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[Houston] Tookie's hamburger joint - Seabrook


fifi
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When I arrived back in the Houston area in 1977, my Bay Area friends had already settled on Tookie's for their hamburger fix . . . since 1975. They made what we called "really weird" burgers way back then. And they still do. It was a tradition that, after a day on the water, a coin would be flipped to decide if we went to Tookie's or Frank's Shrimp Hut (now sadly long gone).

Tookie's even made Robb Walsh's Texas Burger Binge, a feature article in the Houston Press back in August that will tell you more than you want to know about Texas burgers.

I really, really, really have to go there at least once a month. For the past decade, I have been stuck on the Bean Burger. This is the one with refried beans, picante sauce, onion, melted cheddar and . . . Fritos®! The darn thing is a culinary masterpiece. (Too bad my picture isn't a masterpiece. :sad: )

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One of my companions ordered The Squealer. This is also a favorite that has stood the test of time. It has bacon in the patty. Melted cheddar, lettuce, tomato, onion, pickles and mayonaise complete the picture.

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And where would we be without the onion rings?

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Another favorite is the 99. This is the one where the meat is marinaded in red wine, cheddar, onions and a special spice mix. Unfortunately, I don't have a picture because my other companion also succumbed to the Bean Burger. But keep the 99 in mind because it is probably the most popular.

The draft beer is served in mugs so cold that ice crystals form to make a beer slushy.

If any of you old timers have any Tookie's stories to share, please do. I keep forgetting to ask if that portrait behind the cashier is really a portrait of Maribelle. (Maribelle's is a whole 'nother story.)

If you haven't tried it, stop in the next time you are in the Bay Area and get a taste of local tradition. Tookie's is on 146 in Seabrook between Nasa Road 1 and the bridge.

Linda LaRose aka "fifi"

"Having spent most of my life searching for truth in the excitement of science, I am now in search of the perfectly seared foie gras without any sweet glop." Linda LaRose

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Unfortunately, I don't have a picture because my other companion also succumbed to the Bean Burger. But keep the 99 in mind because it is probably the most popular.

Shoulda made everyone order something different in the interests of reporting to the world :biggrin:.

I drive by Tookie's fairly often, and I've heard they have good burgers, but I haven't made it inside yet :smile:. Every time I crave a burger (about 4 times a year) I get one at Barnaby's or Hobbit Cafe. How do they compare to theirs? I'd been hearing about the wonderful burgers of Fudrucker's for the longest time, so finally I got one when everyone at work was ordering take out from there. To put it mildly, I was not impressed. Tiny greasy patty on a cottony squishy bun (my apologies to any Fudrucker's fans out there :smile:).

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Tookie's is a tradition. That being said, I really like their burgers. But then, I am a fan of the hand shaped, thin style patty cooked on a griddle. You really should try it. Even the ambience of the place is a step back in time. It really hasn't changed since the 70s. I may have to check but I will bet that the whole menu hasn't changed. I think if they changed anything there would be a mob with the torches and dogs in the street.

The last couple of times I was in Barnaby's I was dissappointed. The patty was dry, really dry. We didn't go to the original location, though. I haven't been to Fuddruckers in a long time. I do suspect that one of the reasons I used to go there was because of the unlimited supply of jalapeno cheese to pump onto my fries. :laugh:

Linda LaRose aka "fifi"

"Having spent most of my life searching for truth in the excitement of science, I am now in search of the perfectly seared foie gras without any sweet glop." Linda LaRose

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I used to be abig fan of Fuddruckers as well. Not anymore. I really am not sure if my taste changed or their standards dropped. The patty like you said is badly shaped, has almost no taste and is almost never cooked right. Not even the shakes are any good. Currently, my favorite chain restaurant burger is Beck's Prime.

I've never been to Tookie's, but I do not see how I would be able to decide on which burger to try! They all sound and look so damn good. Might have to order me one of each :wacko:.

E. Nassar
Houston, TX

My Blog
contact: enassar(AT)gmail(DOT)com

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They are pretty famous for the onion rings. Once in a while the fry cook is on vacation or something and they come out a bit greasy but most of the time they are superb. They were superb last weekend.

Mizducky . . . You can hang out in Texas any ole time. :biggrin:

Linda LaRose aka "fifi"

"Having spent most of my life searching for truth in the excitement of science, I am now in search of the perfectly seared foie gras without any sweet glop." Linda LaRose

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I generally find large onion rings to be difficult to eat. One bite and the batter seperates and pulls away from the onion. So now you're left with eating a big hunk of onion and a big hunk of batter. I haven't been to Tookie's, but this has always been the case wherever else I go.

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. . .  One bite and the batter seperates and pulls away from the onion. So now you're left with eating a big hunk of onion and a big hunk of batter. . .

And all is right with the world. :laugh: To me, that is the best thing about real onion rings. :raz:

Linda LaRose aka "fifi"

"Having spent most of my life searching for truth in the excitement of science, I am now in search of the perfectly seared foie gras without any sweet glop." Linda LaRose

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I generally find large onion rings to be difficult to eat. One bite and the batter seperates and pulls away from the onion. So now you're left with eating a big hunk of onion and a big hunk of batter. I haven't been to Tookie's, but this has always been the case wherever else I go.

All that means is that you need to learn to stretch your mouth open and eat it all in one bite like a real Texan.

*grunt*

Now I've got to figure out if it's worth the 45 minute drive to go get a burger.

...

maybe when gas goes down a little.

Edited by tetsujustin (log)
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Now I've got to figure out if it's worth the 45 minute drive to go get a burger.

...

maybe when gas goes down a little.

Oh, for Pete's sake! Those of us who live out here in the boonies drive to eat at the fine dining establishments inside to Loop every weekend, or more often. Small price to pay for some good food. And actually, thinking that 45 minutes worth of gas is too much for a good meal should be a bigger crime here on eGullet that talking about diet :raz::biggrin:.

Should we have an eGulleteers' outing to Tookie's? So that fifi can take plenty of pictures of various burgers (we'll HAVE to each order something different :biggrin:). I'm willing give onion rings another chance, since they failed to impress me the first few of times that I tried them.

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Instead of thos two places for a burger fix you need to either go to Tookies or if in Houston you need to go to either Christians Tailgat (one on Bagby and W Gray and one on Wash at I10) or hit Langkords at 88 Denis in the Midtown area.

Unfortunately, I don't have a picture because my other companion also succumbed to the Bean Burger. But keep the 99 in mind because it is probably the most popular.

Shoulda made everyone order something different in the interests of reporting to the world :biggrin:.

I drive by Tookie's fairly often, and I've heard they have good burgers, but I haven't made it inside yet :smile:. Every time I crave a burger (about 4 times a year) I get one at Barnaby's or Hobbit Cafe. How do they compare to theirs? I'd been hearing about the wonderful burgers of Fudrucker's for the longest time, so finally I got one when everyone at work was ordering take out from there. To put it mildly, I was not impressed. Tiny greasy patty on a cottony squishy bun (my apologies to any Fudrucker's fans out there :smile:).

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Oh, for Pete's sake! Those of us who live out here in the boonies drive to eat at the fine dining establishments inside to Loop every weekend, or more often. Small price to pay for some good food. And actually, thinking that 45 minutes worth of gas is too much for a good meal should be a bigger crime here on eGullet that talking about diet  :raz:  :biggrin:

How 'bout a dope like me that drove from Uptown Dallas to eat there! :blink::raz:

My father, who grew up in Pasadena, has spoken highly of this place and informed me that I ate there when I was three, way back in 1978...so much for memory.

I had the "Squealer" and a big plate of those amazing onion rings. I will be dropping in to this joint on my visits from now on!

Gear nerd and hash slinger

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  • 3 months later...

I was there again today. I was in the "lull" after lunch and before the boating crowd hits about 6:00. The gorgeous weather almost guarantees a mob from that crowd.

You might know . . . I didn't have my camera and the bean burger was a real beauty. I don't know why but the thing was put together with perfection. The onion rings were some of the best I have had there. They were about as non-greasy as I have ever had.

But the real reason I wanted to bump this up is to give you a tip. You can make whatever wager you want with your buddies as to who is in the portrait behind the cashier. I will give you a hint first. As I suspected, it isn't Maribelle.

Got your bet figured?

It is Evalyn Walsh McLean.

Linda LaRose aka "fifi"

"Having spent most of my life searching for truth in the excitement of science, I am now in search of the perfectly seared foie gras without any sweet glop." Linda LaRose

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