What's Eric Eating Episodes 310 and 311
The Ultimate Houston Burger Draft: We select city's must-try burgers, fries, and shakes
On this week’s episode of “What’s Eric Eating,” CultureMap food editor Eric Sandler invites a panel of chefs and local food experts to participate in the Ultimate Houston Burger Draft.
Conducted as a fantasy football-style snake draft, the six participants select burgers, fries, and milkshakes in six categories:
- Houston-based Burger Restaurant: A restaurant such as Burger-Chan or Lankford Grocery that primarily serves burgers
- Smash Burger: The trendy style made with smashed patties and simple toppings such as pickles, onions, and a tangy sauce.
- Fancy Burger: The only burger on the menu at a full service restaurant.
- Fries or Tots: No burger meal would be complete without fries.
- Wildcard: Any other burger from a Houston restaurant or any non-burger dish served at a Houston-based Burger Restaurant such a hot dog or onion rings.
The rules are simple. First, each drafter may only select one item per restaurant. Therefore, all six teams will have items from six different restaurants. Second, once a menu item has been drafted, no other team may select it. That means there are 36 unique choices.
The first round picks proceed as follows:
- Restaurateur Mary Clarkson selects the happy hour burger at Doris Metropolitan as her Fancy Burger.
- Houston BBQ Festival co-founder Michael Fulmer selects the smash burger at Burger Bodega as his Smash Burger.
- Former commercial real estate developer Monica Danna selects the Blue Cheese Waffle Fries at Barnaby’s.
- Riel chef-owner Ryan Lachaineselects the Bacon Cheeseburger at Champs as his Houston-based Burger Restaurant burger.
- Sandler chooses the Chopped Cheese at Burger Bodega as his Wildcard.
- Chef Bobby Matos, culinary director for Rocket Farm Restaurants (State of Grace, La Lucha, and Superica) drafts the Fire Burger from The Burger Joint as his Houston-based Burger Restaurant burger.
Listen to the whole episode to hear all of the results.
On this week’s second episode, Burger Bodega owner Abbas Dhanani joins Sandler to break down the draft and offer an opinion on who “won.” They also discuss some other burgers that could have been drafted, adding 12 more suggestions for listeners to try.
Dhanani also provides an update on the latest happenings at Burger Bodega, including revealing that his next collaboration will feature guest chef (and CultureMap wine columnist) Chris Shepherd, who will appear at the restaurant on Wednesday, September 13. Here's a sneak peek of the Southern Smoke Juicy Lucy.
This burger will sell out fast.Photo by Michael Ma