We've been on a quest for the perfect burger in The Woodlands. Similar to our quest for the perfect pizza in The Woodlands, this has taken a lot of time, and a lot of failed attempts to get it right. But we finally succeeded with the pizza, when we first dined at Crust Pizza in Panther Creek. The perfect burger, however, seems to be alluding us - or maybe we're just being too judgmental. After all, we loved Coal Burger, adore Hubbell & Hudson Kitchen's burgers, and are over the moon for Crescent Moon's burger. Maybe we just need to go sample them all again. Can we get a volunteer to come along? Point is, in our quest, we made a stop in at Beck's Prime yesterday and, well... we're still searching. Not that it was bad, it really was pretty good! It just wasn't the perfect burger.
Beck's Prime The Woodlands
Beck's Prime is one of twelve locations throughout the greater Houston area and has been in the Grogan's Mill Village Center for quite a while, earning itself a strong reputation among it's regulars. According to their menu and their website, their USDA Certified Angus Chuck burgers are ground fresh daily and grilled over Mesquite wood coals. Their menu also boasts an impressive list of steaks, fish, chicken and salads. Perhaps most unique is that the full menu is available at their drive-thru, allowing for a high-end meal to be picked up and enjoyed at home or the office in the utmost of convenience.
We were greeted with a smile by Prashart, who was manning the counter when we arrived. We told her we wanted to write a review of Beck's Prime and asked for some suggestions. The manager was nearby and offered her suggestions as to the top-sellers; the California Burger and the Bill's Burger. We figured she'd know best, but as only one of us cares for avocado (which is on the California Burger) and he had already decided on Bill's Burger (for the sautéed onions), and I chose the Hickory Burger; plus some of their recently-introduced sweet potato fries as well as their famous French fries. It was a little early in the day for a glass of wine or beer, but the options are there for those that want them.
Okay, let me just get this off of my chest right now - burger joints, take note; please don't put your veggies (lettuce, tomatoes, onions) under the patty. Yes, of course I understand why you do it, the bottom of the bun is usually thinner, therefore more susceptible to possibly soaking up the juices of the patty and subsequent squishiness or crumbling. But if you're serving your burger on a quality bun, this likely won't occur and in the meantime, my burger won't fall apart in my hand every time I take a bite. Think about it: I've got four fingers controlling the top of the burger while the whole thing pivots on my thumb below. Take a bite, it all slides to one side or the other, or out of the bun completely. But I digress...
I had the Hickory Burger ($7.95), a neat burger consisting only of a patty, hickory barbecue sauce and American cheese. I asked for the lettuce and tomato on mine; I like to think I'm getting my veggies in that way. The burgers arrived at our table about 10 minutes after we ordered, which is a pretty good turn-around, and mine was relatively hot. The cheese hadn't melted down to a puddle, so it was still thick enough for me to taste it on the burger rather than miss the dairy goodness. The patty was thick and hearty, though perhaps a bit dry - it had a good flavor, better-than-average, but not fantastic. The lettuce and tomato were crisp and fresh, as was the bun. Overall, I give the Hickory Burger 3.5 out of 5 stars.
The Hickory Burger - Beck's Prime Grogan's Mill Village Center
I get what she's saying about the veggies on the bottom, but then maybe if she ate her burger with both hands instead of going all dainty-like with the burger in one-hand and a napkin in the other, she'd have more control. (she says, "hey, you know I'm not the only one that's observed this!") Anyway, I had the Bill's Burger, ($8.95) though I'm not sure we ever learned who "Bill" is or why he rated a burger named for him. 'Bill's Burger' comes topped with sautéed onions, a slice of cheddar, bacon, jalapeños, prime sauce and lettuce. The manager had warned the jalapeños were especially spicy today, so I opted for mine on the side. The Beck's "Bill's Burger" was served at temp that was more than warm, but not exactly 'hot off the grill', the bun was fresh and the bacon was crisp (something we don't see to often). The meat was cooked to perfection yet most of the flavor was likely subdued by the onions, not that I am complaining. I am not a big fan of jalapeños and as mentioned previously, I got them on the side which is a good thing - I sampled one or two of the rather large cup of them and while they weren't too hot, there were a lot of them - they could have easily dominated the overall flavor of the burger. Reminds of a friend of mine, Kerry who is the "Chief Chilihead Officer" over at Hot line Pepper Products. In a recent chat, we discussed how some people seem to enjoy the burn of the peppers and the effect it must have on their taste-buds... We both agree that peppers should accent the flavor of your meal and not dominate it.
Back to the burger... The sesame seed bun was bakery fresh and had a nice flavor complementing the meal but, there was still something missing IMO that would increase my desire to return to Beck's for another round. Maybe a different burger or one of their 'hot plates' next time will hit the spot a little more on target. I would rate the "Bill's Burger at Beck's Prime, at 3.75 out of 5 stars.
Bill's Burger - Beck's Prime Grogan's Mill Village
French Fries vs. Sweet Potato Fries
We wanted to try both kinds of fries, and as with anything on their menu, they were happy to oblige us, allowing a side of sweet potato fries ($3.55) to be half sweet potato, half French fries. Both varieties were hot and crisp when they arrived, cooked quite nicely to have a crisp outside, tender inside, without excessive greasiness or sogginess. In fact, in both cases, the paper lining the baskets was dry, not a hint of greasy soak-through. We did find both of them to be a little bland, however. And the downside to that lack of greasy sheen is the salt you grind yourself at the table just doesn't stick to the fries. Not that your cardiologist would complain.
Beck's Burgers Grogan's Mill Village
The Bottom Line
With so many Burger Restaurants in The Woodlands, we just don't get to all of them as often as we want to, and it had been quite a while since we'd stopped in at Beck's. But as burger joints go, our quest for the perfect burger continues. We were, however, pleasantly reminded that the next time we want a steak and don't want to fire up the pit, we could swing through on the way home and grab one. During the Spring and Fall seasons, the large patio at beck's looks to be a fantastic place to hang out and enjoy a cold drink with your food.
Patio Seating at Beck's Prime in Grogan's Mill Village
Think we got it wrong? Or did we hit the nail on the head? Let us know in the comments below. And remember, you don't have to take our word for it - give them a try for yourself and decide! Maybe we will see you there as we plan to return for more.