This year, leading up to our annual Menu of Menus issue, Kaitlin Steinberg counts down her 100 favorite dishes as she eats her way through Houston. She'll compile a list of the 100 dishes she thinks are the most awesome, most creative and, of course, most delicious in town. It's a list of her personal favorites, things she thinks any visitor or Houstonian ought to try at least once and dishes that seem particularly indicative of the ever-changing Houston foodscape. It's a list to drool over.
"Look at all those veggies! They make this totally healthy!"
This is what I tell myself as I dig into my Hubcap Grill Greek Burger with reckless abandon during a hurried lunch at my desk.
"It's OK to eat the whole thing. It's pretty much just a Greek salad," I think. "That's right. Just a Greek salad smothered in 'special mayo sauce' atop a big, beefy burger. Totally low-cal."
OK, so I'm delusional, but the preponderance of calories and greasy goodness in my burger (and the fact that the patty is so big it's pretty much hiding all the green stuff) doesn't diminish my enjoyment of it at all. I knew I couldn't handle any of the multi-decker burgers on Hubcap's menu, so I went with one that seemed less ... less ... heart attack-inducing. The Greek Burger might not be the most show-stopping number on the menu, but it's packed with flavor and, yes, even a few veggies. If you're into that.
The Greek Burger comes with Hubcap's stellar freshly ground beef patty, feta cheese, kalamata olives, onions, green bell peppers, lettuce, tomatoes and that extra special mayo, which, shockingly, the Internet has not yet dissected. From what I can tell, no one seems to know what exactly is in this special mayo.
No matter. It's not just the tangy mayo that elevates the Greek Burger above any ol' burger out there. It's the vinegary Kalamata olives and the sour feta cheese flavors that have the greatest impact on my taste buds and remind me, with every bite, that this ain't a normal burger.
The toppings are what make the Greek Burger special, but Hubcap's lauded patty is what makes this meal one of my favorites. They are made of never-frozen beef, and they're hand-formed, which is immediately evident by the gloriously crunchy little wads of beef that don't quite adhere to the circular shape of the rest of the burger. It's seared just enough to keep the patty together, but not so much that the meat loses its juicy goodness. And that meat is perfectly, lightly spiced -- just enough to enhance its already sublime flavor.
As a bit of a burger purist, I must say, Hubcap Grill is over-the-top.
But I like it. I completely, totally, shamefully like the burgers stacked five inches high with fixings. And I can't wait to go back and try another outrageous offering from Hubcap.
The list so far: No. 100: Bangkok Fries at Boheme No. 99: Almond Croissant at Phoenicia No. 98: Bulgogi Tacos with Kimchi at Chi'Lantro No. 97: Soft Pretzel from Mongoose Versus Cobra No. 96: Chicken and Waffles at Adair Kitchen No. 95: Sweet Potato Gnocchi at Brooklyn Athletic Club No. 94: Foie Gras Mac & Cheese at BRC Gastropub No. 93: Vuelve a la Vida Soup at Connie's Seafood No. 92: Homeroom at Bernie's Burger Bus No. 91: Lobster Cake Benedict at Sorrel Urban Bistro No. 90: Uncle Daryl's Cake at The Chocolate Bar No. 89: Porchetta e Fagioli at Giacomo's Cibo e Vino No. 88: Sesame Soft Balls at Golden Dim Sum No. 87: Crab Daddy Bao at Fat Bao No. 86: Ham, Egg & Cheese Crepe at Melange Creperie No. 85: Pork Tamales at Irma's