1.07.2005

Review #5: Lankford's Grocery - Houston, Texas

With a name like Lankford's Grocery - I knew this place was going to be a hole in the wall. Well I must say I was not let down. Lankford's most definitely is a dive complete with a floor that drastically slants left as you walk in the door. But - all the character and color of the restaurant itself did not prepare me for the burger I was about to face at Lankfords. On Lankford's menu it reads "We're not fancy, but we are MMMM MMMM good." I don't think I could have said it any better. Lankford's was awesome!

IMPORTANT: If you haven't already, please read the Texas Burger Guy terminology post at: http://texasburgerguy.blogspot.com/2004/12/important-texasburgerguy-terminology.html. That will help you understand this review.

Lankford's Cheeseburger Review
We went to Lankford's during a weekday lunch hour so the place was pretty busy and it took a while for our food to arrive. Once the burger came into sight - I knew I was about to consume a good burger. The burger had a healthy amount of oooze all over it. The size of the pattie also made me pretty interested in the burger as well. It looked like a good greasy, beefy and cheesy burger... boy was I right. All in all a fantastic burger. Here is how I see the Lankford's Cheeseburger ranking in the Texas Burger Guy categories:

Oooze Factor
As soon as my burger came into sight, I could see that it was leaving a sweaty oily stain on the paper it was wrapped in. With great anticipation, I unwrapped this beefy beuty and began to size it up. One of the first things I noticed was the sheen on the bun itself. (see the picture below) Once I bit into this baby - immediately I knew I was eating a burger with a considerable amount of oooze. It was good and juicy. It was not too much, but not even close to being a dry burger. There was a healthy stack of vegetables piled onto the burger that added to the juices coming out of this thing. All in all - great oooze!
Oooze Factor Rating: 8



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Herd Killer
Just take a look for yourself at the picture above and tell me that this isn't a herd killer. I hate to admit this - but this burger almost beat me today. I finished it - but I was hating life for the rest of the day. I wasn't ready to eat another meal until late at night. The patties are very good looking meat. You can tell they are handmade. The best way to describe a Lankford's patty is it tastes exactly like the burgers you would cook up on your own grill. They have that backyard grill taste that makes you want to stand on a table and sing! The Lankford burger completely filled me up - huge herd killer!
Herd Killer Rating: 8

Handling
If you can one hand this thing, good luck at your next game Shaq. This burger is a 2 hander for sure. Just to keep all the vegetables from taking a flying leap from the patty requires 2 hands. Handling Rating: 8

Bling Bling
Believe it or not - that big burger up there was $3.75! For the "roll me outta here" feeling it gave me - I would say the Lankford's Cheeseburger is a great value and therefore high Bling Bling score.
Bling Bling Rating: 9

Overall Lankford's Cheeseburger Rating: 8



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Restaurant Review
Lankford's menu had the usual stuff. Burgers, fries, O-rings, chicken stuff, some salads, and some things for the kiddos. They have a pretty tempting breakfast menu as well. Guess I'll have to go back to try that out. We tried the chicken sandwich, grilled cheese, fries, onion rings, and tots. Chicken sandwich was very good. Mrs. TexasBurgerGuy had to take some of it home because it too was pretty big. If you like very greasy onion rings - you will like these. The breading on the O-rings was nothing to get excited about - but again - if you like your onion rings a little loose and greasy - then you will like these. Fries and tots were your average fry and tot.

Restaurant/Atmosphere
This has to be one of the more memorable mom and pops I have been to strictly because of the atmosphere inside Lankford's. This is one of the reasons I don't take pictures of the interior of the restaurants - it simply can not capture the feeling of sitting in a building that is barely standing but serving some wonderful food. Some notables... when you walk in - the 2 tables immediately to your left (tables 14 and 15) are sitting on a downslope. We sat at 14 and were about to fall down the hill. There are tables and a few booths. There is also an outside area to sit and eat too. For me - you have to sit inside where the action is to soke up the atmosphere. Lankford's had the mom and pop signature hand me down look. All the tables and chairs were different. The waitstaff couldn't be nicer. They don't accept credit cards so take a checkbook or some cash. All in all - just being there was a memorable experience for me. But for me the more hole in the wall - the better.

Directions
I could be a jerk and make you search for Lankford's. Unless you are familar with that part of town - you are destined to get lost in the endless maze of streets. Here are the directions from 45N (coming from The Woodlands):
- Exit Pierce/Dallas off 45
- Pass Dallas Street and take the Bagby exit (curves right)
- Turn right on West Gray
- About 1 mile take a left on Gennessee (spelling?)
- Gennessee takes you to Dennis St.
- Lankford's on the left

Address/Phone:
88 Dennis St
Houston Texas 77006
713.522.9555

Map:
Lankford's Map

TBG Overall Rating
Overall a very memorable experience. Mrs. TexasBurgerGuy still talks about how good the food was there. The food combined with the unmatched atmosphere and location make Lankford's one of my favorites. I can see now why so many people speak very highly of Lankford's. It really is a one of a kind!
Overall TBG Rating for Lankford's Grocery: 9

Other Reviews of Lankford's Grocery:
http://www.b4-u-eat.com/houston/restaurants/reviews/rsv1965.asp
http://www.digitalcity.com/houston/entertainment/venue.adp?sbid=108966453&type=userreviews

32 Comments:

At 1:58 PM, Blogger hermit said...

Hi, Texas Burger Guy, and congratulations on your website. I'm glad somebody's doing this for burger joints around Houston and I particularly appreciate the pictures! So far, I'm finding you and I have very similar opinions.

I ate at Lankford a couple of times a couple of years ago and actually wasn't that impressed, but after visiting the legendary Kincaid's in Fort Worth this past summer, I thought I ought to give Lankford another try for comparison's sake if nothing else. I was pleased to find Lankford was much better than I remembered. In fact, the only place I've had a better burger was Kincaid's, which uses a little better quality meat, I think, and has a better balance of ingredients to my taste. The crunchy onion rings at Kincaid's are probaby the best I've had anywhere.

I'm not really a fan of the oversized meat patty, overstuffed bun concept, so I usually scrape some of the fixin's off the Lankford burger for a better balance of tastes, and I've always found the sides at Lankford to be way too greasy, but it's still my nominee as best in Houston.

BTW, the best side I've had at Lankford are the thick, handcut, fresh made, tortilla chips and salsas served with the Super Taco Special (really chalupas) on Friday, but they're not on the menu to order separately.

For those coming from somewhere other than the Woodlands, Lankford is 3 or 4 block west of Brazos (one way northbound), 2 or 3 blocks north of Tuam, confusing because 2 different street patterns meet right at that intersection. West of Gennessee, Dennis is known as Welch, Tuam is known as Fairview, both extending to Montrose Blvd.

I highly recommend Lankford.

 
At 8:39 PM, Blogger TexasBurgerGuy said...

Thanks so much for your comment. I am VERY pumped about eating at Kincaid's. Literally everybody that I have talked to about D/FW burger joints says Kincaid's is incredible.

As for Lankford's - thanks for the tip on the chalupas. I'll have to try that out sometime.

Thanks again for the comment and thanks for reading TexasBurgerGuy.com!

 
At 9:52 AM, Blogger Harmony said...

I just signed up for BC and yours was the first blog I saw. I am so craving a good burger now! Thanks!

Unfortunately I live just south of Dallas, and can't get to any of the joints you've named. If you ever make it up this way, I can hook you up with the burger joints to check out!

I'm so going to pig out on a burger...my *ss is going to be mad at your for a while now. ; )

 
At 9:25 PM, Blogger 8ZERO8 said...

Love your blog! I live in Houston, so this will come in handy. Keep up the great work.

 
At 1:35 PM, Anonymous Byron Barclay said...

I had heard good things about Lankford's but hadn't found your site yet, and made a rookie mistake. Yep, I ordered a double with cheese. You think you had trouble finishing the single patty, try the double! My lord, I was full from lunch till the next day.

I hear the enchiladas are to die for there (Wednesday's special I think). I've had Christians, Lankfords, Chicken Oil, and Bellaire Broiler Burger so far. I think it's a tie between Christians and Lankford.

 
At 7:58 AM, Blogger blue said...

I went there last Saturday for the first time. I will be back. The hamburger had a seven paper towel ooz factor. Where as Christian's Totum was only two towels ooz factor. The tater tots were not greasy and were some of the best I've had. They were CRUNCHY on the outside and nice and moist on the inside and quantity wise, I could have shared them with someone. All in all I think Lankford's Grocery was a little better than Christian's Totum. I thought Christian's was about the same as Bubba's.

 
At 11:50 AM, Anonymous Bob Dowdall said...

I have been eating at the Lankford for 15 years. Miss Eady the owner and cook goes out of her way to make great burgers but some of her other specialities must be mentioned. On Thursdays her chicken fried steak causes a line to out side to get in. Long time chicken fried steak fans say her crust is light and crubchy. Saturday mornings Eggs Benedict is worth the 15 mile drive in from my house. Her home smoked Barbque served once a month on a Tuesday is to die for. My sister from Ohio who was in the resturant business still raves about the Lankford and she hasn't been here in a dozen years. It is the best. I once treated all my crew to a lunch party there they all then became regulars. It is the only local burger joint in te area to be listed in Zaguts Guide to great resturants.

 
At 7:53 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

You have to try the daily specials. The Beef Enchiladas are awesome- tons of cheese. Tacos are great, chicken fried chicken is great. Just look at the burgers.

 
At 10:17 PM, Blogger chrisg said...

Well Mr. TBG. I live in north Dallas and never thought I would find myself in Houston. Since I had the opportunity this past New Year's Eve, I made sure to stop by Lankford's Grocery. Man was I glad I did. This burger was huge and delicious. I was gonna order the triple meat but settled for the double. Although it was quite large in size, I was also hoping it would meet my taste expectations. Boy did it ever... There was a group of three next to us and I wondered if they thought I would finish it once they and I saw it. I'm no amatuer so I ate pretty quick. I just couldn't stop eating it. The onion rings are great also. My sister ordered the BLT and was huge and looked quited tastey as well. There is only one other burger that comes close and it's in Graham, Tx. But I'll write about it somewhere else on your page. Well thanks for the heads up on the burger joint and keep up the good work.

 
At 10:29 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Well, Mr. TBG, my name is Chrisg. I live in north Dallas and never thought I would find myself in Houston. But when I had the opportunity, I made sure I stopped by Lankford's Grocery. Man was I glad I did. This burger was huge and delicious. I was gonna order the triple meat but settled for the double. It was quite huge and I was hoping it would also meet my taste expectations. Boy did it. There was a group of three next to us and I wondered if they thought i would finish it as they and I saw it placed on my table. Although it is a big burger, I'm no amatuer so I didn't have much of a problem. The onion rings are great also. My sister had the BLT and it looked quite tasty as well. I'm glad I found out about this place before I went on my trip. It was a little hard to get there, but it was all worth it. Thanks for the heads up and keep up the good work.

 
At 4:58 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

lankfords has a bad-ass burger.they also have a firehouse burger that will set your mouth on fire. a soldier burger. which is their burger with a fried egg on it. they will grill your onions if you want them too. and only for a dollar add bacon,mushroom, or. avocado. this place even has blue cheese. the skys the limit. if you want it they will make it for you or die trying.

 
At 10:20 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I just happen to run accross your website. Good stuff.

I recently ate at Lankford and Christian's Totem. I would have to say Lankford is a notch above Christian's. Lankford has a slight crisp to the patty, adds more texture complexity.

Christian's was more oozey but overall flavor goes to Lankford.

How bout a section for visitor hamburger recipes?

Nice work btw.

 
At 11:10 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I ate at at Lanford's this past weekend....I was not impressed. The hamburger was dry and the fry's tasted like they had been frozen for to long before they cooked them. Maybe the cook was having a bad day. I will think about giving them another try.

 
At 10:22 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

In just a couple of words.. Lankfords Rocks! I have been eating there for years, since the 70s and while I am also partial to Bellaire Broiler Burger, Lankfords edges into the #1 spot. Just finished one of the jalapeno cheese burgers..barely..you wont find a better burger in Houston.

 
At 12:32 PM, Blogger L said...

Me and the wife tried Lankford's today (Oct 29, 2007) for lunch and we weren't disappointed. Evidently the Chicken Fried Chicken is a favorite as everyone was ordering it. Have to say while the burger was good, it was a little dry and the bun is not like the pictured bun. This bun has sesame seeds and the meat was a little dry....not much ooze. My wife and I will go back but we both agreed that the Tookie's burgers had more flavor especially ooze. Will try Christian's Totem sometime this week.

 
At 7:59 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

This is my favorite burger place i Houston (after trying many thanks to this website!) I love the atmosphere and the people are very friendly.

My favorite is the soldier burger which is the basic cheeseburger but with a fried egg on it. Delicious!!

I've also had the thursday special chicken fried steak there an it was amazing. My co-worker ordered the "Fireman" burger and it was so hot that he was sweating half-way through it.

 
At 8:46 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

You really have to go on the days when they have chicken fried steak special and enchilada special. The potatoes that come with the chicken fried steak are awesome!

 
At 12:43 PM, Blogger Vik Vij said...

Lankford's is one of my all time favorites. I love the firehouse burger. I have to disagree about the tots tho. I found them to be great, especially to counter the heat from the firehouse burger's jalapeno's, extra hot mustard and habanero sauce. that made me sweat and cry, in a good way.

 
At 7:17 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

YOU MUST TRY THEIR CHICKEN FRIED STEAK ON THURSDAYS

ITS THICK

 
At 11:59 AM, Anonymous Truerock said...

My Houston Hamburger Rankings:
1 Goode's Armadillo Palace
2 Lankford's Grocery
3 Beck's Prime
4 Prince's Hamburgers
5 Goode Company Taquria
6 Skeeters
7 Bubba's
8 Whataburger
9 McDonalds
10 Burger King
11 Wendy's

 
At 9:53 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Anybody ever tried McKenzies Burgers?

 
At 5:58 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I know this is an ancient post, but I see that your bling bling rating is 9, for a $4 burger. Your definition says that 10 is "seek financing". Shouldn't the rating or the rating system be reversed?

 
At 2:22 PM, Blogger Sam's Dad said...

TBG, you're a man after my own heart. I've considered myself a burger connoisseur since the age of 5 or 6. This is a great thing you've done here. Keep up the good work.
My son and I, with the help of your website, are embarking on a weekend burger quest. We wisely made Lankford's Grocery our official first stop. The visit was an experience we will not soon forget. The Burger Gods were smiling upon us.
We talked with several patrons outside who saw the place on Triple D and were out on a quest of their own. A friend of mine turned me on to your website and gave Lankford's two enthusiastic thumbs up, so we had to try it out for ourselves. It was legendary. The location, the patrons, the staff, the atmosphere, incredible! The ooze factor you rated was right on the money.
When we had our fill of burgers, fries and chocolate cake, it was time to pay. 2 burgers, 2 fries, 2 drinks and a piece of chocolate cake big enough to choke a goat.....$14 bucks! Easily $20 or more anywhere else. So I pull out my trusty debit card to pay and it was then I see the sign...."No Credit Cards". Not knowing what to do since I didn't have cash, the man behind the counter says "There's an ATM just down the road, I know you're good for it." Am I dreaming? It's like I've died and gone to Mayberry RFD. But before I could utter a word of disbelief, the very nice couple behind us, says "Don't worry about it, we got your meal." Too good to be true. Talk about a memorable experience. We thanked them as best we could and headed out. Lankford's Grocery will always be our #1 place.

 
At 7:37 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Check out the Wednesday special! The best Enchilada's in Texas!

 
At 6:21 AM, Blogger Eating The Road said...

I really like Lankford Grocery & Market:
http://eatingtheroad.wordpress.com/2009/12/15/lanfort-grocery/

 
At 9:13 PM, Blogger cechansler said...

Which burger did you have

A single

or a double meat.

I go to lankfords every time i am in houston (mm lives here)

THe double meat cheeseburger is the best thing there

 
At 9:32 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm a Langford regular and love it. Have you reviewed Hubcap?

 
At 11:19 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I just had my first burger at Lankford. It is a great handmade patty and had a nice crisp to it. Unfortunately it was so overcooked as to be absolutely dry. The ooze had all been cooked out of it.

Bummer!

 
At 1:46 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Boy, I liked Lankford's and I would recommend it to others, but best burger in Houston?

I think Beck's is so much better than Lankford's that it's not even close. I get that Beck's may not count since it is a small chain, but those burgers are as good as I've had anywhere. I truly don't understand why they don't go to the top of all of these lists.

 
At 8:56 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Surprised no one has mentioned Rockwells or The Shack/The Love Shack (theshackcypress.com). Those are some good burgers, but a bit on the pricier side.

 
At 7:05 AM, Blogger Carl Hardy said...

I've never been to Lankfords. How do you compare them to Fuddrukers?

 
At 6:33 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

U need to try burger park on mlk Blvd I bet u put them in your top 5

 

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