. Of course, I asked for the addition of a fried egg to round out my favorite burger configuration. My wyfe placed a similar order, minus the egg. She had also found a deal that if you mention Yelp to the waitress, you will get a free milkshake. Feeling obliged to mention this deal we both got complementary chocolate milkshakes. We then opted for an order of the parmesan and rosemary french fries for $5. I was eagerly awaiting the food we ordered and went about watching the burger chef go to work. After waiting for about ten minutes, our shakes arrived. The first sip proved disappointing. The shakes were icy, runny, and the chocolate flavor was very obviously of the Hershey syrup variety. They basically lacked the ice creaminess one looks for in a milkshake. For free, however, I won’t complain.
A few minutes later the burgers and fries made their way to our table. The presentation was interesting. Each burger had a curl of pickle on top and a small spring mix salad on the corner of the plate. It was a nice healthy gesture to suggest I have a salad but it’s Burger Tyme! This burger was a two-hander. I hefted it up and took a bite. The bun was soft but untoasted, a Burger Tyme no-no. The patty was beefy and juicy, as promised, but lacked any notable seasoning. The veggies, which included what they called “butter lettuce”, a slice of tomato and a couple of rings of raw onion, struggled to stand out against the plain flavor of beef . The aged white cheddar needed to be a bit more pungent as there was only slight hint of cheese flavor. The egg did a fine job of adding the buttery, cholesterolly goodness I was hoping for. The parmesan rosemary fries were tasty and crispy but there was no rosemary or parmesan on them. In fact they seemed to be frozen cajun, seasoned fries. For $5 this was a disappointment.
The Wrap It Up –
Let’s sum up. 2 burgers X $10 + add egg $2 + 2 milkshakes X Free + Cajun Season… I Mean Rosemary Parmesan Fries $5 – Group Coupon $15 = a burger bargain of $12 for two people. That’s great right? Not so fast. The coupon was not free and had we not known about the free shakes, they would have been $4 each.For the average diner a burger, fries, and shake will easily set you back $20 after tax and tip. Ouch! Price aside, how does The Burger Palace shake out? Not good I’m afraid. The burgers have the pedigree and appearance of a good gourmet burger but are bland and wholly uninspired beyond the description on the menu. The fries cost way too much for not being fresh cut and the milkshakes seem like an afterthought. Everything that The Burger Palace has attempted falls sadly short of what they are trying to acheive. My recommendation for those seeking creative, inspired gourmet burgers in Houston would be to drive the extra eight miles down Westheimer to Burger Guys.