Test-Drive Five Gourmet Burgers During Tillamook Burger Week April 28-May 5

The Tillamook Cheese Loaf Love Tour starts this Saturday in Houston, and it's gonna be a juicy one. For one week, five local restaurants will offer gourmet Tillamook-inspired burgers that sound so irresistible, you might be tempted to try them all.

1. At BRC Gastropub, Chef Lance Fegen has created a tempting Tillamook Sharp Cheddar Chili Dog Burger with sweet jalapeños, pickled onions and iceberg lettuce. The burger stack is available for $13. Also on offer is the Tillamook Pepper Jack Pimento Cheese appetizer, served with warm tortilla strips, $9.

2. Love The Burger Guys' Akaushi burger? If so, you'll love their Tillamook Betty, made with a hearty half pound of Akaushi beef, cinnamon nutmeg aioli, bread-and-butter-pickled Braeburn apples, arugula and Tillamook Sharp Cheddar, served on a challah bun. $10.

3. Want some of Beaver's famous "dam good" food? Beaver's specially created Tillamook Ice House Burger, made with Tillamook Pepper Jack Cheese, beer-battered, pickled onion rings and cornmeal-fried jalapeños, topped with Beaver's house-made barbecue sauce and served on locally made Texas toast, is huge enough for two and will set you back a mere $13. Wash it down with some ice-cold beer.

4. If you want to do a two-fer and hit two places at once, schedule Liberty Kitchen & Oyster Bar after Beaver's for The Rodeo Clown Reuben -- a drool-worthy combination of brisket, chicken-fried steak, hot dog, Tillamook Sharp Cheddar, Tillamook Pepper Jack, sweet jalapeños, malt slaw, tomato, pickles, 1000 Island and chile con queso on pumpernickel. It's $18, but when you see it, it'll be worth it.

5. And last but not least, award-winning Chef Bryan Caswell and Bill Floyd have something to entice you at Little Bigs, which made Bon Appétit's Top 10 Best New Burger Spots in the U.S.

For just $2.50, you can taste The Hanging Slider, made with Tillamook Medium Cheddar and caramelized onions on a yeast bun. It promises to be so good, you might end up wolfing down two or three.

Remember, these burgers will only be available from April 28 to May 5, so test-drive them while you can. Houston wasn't named Best Burger City by Travel & Leisure magazine for nothin'.

Tillamook's Loaf Love Tour is the third annual cross-country event dedicated to "bringing tasty cheese to the people." To see the tour's detailed schedule of stops, visit www.LoafLoveTour.com.

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Mai Pham is a contributing freelance food writer and food critic for the Houston Press whose adventurous palate has taken her from Argentina to Thailand and everywhere in between -- Peru, Spain, Hong Kong and more -- in pursuit of the most memorable bite. Her work appears in numerous outlets at the local, state and national level, where she is also a luxury travel correspondent for Forbes Travel Guide.
Contact: Mai Pham