Wednesday, August 13, 2014
Our second stop on the Burger Tour of Houston took us to Hubcap Grill. They have several locations around the city but we visited the original site, located at 1111 Prairie Street, downtown. This is another of the hamburger joints in the "store-turned-cafe" genre and as you can see from the photo below, the interior is quaint but cramped. (They have outdoor seating on one side).
The hamburger I had that day was hand-patted - which is the first step beyond the "machine burger" served by fast food restaurants - but beyond that I found it . . . unremarkable. Good, but not outstanding and lacking a noticeable "wow" factor. You can see part of one on Jack's plate in the photo above. He gave it his typical, "better than McDonalds" rating. I gave it the, "Okay, but let's try another place" response.
Hubcap Grill is a favorite for many Houstonians and has a strong reputation. If I were already downtown for another reason and wanted a hamburger, I would go there. But for a special trip, I would go somewhere else.
The thing that did catch my interest and would take me back there on a special trip was the story of the original owners - Italian immigrants who came to America in the early twentieth century and opened the location as a store. Photos of the couple hang on the walls and the current owners were more than willing to talk about the history of the place. And though I might not drive down there solely for the burger, I would return especially to hear more of the founders' story and this time to take notes.
Hubcap Grill - 1111 Prairie Street, Houston, Texas