Bernie’s Burger Bus was an early food truck sensation in Houston. They built a name for themselves for serving hand-ground burgers made with a custom blend of choice beef served out of converted school busses. Even their condiments are homemade from scratch, with no preservatives or fillers. Their burgers are delicious, and my family and I loved tracking down the busses on the weekend. There are lots of great burger places in Houston, but Bernie’s is near the top of my list. When they opened a proper restaurant near our house in Belliare, we had to give it a try, but since my diet has changed, I was a bit skeptical that I would still enjoy the experience. You see, Bernie’s buns are baked fresh every day by a local artisanal baker, and they really did a good job os soaking up all of the juices from the delicious burgers. They even have a $17 “Detention” burger made with two crispy bacon grilled cheeses used as a bun, two cheddar cheeseburger patties, “tipsy” onions, and all “the principal’s” fixings. This burger is GIGANTIC. Super tempting, but unfortunately off the menu for me.
The brick and mortar version of the bus was loaded with cool touches that made the school bus concept so fun. The furnishings included blackboards, school desks for tables, and a full-sized school bus in the restaurant. They even graffitied the desks with doodles.
All paleo savvy diners know you can order a burger bunless, but when I saw the “Pre-K Paleo Burger in a Bowl” I had to give it try. Not many burger places call out items as specifically plaeo, so I was curious. The menu description read “grass fed beef patty, roasted red peppers, tipsy” onions, baby arugula, shredded romaine, cucumbers, roasted garlic tomatoes, and a duet of sauces. Sounds good, right? But, could Bernie’s deliver a good tasting burger without the bun?
The Paleo Burger
When our server brought out our orders, I immediately knew I was not going to be disappointed. The plate was big, and loaded with fresh veggies and a big beef patty that Bernie’s is know for. I couldn’t wait to sink my knife and fork into it. I normally order double patties to help fill me up, but this patty was big enough to do the job. The burger was as good as I remembered. The patty was excellent and the vegetables were all fresh and crispy. I’m not sure what all is in the “duet of sauces,” but they were really good, all though a bit sweet, so I am skeptical as to how paleo they were. The roasted garlic tomatoes were super flavorful. I’ve heard you caqn have too much garlic, but I’ve never ran into that situation. The only thing missing were the “truffle-laced fries.” Those things are sinful, but I did mooch a couple of my wife’s sweet potato fries while she wasn’t looking. Hey, sweet potatoes aren’t cheating in moderation.
The Report Card
I left satisfied and can’t wait to go back. That is saying something because Bernie’s is right down the street from another one of my favorite burger places — Bellaire Broiler Burger. the paleo burger is great, just like their other burgers. My only complaint is that they don’t offer the Pre-K Paleo Burger on their busses. I’m not sure why. Maybe they don’t want to serve from bowls, but I was glad to see the quality was the same in the restaurant as the bus. Bernie’s restaurant delivered with out the bus, and more importantly without the bun.