Burger Fresh was ranked #13 in the state of Texas by Texas Monthly magazine, and we'd been meaning to check them out and see how they live up to the hype. So on a recent voyage to Conroe, we stopped in.
Burger Fresh is easy to find. It's located in a strip center a couple of blocks off I-45, right in the heart of town. Immediately you can tell that this isn't part of a big chain; the front of the store has a funky style all its own.
Upon entering the store, we were immediately met by the rich aroma of fried beef - not an unwelcome scent in a hamburger joint. Looking around the medium-sized dining room, we saw a space filled with folks of all ages and from all walks of life devouring burgers. Our kind of place.
Looking at the counter, we were overwhelmed by the huge variety of menu options. Burgers of all kinds, from a half pound all the way up to an insane triple of half-pound patties. Yes, if you're so inclined, you can order a burger with a pound and a half of beef. We weren't so inclined.
They also offer a wide range of exotic meats, including alligator and ostrich. Thanks, Crocodile Hunter, but we're hear for a cheeseburger, and that requires beef.
We decided on a #5 burger: A half pound of certified Angus beef with a single half-pound patty, double American cheese, and bacon. It was offered in a basket with sides, and the friendly counterman recommended the onion rings.
We grabbed a table, and waited for our order to come out. After about five minutes, a very soft-spoken waitress brought us our burger.
What appeared was a nicely griddled half-pound patty, which was unfortunately machine formed. The American cheese was moderately melty, and the bacon atop was good quality, but very mild in flavor. The egg bun wasn't griddled in any way. It was a prime example of a pretty good traditional burger.
We enjoyed the burger, but weren't blown away. The hamburger patty was dry and overcooked; all of the ooze present came from the cheese. And the bacon, while considerably higher quality than you'd find at any of the large fast food chains, wasn't as flavorful as we would have liked.
We'd rate the burger in the "Better Burger" category - better than the best offerings at conventional fast food chains, similar to what you'd get at the Five Guys chain. But it doesn't approach the rich flavor found at the best chains, like Beck's Prime or SmashBurger.
What did impress us were the handmade onion rings. Large, sweet onion slices, hand breaded and deep fried in a crispy, flaky batter. Not greasy at all, and very tasty. Some of the best onion rings we can remember trying.
All in all, we can easily recommend Burger Fresh. A good burger (with an amazing variety of options) and outstanding onion rings make for an enjoyable lunch in Conroe. We'll be back.
804 Gladstell Suite 110
Conroe, Texas 77304