Thursday, October 15, 2009

North Padre Island - Padre Island Burger Company

I'd say I'm saving the best for last but in the blogging world, the best shows up first. Sunday morning our long weekend on North Padre was coming to an end. It was rainy and we could have packed up early and got on the road or be lazy, take our time packing and squeeze one more eating experience in before heading back to Houston. Geez, what to do...

We'd passed by the Padre Island Burger Company a couple of times and I really wanted to stop. The building sits close to the intersection of Hwy. 361 (to Port A) and SPID (South Padre Island Drive). A sign "Hippies use the back door" is posted right outside the door which is pretty funny because the back door is the front door, or should I say the main door to the joint.

Two things caught my attention as we entered the building: the menu and the Solara Internet Jukebox. The appetizers list interesting things like sweet potato fries, garlic fries and Dr. Pepper wings to name a few. The burgers were divided into 2 categories: boring (or boring with cheese) and not. The not boring burgers all had unusual names and gourmet ingredients (Rockefeller, First Date, Dr. Pepper, Corpus Cold Front, The Hang Over, Mr. Beckham, etc.) I've got to give a few examples here. The Rockefeller burger has spinach, artichoke, bacon & Parmesan. The Corpus Cold Front is a burger with cream cheese, roasted red peppers & cucumber. And all burger plates (which include either garlic or sweet potato fries) offer 1/2 lb. fresh ground beef, marinated chilled chicken breast or marinated portobello cap.

We split a boring 1/2 lb. beef burger with cheese and got both kinds of fries. It was excellent. Excellent. Excellent (even if it was boring). On the back of the sheet of bright stock paper that is used as a menu is the story of Padre Island Burger Company and the picture and a story about a guy named Kory. He was killed in a traffic accident in 2008 and was project manager of the PIBC. The story said he is largely responsible for the hand-crafted bar, most of the unique, high-quality furnishings and also the beaming white hood of a VW that is mounted on the ceiling, covered with heart-felt messages from many of his friends.

I've never seen an internet jukebox (over 1,000 selections) which looked real space-age (think Jetson). This is a place not to miss. They have drink specials all day and a kids menu which adds "of all ages," which I like. The owner (Jason Johnson) completed his culinary externship at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas and seems to be a really cool dude, seeing how he's away from the fancy-pantsy scene and now back on the Island. Padre Island Burger Co. is also part of a restaurant delivery service ( So check it out the next time you're down at North Padre.

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