Moving into town is giving me the opportunity to try more versions of one of my favorite things to eat, the hamburger. Two chains that have recently moved into Houston are SmashBurger and Five Guys.
I first tried Smashburger. They get their name because the cooking method involves smashing the hamburger patty onto the grill. The burger is hot and juicy and greasy (as a burger should be) and is very good. I also really enjoyed their Smashfries. Sometimes I can take or leave fries, but these fries are thin and are seasoned with rosemary, garlic and olive oil. Yes please! The first time I ate there I ate in the restaurant and the presentation is very nice for a burger place.
I went to Smashburger a few more times before I tried Five Guys. I happened to be in the neighborhood of one of their locations and I was hungry so I stopped in. The Five Guys menu is much smaller and the whole feel of the place is much more stark versus the almost "restaurant" feel of Smashburger. The regular burger is served with two patties and the fries are thicker and fresh cut. I was surprised that I liked the fries as much as I did because as I mentioned I'm not a huge french fry eater. I was halfway through the fries before I realized I was really neglecting my burger. I'm not sure if that is a statement about the fries or the burger but I was not a big a fan of Five Guys as I was of Smashburger. I walked out after my meal sure that I had a clear winner.
Yet, of course, things aren't always so cut and dry in life. Last night I went to Katy to see a fellow photographer's photo exhibit opening. After I stopped at the exhibit I needed to eat dinner and there was a Five Guys in the area so I decided to stop in. I did not order the french fries this time and just had the burger. Two bites in I started slowing down to savor each bite. Halfway through I didn't want it to end. It was good. It was really good.
So now what? They are tied in my mind, but I can see a day where Five Guys might pass Smashburger. Regardless I have two wonderful new places to grab a burger. So far my favorite burger in Houston has been at Christian's Tailgate, but since that is a bar you won't find me there very often (and never alone). And of course I can just start working my way through this blog of burger places. Sounds like a tasty, tasty plan.