Birthday Burgers and The Quintessential Question of “Best Burger in the City”

Tucked neatly into the corner of a strip center in Garden Oaks, Shepherd Park Draught House pops from the moment you walk in. Small booths line one wall, and a long row of taps lines the opposite wall behind the bar. Small, cozy, with lots of beer – my kind of place.  Before I go too far, let me give a shout-out to Burger Buddy Scott Scheinthal, as this was his official birthday lunch. Happy birthday, Scott!

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There are four Akaushi beef burgers on the menu, and three of them looked so good Scott, Russell, and I almost split them up between us. We ended up with two choices: Russell and I chose the Poblano Burger with pepper jack cheese and poblano peppers, and Scott picked the El Chito Burger with bacon, fried egg, two kinds of cheese, and cranberry preserve. Sides ranged from a salad (really?), bacon mustard potato salad, and my choice, good old house-cut fries.

We get asked the question “What is your favorite burger in Houston?” all the time, and there are so many good burgers in Houston it gets harder and harder to answer that question. Fancy burger or back-room burger joint? Fast food or gourmet? Best bun or best meat? There’s no real answer… but sometimes a burger hits all the right notes, and that’s what happened at Shepherd Park.

From presentation – top bun slightly off center – to the very last bite, we all agreed that this may be one of the best burgers in the city. The bun is pillow-soft and buttery, and the meat, cooked just right, had a delicious juicy flavor with a hint of black pepper. My poblano burger had a layer of not-too-spicy peppers that gave it a nice kick. Scott’s El Chito was even better, with bacon and fried egg and cheese, and Whoa Nelly that cranberry preserve. It all blended together so well, with such rich lively flavors, and I never thought of having cranberries on a burger!

Though 610 and North Shepherd is outside my normal Bellaire stomping grounds, this burger is worth the trip. We try different burgers every month, but I’m going to find a reason to return to Shepherd Park, and I don’t say that very often.

Cheers to Eating More Burgers!