I really thought that driving around the Piney Woods and eating 30 Burgers in 30 days would be a piece of cake. It seemed like a novel approach to a task that I love….eating hamburgers. It appears however that my eyes, (or perhaps my brain), are truly bigger than my stomach! This feat was a bit more work than I bargained for, not to mention the 8 lbs I gained over the past month did not sit well with me.
I did have a great time on this journey though, and I met some wonderful people, and some fascinating business owners along the way. There is nothing better than meeting the owner of a small restaurant, in a small town, and listening to their story. These conversations always put a smile on my face. The hamburgers were delicious (most of them) and I covered just over 600 miles in my truck driving through the Piney Woods in search of the best Hamburgers that East Texas had to offer.
My criteria was fairly simple: 1. Each visit had to be a privately owned establishment, no chain restaurants. 2. Each place I stopped at had to have a Google review rating of at least a four. I didn’t want to eat every burger in East Texas, just the best. Lastly my focus was on small towns Hamburger joints, the ones that you have to look for, and usually won’t be found on the interstate. As a reminder to our readers, I don’t ever give a bad review on any place that I visit. With that said, some of my stops will not be mentioned in this article. On the other hand, I am absolutely positive that there are so many more great hamburgers to be had in the Piney Woods that if I did not mention one it was only because I have not stopped there…yet.
The list below are the 15 best burgers that I ate along my journey. They are listed in a random order, and every one of them is worth a stop if you are in the area.
The Kickin Mule, Canton, TX
Bradford Cafe, Montalba, TX
Humphreys, Huntsville, TX.
Chucks Bar-B-Q & Burger, Evandale, TX
What the Fork, Sacul, TX
Alexander Burger Company, Cushing TX.
Blue Duck, Livingston, TX.
Hilltop Ice House, Point Blank, TX
Cowboy Jacks Saloon, Nacogdoches, TX
TX Burger, Corrigan, TX
Mr. Hamburger, Huntsville, TX
Big Fish Ice House, Onalaska, TXmhgrer
Twisted Root Hamburger, Athens, TX
May May’s, Mount Enterprise, TX
While these were all great Hamburgers, and I enjoyed each one, I would like to mention a few of the stops that I made because the venue, the menu or the owners offered something a little different or special .
Mr. Hamburger – This was a really cute 1950’s style burger joint that caught me by surprise. The decor was great and they served the best Garlic French Fries I have had since I moved to Texas. A delicious treat that you can’t find everywhere.
Chucks Bar-B-Q & Burger – Chuck made a big deal out of the fact that it was my first visit to Silsbee ( I thought I was in Evandale) and insisted that I try their house specialty “Red-Neck Nachos. This plate did not disappoint. A pile of fried potatoes covered in meat, cheese and all kinds of good fixens.
Bullet Grill House – This is one of my regular stops. They serve food until 9:30 pm which is great for me. The Bridgett’s Championship Sweet and Spicy Habanero Burger is 2 hamburger patties with a habanero Jam sauce that will leave a sweat on your head, and it is so delicious….if only you could finish it.
Alexander Burger Company – This place is a barn like atmosphere with long horn skulls in the garden, no air conditioning and a walk up window to place your order. The food was great and the staff and owner were wonderful. You have to look for Cushing Texas, but it is worth the drive.
What the Fork – Not only is this the only restaurant and grocery store in Sacul, I believe it is the ONLY business. Mark and Kimberly run a great little shop and I just loved the name of this place. I think the population of Sacul is only 90 people but the service and food were outstanding.
I have to give a big shout out to MAYMAY’S in Mount Enterprise as well. I stopped by twice for breakfast before I ever got a burger. It is hard to get burgers early in the morning! The staff was wonderful. Carli Coats asked me what I wanted for breakfast and I told her “Surprise me”. She brought me a delicious biscuit with eggs, cheese, bacon and smothered in sausage gravy. It was so god that I came back again the next day. Connie May is the owner, and we could have stayed for hours just talking nd drinking coffee. A must stop if you are near Mount Enterprise.
I really do not like doing restaurant reviews, but hamburgers and cold beer joints are a different culture. These kind of places are a big part of my diet when I am rambling around the country seeing the sights. I find that places like these are the best spots to meet locals, learn what’s going on in the area , and simply be a part of their lifestyle. So remember, put down your phone, get out to these small towns and see what life has to offer.
Until next month, this is the Piney Woods Wanderer signing off. Oh, and by the way, I was asked to try this again but doing 20 Tacos in 20 days! This is not going to happen. I am on a diet at least for the next couple of weeks. If you would like to write to me with any questions or suggestion you can reach me at Pineywoodswanderer@yahoo.com
Never lost….but sometimes hard to find.
Till next time, this is
The Piney Woods Wanderer