Life has changed for this food writer. As a brand-new mom, poppin’ bottles has taken on a slightly different meaning. But while I find myself seeking out diaper changing tables for the first time ever, I’m still on the hunt for all the awesome happy hours, exciting menus and H-town icons. Only now, I’m bringing my baby, Quinn, along with me. This “Whining and Dining” series looks at dining out with a baby in the city (more specifically, In the Loop, because Quinn doesn’t like to travel too far from home just yet).
My husband and I were still new to this whole dining out with a baby thing (and to this whole “baby thing,” in general), but we were seasoned enough to realize we had time for a quick meal between Quinn feedings on a Friday night — she’s eight weeks old at this point, and we’re kind of getting used to living our lives in 90-minute increments.
We were feeling classic American, and BuffBurger seemed like the perfect option (spoiler alert: it was!). The West Alabama location was quite empty at 6 p.m., save for another family with two older children enjoying burgers on the patio. We placed our order at the counter — a burger, chicken sandwich, fries and two happy hour beers (happy hour is daily from 4-6) — and joined that other family outside. It was an actually tolerable evening, and the outdoor seating had the added bonus of extra room for the stroller.
Not ten minutes later, our food arrived hot and fresh. BuffBurger is known for its use of local, sustainable and high-quality natural ingredients, including Angus beef from Lone Star rancher 44 Farms and cheese from Houston Dairymaids.
The Texan burger came fat at just over one-third pound, cooked medium (I’ll be sure to specify medium-rare next time, as that's my preference) and stacked with crispy fried onion strings, bacon, cheddar, house pickles and a bangin' bourbon barbecue sauce. A buttery Challah bun made quite the excellent cradle for all of its juices and toppings (though anyone looking to cut the carbs can order theirs “in the Buff,” i.e. in a lettuce “bun”). We split that and the Momo, a massive chicken sandwich served grilled or buttermilk fried (we went fried) and finished with house honey mustard and mayo, kale slaw, Point Reyes Swiss and a plump tomato. Both “burgers” came with a big bag o' fries, twiggy and crisp and perfect when paired with a side of cheese sauce (a must in my book).
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Before I knew it, 30 minutes had passed and we’d cleared our trays. We had just finished off the last remnants of our beers and were contemplating getting a second round when our ruler, Quinn, started to squirm. Better not push our luck.
TL;DR: With counter-service, a kids menu and plenty of seating, eats will arrive at your table in 10 or so minutes, perfect for families looking for a quick, tasty burger (and some beers and fries).
Kid-Friendly Dining Essentials
Parking: Private lot
Seating: High-chairs available
Bathrooms: Unisex, one with a changing table at the Montrose location (the same goes for the Westheimer location, and at the Wirt location there are men’s and women’s rooms with changing tables in both)
Kids menu: Yes
Extras: Kids eat free with the purchase of an adult meal on Mondays and Tuesdays (dine-in only); you can also ask for housemade play-dough for the kids
BuffBurger, 1540 West Alabama, 832-570-4250