Jerry Built Burgers opened the long awaited location in The Woodlands this past Saturday (03/31/12) with a full staff ready to serve and eager to please. This recent addition to the ever-growing plethora of what my dad refers to as 'hamburger stands' has one of the nicer interiors we've seen in some time. The open kitchen concept is becoming more and more popular in the quick food restaurant business, and allows for full view of what's happening while you place your order.
Our initial visit to Jerry Built was mid-afternoon on opening day and there was a steady flow of burger fans entering the establishment. The approach to the service counter winds through a back and forth maze of products including raw potatoes and other items of produce as well as bottled beverages on ice, but with several order takers the process was pretty quick. In a similar fashion to Which Wich, orders are marked on the same bag in which your order will be presented in due time.
Up to this point it's been a fairly typical experience; order placed, money exchanged and off to fill your drink. The beverage station is located at the rear of the store - two touch screen drink dispensers delivering your choice of beverage, with ice on a separate counter alongside the freshly-brewed iced tea selections. While en route, be sure to stop by the hand washing station - no, it's not a sink with nearby soap dispenser. It is a pretty cool device; two elbow-deep cylinders that automatically begin spraying once you insert your hands providing soap and warm water and leaving a nice clean feeling. Added bonus - kids will love the novelty of it, ensuring clean hands at the table every time!
Like I mentioned earlier, our visit was within the first 12 hours of business at the second location for Jerry Built Homegrown Burgers, so this is only a preliminary review as we plan to return soon for a more in-depth report. I actually had two burgers this day - not that one wasn't enough; a double meat burger actually seemed a bit much for the bread and vegetable combo as seen here. So why two burgers you ask.. well you could say I was 'King for a day,' as the first burger was served with what appeared to be two crowns. As I sat there studying Jerry's work, I chuckled while recalling a recent conversation with a fellow foodie about how the heels are generally not thick enough to contain the goods till the end. The Jerry Built Burger arrives on top of the tomato, onions, pickles and whatever else you might order - or was it? With two crowns it was actually a little hard to know for sure but with a kitchen mostly comprised of high-school aged kids, anything is possible.
But within mere moments of snapping this picture, we were approched by a "man in black;" only he wasn't wearing black sunglasses. He was, however, sporting a pair of bright orange Crocs. After receiving confirmation that it was indeed a dual-crown sandwich, he insisted on providing a new, properly built burger. It really didn't seem like a big deal, but opening day or not, Chad Glauser (the orange-Croc wearing, part-owner, manager-on-duty) was striving for perfection. "This is what we train for," he said with a smile as he retrieved my bag and returned it to the kitchen so a cook could rebuild my homegrown burger. Business at the front counter had increased since we arrived, so the second burger took awhile to be constructed and delivered to the shipping dock.
I was pleased to see that the menu offered a non-beef option for when the calling of a burger just isn't as strong with you. Don't get me wrong, I love me a good burger. Preferably a bacon cheeseburger, where the bacon is nice and crispy and the tomato is ripe, they're so perky, I love that... but I digress. The Jerry Built Chicken Sandwich is made from in-house, fresh ground (like the burgers) all natural chicken breast and has an additional proprietary blend of seasoning resulting a surprisingly moist and flavorful chicken sandwich. When I was initially told by our order-taker that it was ground, I admit to being hesitant. I immediately imagined this would be a regrettable mistake, figuring the chicken would be dry and crumbly. But Jerry's secret is the skin of the breast is initially removed from the meat, then a portion of it ground back in to add a small amount of fat - and a good amount of bonding - to the meat, without having to resort to other additives or bonding agents. While the result may not be as lean as a skinless breast, the flavor and texture are superb. I look forward to having another one... if I don't have the hankering for a burger next time I'm in.
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