I am known for being like Heimlich, the always hungry caterpillar in Disney’s “A Bug’s Life,” so it’s often difficult to find a restaurant that can satisfy my ever rumbling tummy; however, after dining at the Little Bitty Burger Barn in Houston, Texas, I have discovered that there is indeed a bottom to my stomach’s pit.
With the restaurant’s name I was expecting a minuscule shack, but the Little Bitty Burger Barn turned out to be not so little bitty; in fact, it could seat 24 customers. There were wooden tables with comfortable cafeteria style chairs – an oxymoron I know – and an atmosphere that reminded me of the road trips we used to take from New Jersey down to Florida. Besides the old time diner signs like “There will be a $5 charge for whining,” there were a plethora of pictures of customers who were brave enough (or hungry enough) to eat the Big A** Burger – a one pound burger smothered in cheese, jalapenos, bacon, lettuce, pickles, and a plate full of fries. If you finish the Big A** Burger, not only will you get your photo taken (which will be mounted on the wall of fame), but you’ll also get to take home a Texas style plate with a picture of what else? The lone star state.
I don’t normally consume beef because of its high fat and cholesterol content – not to mention I used to be a vegetarian – but I decided to throw caution to the wind and order a quarter pound burger. The burgers at the Little Bitty Burger Barn are made with 100% fresh beef and are never frozen. They come with lettuce, tomato, onions, pickles, mayonnaise, and mustard. I decided to be somewhat responsible with my diet by not getting the mayonnaise but as it turns out the burgers at the Little Bitty Burger Barn are grilled, and not an ounce of fat or grease was evident on my burger.
All burgers/sandwiches come with a choice of fresh French fries – yes, only the best potatoes are used at the Little Bitty Burger Barn so the French fries come out crisp and flavorful without having to be double dipped in grease. If French fries aren’t your heart’s desire, then you can have tater tots or chips; or for an extra dollar you can get onion rings. As soon as I heard the word tater tots, my thoughts slipped back to elementary school: jump-rope, kickball, and hopscotch. The tater tots at the Little Bitty Burger Barn however, are a million times better than my elementary school’s cafeteria. I tried one of the French fries that came with my husband’s order and I can confirm that they were indeed better than McDonald’s. They actually tasted like potatoes – go figure!
My husband always says I’m a slow eater but something strange happened at the Little Bitty Burger Barn; I ate my burger before my husband could even consume half of his. I didn’t even notice until he so kindly pointed out that he’s never seen me eat anything so quickly – let alone beef! And of course I ate most of my tater tots and drank a huge cup of Mug root beer.
The Little Bitty Burger Barn turned me into someone different – a carnivore – but the ironic thing is, my meal filled me up for six hours. I’m willing to go out on a limb and say it was a miracle. Nothing (and I mean nothing) has ever filled me up for six hours. I could eat a huge bowl of pasta with an entire loaf of bread and an appetizer, and still be hungry an hour later, so well done to the Little Bitty Burger Barn for filling up this little piggy.
The owners of the Little Bitty Burger Barn have managed to turn something as mundane as a burger into an event. Everyone who dines there is friendly and for me, the best part was being able to talk to the owners and listen to the other customers. I love feeling at home when I eat. I could have stayed all day watching people attempt to eat the Big A** Burger, but sadly the gym beckoned me so we left after staying as long as we could.
The Little Bitty Burger Barn also caters to vegetarians so don’t be put off by the burgers if you don’t eat meat. They have menu items like veggie burgers, black bean burgers, grilled chicken sandwiches, chicken wings, salads, and Cajun catfish. They also have a daily Texan blue plate special with changing menu items like fish and chips.
And if you’re the type of person that thinks condiments make the burger, then you’re in luck because condiments are their specialty. There are at least three shelves of different types of hot sauce, several types of mustard including jalapeno mustard, and hot and spicy ketchup which has a blend of ketchup and Tabasco sauce. Yes, they’ve pretty much thought of everything at the Little Bitty Burger Barn, but if you prefer your burger plain, they can do that too.
This establishment showed no sign of the recession but maybe that’s because they have the best deal in town. Where else can you get a real burger with a huge portion of fries for just $4.25? If it’s crowded you should be prepared to wait for your burger, but remember you’re getting quality at a fast food price. You’ll know who’s cooking that day because the chef will be the one wearing the burger hat – goofy perhaps but that just adds to the charm of the Little Bitty Burger Barn.
The Little Bitty Burger Barn is located at 5503 Pinemont Drive, Houston, Texas, 77092. Their phone number is 713-683-6700. They are open Monday through Friday 10 AM – 9 PM, Saturday and Sunday 11 AM – 5 PM. To learn more about the Little Bitty Burger Barn or to view pictures of customers who took the challenge of eating the Big A** Burger, visit their web site at: http://www.littlebittyburgerbarn.com.