Bun Fun

That trendy spot upstairs in the Hobby Center for the Performing Arts is Artista (800 Bagby, 713-278-4782), best known for its airy novelle cuisine served in little square dishes. So it comes as a surprise that one of the two sandwiches on Michael Cordúa's menu is a meat lover's feast. The wood-grilled, bacon-smoked cheeseburger ($9) is huge, even by real food standards. The double meat patty is stacked with smoky, crispy bacon and topped with chopped onion, tomato and shredded lettuce. You can barely get your hands around it, let alone your mouth. Best bet is to use the knife and fork, which also allows for scooping up spilled toppings. Despite the carnivore character, this burger is oddly light in texture and with no greasy fast-food taste. Yellow mustard and habanero mayonnaise add just the right spice. It's a hefty order, one that comes with a salad at lunch, so bring a real appetite. Or maybe plan to follow it up with the downtown tunnel walk -- if you can push back from the table, that is.


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