Upon first entering the newly opened Coal Burger in The Woodlands, you can't help but notice at least 2 things - 1, the enticing aroma of the soon to be had, coal fired goodness and 2, the mass of lime green T-shirt clad worker bees buzzing around and asking if you need any help in deciding what to order. And that aroma - it instantly reminded of the local "Home Burger" I used to frequent during my high school years. I couldn't say if "Home Burger" was using coal but I do know were making burgers on a similar type of fiery grill.
So why would someone have trouble with the menu? Well, we could read it just fine but, it's proximity to the front door might be an issue as person A stops to read it while persons B, C, D, etc. attempt to enter.
And that would be the only less than positive attribute for the remainder of our visit. The staff was friendly and eager to accept our food request and we were promptly on our way to fill our drinks at the fountain. We ordered one beverage along with a water and were then handed 2 cups of the same size. None of those tiny little Styrofoam cups you might get at other places when you prefer just simple H2O with your meal at Coal Burger! Drink choices are many with flavors of Boylan pure cane sugar sparkling soda.
The dining area (seats between 30 and 60 people) was clean and the chairs were comfy. We were just barely seated when a worker bee came by and asked if we needed anything, napkins, ketchup, etc. which was nice as there are no condiments or other eating apparatus type items at the tables.
We placed our number in the holder (yes, just like Pei Wei) and began to take in the ambience. Coal Burger is located on the street level just behind Grimaldi's Pizza (same parent company) but only has space on that level. Grimaldi's is below and Crush Wine Bar is above yet the patio seating area provides an excellent view of the Waterway Fountains which is perfect for the semi-regular live music performances held in the courtyard.
Our quarter pound coal fired burgers arrived in short order and while they initially appeared to be quite small, they were nothing short of fantastic. The bacon on the bacon-cheeseburger was cooked to perfection, nice thick slices with just a hint of salt. The Niman Ranch beef was cooked to perfection and the melted cheese was dripping in delight. The grass fed beef is hormone-free and pasture raised resulting in delicious burgers that go perfectly with Coal Burger's sweet potato or french fries (cooked in rice-bran oil). The Classic quarter pound burger was quite honestly, even when served without the Coal Burger Sauce, fantastic. The peppery taste of the beef was a perfect compliment to the coal fired flavor. Burger prices start at $3.99. More Burger Restaurants in The Woodlands
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!
Update late summer 2012 - Coal Burger in The Woodlands is long since closed and the space has since been occupied by Grimaldi's Pizza.