Fresh made, local and so tender that if the juice runs down your chin, that’s a good thing. Balls Out Burger is a new kid to Houston, but from what they’ve done so far – they’ll be here to stay.
Tucker, a native of Ireland, might be new to the Houston food scene, but he has been working in high-end restaurants and bars for most of his career.
“I moved to Houston for my wife about two years ago and I’ve been doing burger research ever since,” said Tucker. “I always knew I wanted to open up a place like that this,” said Tucker. “My idea was to create a New York diner cheeseburger where the juice runs all over your chin.”
The menu at Balls Out Burger is simple: you can order a single or a double patty with or without cheese. That’s it – no muss, no fuss. The patties are about 5.2 ounces and cooked medium to medium well. The beef is Texas beef from 44 Farms, the buns are baked by Slow Dough Bread Company who created their own special bun especially for Balls Out Burger, and the vegetables are Texas grown, as well. The topping choices are lettuce, tomato, pickles or jalapeño and no condiments (table service includes a variety of condiments).
During my visit, I tried the single with cheese and it was delicious. It really tasted like a burger that your dad would have made one summer by the pool. It was juicy, tender and very tasty. It came with one slice of American cheese and all the toppings. The bun was the perfect size so it didn’t overwhelm the meat or make it hard to bite into. I added jalapeno and was surprised that it is fresh sliced – not pickled like you’d get at most places. If Tucker’s goal is a juicy burger then he succeeded – I will admit that I did use my fair share of napkins while I ate.
A burger joint wouldn’t be complete without fries and there are three options: hand cut (with skin still on), shoe string, and sweet potato fries. I tried all three and loved them all, but my favorite were the sweet potato fries. They were cooked to just the right temperature that left the outside crunchy and the inside soft. They are so good, you might want to hold off on the ketchup and really taste their freshness.
The local flavor doesn’t stop with the food; the drinks are all local, as well. All the beer is from St. Arnold’s Brewery, and depending on the season there are usually two red wines and two white wines to choose from, also form Texas. All the soda is canned or in bottles and you will only get a cup or a straw if you ask for one.
“One of our goals is to be as environmental as possible,” said Tucker. “We recycle everything we can, buy products with recycled content and only provide cups and straws if you ask for them.”
Head to Balls Out Burger with your friends or your dog (yes, the restaurant is pet friendly) and sit inside to admire the great art by local artist, Kate Hopper. Either way you’ll get the quintessential American meal – burger, fries, beer and you’ll head home a happy camper.