Over the course of the next few months, I'm counting down 100 of my favorite Houston dishes. I chose some because they are such quintessential Houston creations, others for their cultural or historical significance, and others because they are just so damn tasty. Share your own nominations in the comments.
#70 The Big Adrian Burger at Adrian's Local Café, 1730 Jefferson
The "Big Adrian Burger" features a one-pound ground-beef patty on a toasted bun with lettuce, sliced tomatoes, purple onion, mustard, mayo and pickles. It sells for $6.50 and looks like a meatloaf on a tossed salad with some bread thrown in. You can cut it in half and feed two hungry longshoremen, or cut in it quarters and feed four people quarter-pounders.
The first time I had a Big Adrian Burger was at the original Adrian's Burger Bar, a soul food burger café on Sonora St. near Wheatley High School in the Fifth Ward. The neighborhood favorite closed after head cook Val Wilson (Adrian's mom) had some medical problems in 2007.
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The "Big Adrian Burger" reappeared at the Local Café, a snack bar in the Communication Workers of America building at 1730 Jefferson (713-752-2233). In 2008, Adrian Cooper and his mom Val Wilson took over the restaurant in the union hall. The new business is officially called Adrian's Local Café. Look for the sign in the parking lot facing St. Joseph's Parkway.
Don't worry, you don't have to eat a one-pound hamburger if you don't want to. Dainty eaters can opt for a petite half-pounder called the "Little Adrian Burger" for $4.50.
The list to date:
#100: Green Chile Chicken Kebabs at Chatkhara Grill #99: The All-Day Burrito at Cherry Top Bakery #98: "You Buy We Fry" Trout Basket at Hank's Fish Market #97: Chicharron de Barriga at La Michoacana Meat Market # 10 #96: Pakistani Breakfast at Kings Chicken #95: Fried Mojarra at Taqueria Jesus Maria #94: Chocolate-Peanut Butter Cake Ball at Coffee Groundz #93:Cheeseburger at Leonard's Famous Burgers #92: Lasagna at Doyle's #91: Cochinita Pibil at Tacos La Bala #90: Fajita Tacos at Taqueria El Charro #89: Kubideh and Zereshk Polo at Kasra Persian Grill #88: Trentino Gelato's Dulce de Leche at Shisha #87: Deviled Eggs at Nielsen's Deli #86: Italian-Cuban Sandwich at Logan Farms #85: Vegetable Trio in Sichuan Sauce at Spicy Sichuan #84: Salchi-Burger at Brisa Cocina #83: El Ultimo Taco Truck's Breakfast Tacos #82: Kielbasa on a Sizzling Comal at Polonia #81: Shrimp and Grits at Bistro Alex, Hotel Sorella #80: A Bowl of Chili at James Coney Island #79: Lamb Dumplings at Lucky Pot #78: Crazy Irishman Sushi Roll at Soma #77:Tesar's "Magic" Burger #76: Mac n' Cheese at Two Saints #75: Spicy Armenian Kebabs at Café Rita #74: Jalapeño Gefilte Fish at Rustika #73: Greek Burger at the Hubcap Grill #72: The Basil Inferno at Thai Bistro #71 Paella at Rioja on Kirkwood