Thursday, September 17, 2009

Cedar Creek

After a week off, the craving struck again. Needed a burger. What kind of burger? A big, fat nasty (read: juicy and delicious) bar-style burger. We started a short list of bars that we wanted to go hit that we knew served burgers and quickly dwindled it down to Cedar Creek, mostly because it's my absolute favorite beer spot in Houston.

Cedar Creek is a bar among bars. It's tucked back from the main roads, surrounded by lots of big trees and has a huge patio that literally pulls up right to a creek. They have a really nice draft wall including several Texan beers, including 4 kinds of Shiner, 4 kinds of Saint Arnold, Lone Star, and heck, you can even get a can of Pearl if you want it. The weather has been absolutely amazing so the need to sit on that patio and chew some cow while sipping on Shiner Hefeweizen was on the front of my mind.

Our group rolled into Cedar Creek right at dusk on a Wednesday night. We quickly learned that half of the city also had the need to drink beers on the best bar patio in town and spent a few minutes fighting for a table. We got ourselves to a picnic table and grabbed some menus. Lots of burger options. We dropped our order in for a Blue Hog burger that is topped with blue cheese and bacon, a Mushroom Swiss burger and a Dutchess that comes with chili and extra onions.

This is where things go wrong. Cedar Creek was absolutely slammed. We waited over an hour for food simply because it was obvious that they were overrun with demand. Still, the food that was coming out of the kitchen looked absolutely amazing.

Then the burgers arrived and things changed. The burgers arrived and looked delicious. However, one bite in and all that we could taste was bread. Two bites in and we tasted bread and a little bit of smoke. Three bites in and we didn't find any other flavor. It was completely dry, if not burnt. The condiments were spread very thin and didn't really add any flavor. A high point? The vegetables were very fresh. Topping the burger with full spears of pickle was especially nice. Unfortunately, the freshness of the vegetables stops impressing once you realize that there is more lettuce on your burger than there is meat.

Did you watch The Matrix? Remember the scene where they are eating protein goop in the ship's dining room? That's what I would imagine the burger tasted like, except burnt. Cedar Creek has officially beaten me in creating a burger inspired by an elephant graveyard in the middle of a desert. Terrible. Absolutely terrible. I don't know if that's the standard burger at Cedar Creek or if the chef was asleep at the wheel, but the ownership should seriously reprimand, if not flat out fire whoever is ultimately responsible for what we were served depending on if what we received was the usual fare. It was a nine dollar burger that made me want nothing more than to go down the street to Burger King and get a Whopper. Sad, but true. I'd rather have a Whopper.

Cedar Creek does have some very tasty food options. We also had an order of their sloppy nachos at the table and an order of fried pickles. They were fantastic. We all agreed that the fried pickles were some of the best that we have ever had and that the nachos were showstopping. I'm already craving a gigantic tray of them not even 24 hours later.

So, what was learned? Cedar Creek is still a fantastic bar. I love it. Everyone that came along liked the atmosphere, the beer selection is great and there are lots of decent food options. We'll all go back. Often. What will we not do? Order a burger. If I needed a burger I'd work the Han Solo angle and smuggle in a #1 combination from Whataburger to go with my beer. Not surprisingly, Cedar Creek is rocking last place on the quest for the best burger in the city. Not even close to any other place that we have been.

The quest goes on...

NOTE: Yes, this post is picture free. While the burgers looked great, they tasted awful, and pictures wouldn't do them any justice. Executive decision. I never claimed I'd be fair. I am interested if anyone else has ever had their burger and would like to chime in with their thoughts about it. Did we get a fluke? Does it always suck? What's the deal?


  1. Why didn't you tell them it sucked? I sure as hell would have and got a refund for a shity $9 piece of burnt dead cow.

  2. I don't return food. I ordered a burger and that's what they chose to represent themselves with. That goes for when I'm not talking about burgers as well. It simply means I won't eat the same thing there ever again and if everything is bad, I'll stop patronizing the place entirely.

    I did tell them I thought it was terrible.

  3. I eat there on a regular basis and recently started dating a girl who loves a good burger as much as I do. She agrees with me: Cedar Creek has the best burgers we've had in Houston. The trick is to be honest up front and tell them how you want your burger cooked. A lot of restaurants go with the "burn it" method rather than worry with health disclaimers. I pick a burger off the menu and tell them "medium rare." They've yet to fail me.

  4. Not sure, but I can save you a trip to Onion Creek. They actually cook their burgers at Dry Creek, and ship them over in the morning. They reheat them to order and they are hands down the worst burger I have ever eaten. Roznofsky's is a close second.

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