Sunday, January 8, 2012

The Best Hamburger in Texas


During a recent trip, we happened to be in Vernon, Texas at lunch time. Usually, when Vernon is our lunch stop, we pull off the freeway at one of the few fast food places on the service road: McDonald's, Braums, Subway, or KFC. We usually try to time our trips so we don't have to stop in Vernon. But that day I needed to go to the courthouse to do a little research, and it was just before noon so we had to eat there. But this time, we decided to see if there were any other restaurants near downtown, and there happened to be a restaurant right across the street from the courthouse. It's name is Three Hearts Steakhouse. It's on Pease Street. I don't know if that's pronounced like Peace, or like Peas, or like Peasy. But it's easy to find because it's the only restaurant across from the courthouse.

Knowing that my little research often turns into several hours, we agreed that Hubby and Brownie would go eat while I began my research, and they would buy me a burger to go when they finished and I'd eat it on the road as we left. I wasn't quite finished with my research when they came to get me, so I spent a few minutes explaining what I was looking for and sic'd Hubby on the Probate Records while I went to the car to eat the now cold hamburger.

It wasn't quite cold. It wasn't hot, but still a little warm, and oh so delicious. I'm sure the bun was homemade, slightly sweet and flavorful, and grilled just long enough to be lightly browned and crispy on the inside while the outside was still soft. The meat was black angus and cooked perfectly. Hubby ordered fries but the hamburger came with homemade potato chips and they were yummy too. I ate every bite of the hamburger and just about every chip. If they were that good just warm, my mouth waters to think what they must be like hot!

Hubby and Brownie had fried chicken and said it was wonderful also. One of Hubby's side dishes was green beans and he said they were sauteed, tender, and very tasty. Brownie said her side dishes were great too but I can't remember what they were. Sorry. Since I had the camera with me, Hubby couldn't have taken pictures even if he had thought of it, which he probably wouldn't have.

From now on, I'll plan my trips so that Vernon is my lunch stop instead of the place I try to avoid at lunch time. If you are going to be within fifty one-hundred miles of Vernon, it's worth the time to stop at the little restaurant across from the courthouse.

Disclaimer: I'm not being paid to say this, have never met the people, and never heard of the place before a couple of weeks ago. This is just a recommendation from the heart for the Three Hearts Steakhouse. YUM!

On our way out of the Dallas area to go on that trip, we stopped at the bank in Arlington, and Brownie begged to go to In and Out Burger. Branches of that California chain have opened in several metroplex locations, and they are always packed, with long lines. So of course Hubby and I said no. We were in a hurry and didn't think any hamburger was worth that kind of wait. (That was before I had eaten the Best Hamburger in Texas.)

But after we got back from our trip, Brownie and I were out exchanging Christmas presents (yuck), and I agreed to stop at In and Out Burger. We got a Double Double for Hubby (two meat patties and two slices of cheese), a Cheeseburger and Chocolate Shake for Brownie, and a Hamburger and fries for me. Before we even got out of the car, I told Brownie it would probably taste like every other fast food hamburger, only with some weird California ingredient (no offense meant Californians). Sure enough, their standard hamburger came with a special sauce made of ketchup, mayonnaise, sweet pickle relish, and chopped onions. This is Texas, In and Out, we like mustard on our burgers.

So we special ordered all the burgers, two with mustard and no onions, and one with mayo and no onions (what can I say, Brownie is a rebel). When we got our order, Brownie's burger had mustard, not ketchup. Not as bad as having that special sauce though, so I traded her my clean bottom bun for her mustard-laden top bun, and all was well for her, and while not fond of a lot of mustard, I managed to eat it. The buns were grilled a little too long unless you favor blackened buns, but they weren't too bad.

Brownie's chocolate shake was definitely lacking in the chocolate department, but we were on the road before she tasted it. It had just enough chocolate in it to make you wonder if it was chocolate or vanilla. My fries tasted ok, but they had an odd texture, sort of like they had been dehydrated, but I doubt they were. Probably frozen like every other fast food place. All in all, the hamburgers were okay; in fact, they tasted a lot like Steak and Shake which we really like. McDonald's has better fries, and almost anywhere has better shakes, at least better chocolate shakes. I think the reason the restaurants are so popular is because they are cheap. The burgers are fine but given a choice of a cheaper burger and long line at In and Out Burger, or a faster trip through Steak and Shake, I'd take Steak and Shake. Their shakes are better too.

Disclaimer (although I'm sure this isn't necessary after the above review): I'm not paid to say this, nor do I have a beef (pun intended) with the chain. Just my opinion after eating there.

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3 comments:

Cheyenne said...

I'm not from Texas, but I like mustard on my burgers, too. It's usually mustard, catsup, pickles and onions as well as greens.

Grandma K said...

I've been to Vernon once. That was enough. But I am glad to get that report. If we find ourselves in the area again, I will remember this place!

Marti said...

Grandma K, I hit the reply button on my email before I remembered you don't have your email set up so I'm going to reply here (not that you'll come back to see it, lol).

I know! I had no idea there was anything more than a few fast food places along the highway.