| Burgers |

A Bunch of Good Beers, One Great Burger at The Hay Merchant

Keep Houston Press Free
I Support
  • Local
  • Community
  • Journalism
  • logo

Support the independent voice of Houston and help keep the future of Houston Press free.

On the website for The Hay Merchant, the burger is advertised as "the cheeseburger we'd give you at our house."

I want to live in that house.

The Hay Merchant would stand on its own two feet for any number of the awesome things it offers: great service, a fan-fuckin-tastic beer selection, prime location and excellent food. All together, it's everything you want in a place to go have a drink and a bite.

The burger is exceptional. When I asked our server what cuts of meat were in the burger, he gave me a somewhat flippant response of, "well, we grind it daily in house, and they just sort of throw a bunch in there."

Good enough for me.

The burger, though cooked all the way through to an almost dim brown, was one of the richest, beefiest and most delicately-textured patties of meat I've ever crammed down my craw.

The cheese comes standard, but my buddy Jimbo and I both added bacon, and he opted for a fried egg. The egg was lightly breaded and browned to a crisp, with just the right consistency to get a solid, even mash down, giving him excellent egg-to-bun ratio.

My one complaint is the noise -- I'm a 65-year-old woman when it comes to noise in restaurants. I like my dining experiences quiet and peaceful, and The Hay Merchant, at least when we went, was pretty slammed, so it was anything but. Considering the location, hipness and quality of the place, though, this isn't going to change. Nor should it.

But all of that melted away when I dug into the burger. I don't really want to know the fat content of the meat, but it wasn't like any 90/10 or even 80/20 experience I'd ever had. The meat was so soft and juicy that it stopped just short of falling apart upon first chew. It was a trifle on the small side, to be sure, but the richness, excellent bun, cheese and bacon on top should be plenty of meal for even the heartiest of appetites. Add on the crispy, salt-and-peppery fries and a couple pints of hoppy IPA to offset the fat, and, baby, you've got yourself a stew goin'. You'll also ingest enough calories to power an entire Inuit village through seal season.

Truly, this is a unique burger experience -- it's quite unlike any other burger I've had, and in a somewhat over-saturated market, that's saying a lot. You have to respect a place that takes the time and concern to hand-grind their meat every day, as well as a place that has enough beer options to satisfy even your most liver-scorching, desirous thirsts.

As it says on the menu: "Just straight up delicious."

Follow Eating Our Words on Facebook and on Twitter @EatingOurWords

Keep the Houston Press Free... Since we started the Houston Press, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Houston, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Houston with no paywalls.

We use cookies to collect and analyze information on site performance and usage, and to enhance and customize content and advertisements. By clicking 'X' or continuing to use the site, you agree to allow cookies to be placed. To find out more, visit our cookies policy and our privacy policy.


Join the Press community and help support independent local journalism in Houston.


Join the Press community and help support independent local journalism in Houston.