In my ongoing quest to sample Houston's burger offerings, I made my first visit to Goode Company Hamburgers & Taqueria, where I enjoyed my two-thirds-pound burger with Swiss cheese and grilled onions. But getting it cooked rare was a colossal pain in the ass.
The clerk and I had the following exchange:
Clerk: How would you like that cooked?
Me: Rare. Definitely rare. Pink. Rare. Can you do that?
Clerk: Sure thing!
And, of course, then I felt like a jerk. I had recently been burned at Natachee's, where I was served a burger very well done after requesting it medium-rare. But that was no excuse for being obnoxious.
Five minutes later, the clerk handed me my takeout bag and smiled. "Thank you so much!," I said, trying to make up for my earlier bitchiness. "Smells great!"
As I loaded up on ketchup and relish at the toppings bar, I couldn't help but double-check: both 1/3 burgers were brown-gray, through and through. Even a little burned on top.
Oh, holy Jesus.
I didn't send my overcooked burger back at Natachee's because I was pressed for time, but this evening I was willing to wait. I approached the clerk, apprised him of the situation, asking for a redo. "Sorry," I said. "It's just I paid $10 for this burger." But the price tag had little to do with it. It was the fact my request was ignored.
The clerk apologized, and I received a fresh order, this time properly (under)cooked. The meat was very well-spiced and wonderfully juicy; I also very much liked the grilled onions and the fluffy egg bun.
Do you think my request was ignored because of my tone? Or is this par for the course at Goode Burgers & Taqueria? Is requesting a "rare" just asking for trouble? All of the above?
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.