For all of Houston’s culinary diversity, sometimes people just want a good burger. While the city doesn’t lack for options, even a neighborhood that offers as many choices as Montrose has room for another — if it’s good.
Recently, the neighborhood has been buzzing about the arrival of BuffBurger. Although the occasional diner wonders whether “buff” means “buffalo,” the restaurant takes its name from the nickname Paul “Buff” Burden, who owns the restaurant with his wife Sara, and for its all-natural burger patties made with 44 Farms beef — ie, “in the buff.” To emphasize the point, a graphic of a 44 Farms bull decorates one wall. The new location at 1540 West Alabama (corner of Mandell) joins the original on Wirt at I-10 in the Spring Branch/Memorial area.
“I’m from Houston,” Sara Burden tells CultureMap. “Memorial was ‘let’s take a chance. Let’s do it. Let’s see if it works.’ After that, we thought, let’s get into town . . . It took a little longer than we thought, but the building turned out great.”
At just over 2,500-square feet, the new location is a little larger than the original, which comes with some significant advantages. It has room for a 20-tap wall that offers 15 Texas craft beer options from breweries like Saint Arnold, Eureka Heights, and 512, as well as four wines and nitro cold brew from Katz Coffee.
“When we saw the site, we thought this would be a lovely neighborhood to be in. The rendering of the outside with the patio and the trees and the greenery, we thought it would be nice to sit out there.”
The restaurant takes care to make sure its food exceeds the standards set by its decor. The burgers get topped with ingredients like mayonnaise that’s made in-house, locally-sourced goat cheese from Pure Luck Farms, and all the usual toppings like bacon, cheese, and guacamole. Those who want a non-beef patty can choose from a corn fritter, tuna, or chicken (grilled or fried). For dessert, choose from one of eight varieties of Lee’s Creamery ice cream — or combine the Katz cold brew with some vanilla in a milkshake.
Burden says the initial response has been encouraging — save for the occasional disappointed fan of buffalo burgers (who knew?). Neighbors are walking to the restaurant. A group of Menil visitors crossed the street for ice cream. So many families have showed up that every high chair was in use.
Just goes to show that even in Montrose, there’s always room for another good burger restaurant.