A recent review by Houston Chronicle critic Alison Cook has food-obsessed Houstonians buzzing over cheeseburger pizza. The James Beard Award-winning food critic experienced pizza mega chain Domino’s for the first time via its recently introduced cheeseburger pizza.
For the uninitiated, cheeseburger pizza combines toppings that arouse the ire of pizza snobs. Ground beef is a must, of course, as are cheese (typically cheddar) and onions. The best examples go a step farther with additional toppings such as pickles, bacon, and even mustard, which adds a pleasant tanginess to the experience. Domino’s spin on the style gets topped with cheddar, onions, tomatoes, and a “ketchup-mustard sauce.”
While the review might have been Cook’s first experience with a Domino’s pie — not a huge surprise for someone who describes herself as “highly and somewhat annoyingly particular about pizza” — the chain enjoys a certain elevated status among in-the-know foodies as the most-acceptable national pizza option. Superstar chef David Chang devoted part of an episode of his Netflix series Ugly Delicious to sharing his affection for the restaurant, going so far as to accompany a driver on a day’s worth of deliveries.
With independent restaurants struggling due to restrictions designed to slow the spread of COVID-19, the question emerged on social media as to whether locally owned options exist for satisfying a cheeseburger pizza craving. After all, the success of chain restaurants like Domino’s during the pandemic has been widely reported.
In the spirit of our attempt to guide J.J. Watt to Houston's best Italian restaurants (and away from Olive Garden), we thought it might be helpful to find local options as an alternative to Domino's.
Sadly, it is somewhat difficult to find local pizzerias that serve cheeseburger pizza. None of the Best Pizza nominees in the 2020 CultureMap Tastemaker Awards serve the dish. Those restaurants include old school favorites Brother’s and Romano's as well as relatively newer options like Pizaro’s, Rosie Cannonball, and BOH Pasta & Pizzeria. Even places with a certain sense of humor about pizza — Buffalo Bayou Brewing Company, for example — tend towards flavors that are more explicitly Texan, either by adding carnitas or barbecue brisket.
Thankfully, at least three locally owned pizza joints do serve cheeseburger pizza. Without further ado, here they are:
The Midtown pizzeria known for its oversized slices keeps things simple with its cheeseburger pizza. Ground beef, mozzarella, cheddar, and onions are the only toppings. Get it as a slice, in round pies from 12 to a massive 30-inches, or as a deep dish Sicilian. In-house and third party delivery available. 713-659-2222
Love Buzz Pizza Pub
The Montrose restaurant known for its late night hours not only tops its Hamburglar with ground beef, cheese, bacon, onions, pickles, and mustard it also adds sesame seeds to the crust. Usually available in both 12 or 16-inch pies, the Hamburglar is the restaurant's featured pizza of the week, which drops the price to $17 for a 16-inch or $4 for a slice (through Sunday, November 22).
Love Buzz recently introduced in-house delivery for Montrose (77006 and 77019 only). Third party delivery is available elsewhere. 713-521-2899
Chef Anthony Calleo established his pizza skills on the Pi Pizza food truck, and he brings those experiences to the popular Montrose bar and restaurant. Available as a deep-dish, Detroit-style pie, the Rudyard’s Hamburglar features seasoned beef, brick cheese, and bacon that’s topped with lettuce, onions, pickles, and “house secret sauce.” Order online for pickup or via third party apps for delivery. 713-521-0521