Saturday, January 17, 2009

Gimme them old-time burger stands - Cream Burger

3841 Elgin @ Scott

I’ve seen this place off and on for years but it usually looked closed. Recently I’ve been in the neighborhood frequently and stopped to check it out. When I pulled in I thought I saw why - a sign in a window says Cream Burger is only open Mondays and Wednesdays. Nice work if you can get it!

However, I’ve been by several times and seen lines waiting to be served on other days and so I stopped in. Another sign by the window where you order says they’re open every day but Sunday and on Tuesday, Friday and Saturday until Midnight so I’m not sure when to expect them to be open.

The menu is typical, burgers, fries, hot dogs, chili pie. According to reviews on b4 their shakes and malts are special.

Prices are very reasonable and I expected rather smallish burgers so I went for a a double cheese burger which proved to be no small sandwich. The lady at the window was very hospitable, reminding me of the young lady I saw at Sparkle’s Hamburger Spot the first time I visited over a year ago.

The burger was hot and fresh off the grill and very satisfying to my taste buds, bringing to mind the burgers of my youth at Harden’s Dairy Bar in Lake Jackson. This was the closest to what I remember of those burgers I’ve ever experienced, thin meat patties well caramelized, toasted bun (actually, a little blackened around the edges!), crispy lettuce, mustard on top and bottom but not slathered on. Unfortunately the fries were pretty lame, looking nicely seasoned they were bland and limp. The pineapple shake was a delight, however; though not made with a premium ice cream it had a generous amount of crushed pineapple and was drinkable without a straw or spoon. I wonder if the strawberry shake has bits of berry in it?

One sign in the window proclaims Cream Burger is operated by the Greenwoods. Another sign, a plaque from Texas Southern University, recognizes the proprietors for enduring decades of economic stagnation and urban blight in 3rd ward. But the sign you should probably pay most attention to is next to the order window. It asks patrons to kindly not use a cell phone while ordering. Then there is a graphic of a cell phone with a dagger plunged through it and under that in bold letters NO CELL PHONES!..

It was a chilly day and I repaired to Chez Toyota to enjoy my burger. A couple of young men approached the window and one of them was talking on a cell phone, holding it some distance from his face and talking into it. I got busy with arranging the burger for a picture and didn’t see just what happened but the two young men left very quickly and they did not appear to be carrying any take-away food.


Chris said...

That burger looks more enticing to me than the giant one you pictured below, and I love the idea of a pineapple shake!

Anonymous said...

Anyone ever been shot at over there.

Bruce said...

People get shot at at restaurants all over town - 1960, Sugar Land, Westheimer - so possibly.