Washington Ave., just north of I-10
A lot of things have changed at Christian’s in the years (5?) since it first became well known, almost all of them for the better. The hours have improved, although they seem to still be in flux (and being open on Sunday apparently didn’t last long). Gone is the small lunch buffet and the franchise fried chicken (Chester Fried?). The name has changed from Christian’s Totem, once one of a chain of convenience stores, to Christian’s Tailgate Bar and Grill. Gone is the truck bed by the door (and it’s apparently permanent empties). But what hasn’t changed is the burger.
One of the best things about Christian’s, besides the awesome burger itself, is the amazing consistency of the kitchen. Lankford Grocery has it’s occasional ups and downs, a patty that refuses to hold together or isn’t sufficiently caramelized on the surface, but every time I go to Christian’s (original location on Washington only), I experience exactly the same enjoyment.
The beer battered onion rings are better than the fries but I would never order this much food again. In fact, these days, I’d just have the burger, maybe some chips. There are other things on the menu besides burgers????? I read in a Chronicle poll last year that Christian’s chili is one of the best in the city, so I beat it over there to try it, chili being one of my obsessions. It’s available on a chili burger or chili fries, but you can’t get a bowl, it turns out.
Playboy has named it one of the 10 best burgers in the USA. John T. Edge of the Southern Foodways Alliance calls it a quintessential Texas burger. Heck, folks, there are close to 10,000 restaurants in Houston and probably better than 75% of them serve burgers and I haven’t tried more than a few dozen of ‘em, so, cautious gent that I am, I won’t even say that it’s the best in Houston ---- there may be a new one discovered any day now --- but it is my favorite.