Bernie's Burger Bus - Katy TX

So, as per Lambowner’s suggestion, checked out Bernie’s Burger Bus at their location across the parking lot from Trader Joe’s out here in Katy.

I was sorta excited because of some good reviews and their incessant claims that they’re “Old School” - which is so easy to say, but not so easy to live up to.

I am old, and I did go to school, and I ate a lot of burgers “back in the day,” so I consider myself something of an expert. Had this place actually opened back in the day across the street from my old school, I don’t think it would have lasted long.

But I could be mistaken, since I often completely underestimate our American fondness for having to have absolutely everything sweet.

Because, inexplicably to me, this is a sweet burger. And what’s even worse is that it’s something they’re proud of.

I’m not really much of a fan of cheeseburgers. It’s odd, I know. I love cheese and I love hamburgers but not particularly at the same time. I think it’s got lots to do with the fact that I really really adore the flavors of a plain classic hamburger - good bread, excellent meat, fresh crunchy veggies. The cheese, to me, sort of gets in the way. So, one of BBB’s main claims to fame - assorted cheeses - doesn’t affect me, therefore, can’t comment on that.

The hamburger patty was really good - moist, juicy, flavorful. The veggies were indeed cool and crisp. God I wanted to love this thing.

But the bread… At first, I couldn’t figure out the problem The bread seemed mushy; the texture unpleasant. And, as I ate, I realized it was sweet. Like Hawaiian bread. Which I like very much with butter and coffee in the morning. But on hamburgers? Was I right? Was that what it was?

I called over the manager to inquire. “Well, yes,” he said. “It’s not the Hawaiian brand, but it’s very similar - sweet - isn’t it good?”

Sorry, not to me.

So here’s what I don’t get. They make a big show of all of the variety they offer - every sort of topping imaginable, wide assortment of cheeses, onions fresh and crunchy or grilled…it goes on and on. So why on earth can’t they offer a choice of a decent bread bun? How hard would that be? Do you want a sweet breakfast roll burger, or would you like a nice bread with a good crumb? Or whole wheat? Or sourdough? Or any goddammthing that isn’t sweet?

I did ask if they offer non-sweet choices, and was told that they do not. So, unless the person with whom I spoke was mistaken, that’s all you get. Sweet.

I hate sweet hamburgers. I won’t go back.

2 Likes

Oh my! Well that’s good to know! I guess was the meat quality?

People undoubtedly are commenting favorably on the meat quality. And, like I said, seems as though many (if not most; I hope not most) folks like those sweet hamburger buns.

I just really really don’t.

And, like I said, do not understand why they can’t offer a different option for the bread when they’ve got several dozen options from which to choose when it comes to other aspects as to how one likes one’s burger.

Inexplicable.

3 Likes

Seems like just a plain ole (good) had roll would have done the trick…

1 Like

Absolutely. So easy. Don’t understand why they don’t have such an obvious and simple choice.

I haven’t been to Bernie’s in a couple of years I guess. There was a time I thought it was one of the best burgers in town but I just don’t eat burgers that much anymore and just don’t care that much. I can be satisfied with something simpler. Never been to one of the brick and mortar places.

Only one time did I have a full-sized burger, the first time, and actually I wasn’t that impressed. Every other time I had the sliders - the full sized burgers are just too big for me.

I don’t remember the buns being sweet but it wouldn’t have bothered me as much as it did you. I have been surprised at myself sometimes, enjoying sweetness in a dish where I didn’t expect it. I know I’ve had hot dogs in Hawaiian rolls and liked them.

I had a cheeseburger at Pappy’s last week for the first time in years and it’s served on a Sheila Partin bun. I recognized it immediately for it’s sweetness.

I like them but they’re just a bit too fragile to hold up well against a half pound of medium rare cow with all the fixins including jalapenos.

In case I haven’t mentioned it since my forced exile from Chowhounds, I love Pappy’s. Good variety, good quality, reasonable prices and Fran, the mother of all waitresses. Well, at least a few of them. :wink:

I know TxRedTop loves those burgers, but I couldn’t handle them for the same reasons you mention.

I had forgotten all about Sheila Partin. I guess they might be available in your part of town but I never see them around here. I think I may have bought some at Georgia’s Market on I-10 but I had encountered them years earlier at the Rodeo. This perhaps goes back to the 80s. She had a stand there selling - ta da - hamburgers on her buns. They were smallish, one-handed size as I recall, so no problems with falling apart. I looked forward to them every year.

“Food is a pretty good prism through which to view humanity.”

― Jonathan Gold