100 Favorite Dishes

Robb Walsh's 100 Favorite Houston Dishes: #93 Cheeseburger at Leonard's Famous Burgers, 1913 W. Little York

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.

#93 Cheeseburger at Leonard's Famous Burgers, 1913 W. Little York

This is a very moist hand-formed cheeseburger topped with the familiar square of American cheese. Nobody asked me what I wanted on it, but it was dressed with exactly the same condiments I would have asked for anyway -- mustard, mayo, lettuce, tomato, pickles and onions on a well-toasted bun. The sandwich was enthusiastically seasoned with salt and pepper.

This is the old-fashioned sort of drive-in where you eat in your car. It was a pleasantly nostalgic experience, until I got a couple of bites into the burger. I tried repositioning the wrapping paper, blotting with napkins and leaning over the passenger seat to avoid getting my shirt messy -- all to no avail. I recommend you get out of the car and use your tailgate or trunk lid for a table when eating Leonard's burgers. They are irrepressibly juicy.

It's a popular little hamburger shack -- at 4:30 on a Friday afternoon, there was a line to order and several people sitting in their cars waiting for their names to be called. The cheeseburger with fries and drink was seven bucks.

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

KEEP THE HOUSTON PRESS FREE... Since we started the Houston Press, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Houston, and we'd like to keep it that way. With local media under siege, it's more important than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" program, allowing us to keep offering readers access to our incisive coverage of local news, food and culture with no paywalls.
Robb Walsh
Contact: Robb Walsh