10.07.2006

Review #22: Bill's Cafe - Kingwood, Texas

If you mapped out on a map all of the burger joints I have reviewed in Houston, you'd see several in Northwest Houston, some in the Galleria area, one or 2 close to downtown, south Houston, and some on the west side as well. There is nothing on the northeast side of town though... This changed today as I received a review request this week from a friend for a place up in Kingwood, which for all of you not familiar with Houston, is located on the far northeast side of Houston. This morning was absolutely wonderful weather wise so I packed up the kids and the wife and headed northeast to Kingwood. We found a gem of a burger joint in Bill's Cafe. Bill's is just a great place to hang out and have a really good burger.

IMPORTANT: If you haven't already, please read the Texas Burger Guy terminology post. That will help you understand the terminology I use in this review.

Bill's Cafe Cheeseburger
When somebody thinks about visiting Houston, 2 things they expect are heat and humidity. It's those 2 things that keep non-Houstonians from invading Houstonians. You definitely do not think mild temperatures and low humidity. Well... today we are having one of those picture perfect days.. when we left the house for Bill's - the temperature was in the mid 70's and there was next to zero humidity. Just a perfect day to sit outside and eat. I didn't know what to expect when we got to Bill's because I had never been there before but I was hoping they had a patio. I was VERY pleased when I saw that they have a really nice patio area complete with a sandbox for the kids to enjoy. Before we even received our food, we were already in love with Bill's Cafe. We had seen the inside of Bill's (that has LOTS of character by the way), placed our order with a very helpful waitress, and our kids enjoy themselves in the sandpit. All that was needed to make this day perfect was a big juicy burger and some greasy fries. Well... you gotta read on if Bill's delivered...

Oooze Factor
Upon seeing my burger surrounded by my onion rings, I just knew when I picked up the burger I'd be met by a greasy underside... that wasn't the case unfortunately. There was some grease but just not enough to score really high on the Oooze Factor scale. It was thick (more about that later) but not really dripping with grease...
Oooze Factor Rating: 4


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Herd Killer
Somewhere out there in the fields where the cows graze is a big sign that reads "Bovine Warning: Look out for Bill". Bill isn't afraid to stack on a slab of beef on his burgers. This thing was probably an inch thick in the middle. Very good size!!
Herd Killer Rating: 8

Handling
Bill earns high marks for Handling since the burger was huge. In addition to the meat were some very fresh lettuce and tomato. I despise pickles but Mrs. TBG had a ton of pickles on her Chicken Sandwich (see picture below). The bun was one of the big ones as well to cover the big slab of beef. All in all - a good size burger requiring every bit of 2 hands to manipulate.
Handling Rating: 8

Bling Bling
5.75 is all it will take to get you the burger and onion rings above. Not that bad because I left there full. Not so full that I had to unbutton anything on the way home... but full nonetheless.
Bling Bling Rating: 7

Gravedigger
Gravedigger is turning into the category that separates the men from the boys. Kitok's had a good burger but it didn't put the fear of the Almighty in me like Boondock's did. Bill's had a good thick burger but again - it just didn't leave me feeling scared for my life.
Gravedigger Rating: 3 Shovels



Overall Bill's Cafe Cheeseburger Rating: 7

Restaurant Review
I'm not sure if it was the perfect weather we were having today or what but I really enjoyed my visit to Bill's Cafe today. They have a great facility for just going and hanging out, having a burger, letting the kids play together, and even taking in a ballgame on the TVs in the patio and main restaurant areas. They will even let you bring your own wine since all they sell in the way of alcohol is beer. The food is really good... fries are phenomenal... service is great and the atmosphere is excellent...

Bill's Cafe Chicken Sandwich and Fries

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Restaurant/Atmosphere
If you go to Bill's Cafe and want to sit outside... do yourself a favor and atleast walk in the door in the main restaurant and take in the atmosphere. It's awesome!! There are probably hundreds of baseball caps nailed to the walls. Its quite the site to see all of those hats. Also - make sure you check out the chairs that are covered with dairy cow skins. (put the phone down PETA - it's not an actual hide - it's fabric) There is a bar if you want to have the traditional cafe experience. They also have tables inside as well. I've touched on the patio area already but suffice it to say this is one of the biggest draws for people like me. I knew before I ordered that I was going to get a good burger when I saw the no frills environment. I was not let down. The fries (pictured above) are the natural cut variety. They are excellent! Good seasoning. Onion rings are the slimy onion variety. If you like them that way - they are good. Not great - just pretty good. They give you a big glass for your coke which seems trivial but I love it that way. Another big plus is when you order chicken nuggets for the kids- they will ask you how many nuggets you want to order. This allows you to order just what your kids will eat instead of paying for 98 nuggets and only eating 3. All in all - Bill's Cafe was a great experience. We will be back...


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Directions
Kingwood is in far Northeast Houston. Its a nice drive down 59 to Kingwood. Bill's is pretty easy to find.

Address
22845 Loop 494
Kingwood, TX 77339
(281) 358-6198

Map
Bill's Cafe Map

TBG Overall Rating
Excellent place to hang out and have a burger! I hear their steaks are to die for as well. We will be back sometime soon I'm sure. Great environment - pretty good burger.

Overall TBG Rating for Bill's Cafe: 8

14 Comments:

At 12:16 PM, Anonymous Jason said...

Yet another great burger review! I have some coworkers that live in Kingwood, so I plan to ask them about Bill's.

 
At 5:16 PM, Blogger Larry Linkler said...

Bill's Cafe get's an A++ in my Burger Book!

 
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At 8:05 PM, Anonymous Shawna said...

I live in New Caney, just north of Kingwood. I have been to Bill's quite a bit and loved everything about it.

If you try anything else there, try the steak. My parents always get the biggest steak on the menu, forgot what it is called, but man, it is HUGE. Fills the whole plate up. lol

 
At 6:54 PM, Anonymous joe said...

my wife and i eat steak for the next three days, but those are the best fries ever they are even better cold.

 
At 8:12 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

This place would be okay.
If the service didn't take forever, and the burgers were served hot with the cheese still melted.I'd rather go down to a little burger place on loop 494 than eat here again...

 
At 7:22 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I was brought here by friends when I first moved to Houston. I love the place. Great burgers and a good atmosphere. I've been back several times.

 
At 2:37 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

You should try Pete's Burger Place a little farther down Loop 494 in Porter. Amazing.

 
At 11:18 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I had a late lunch at Bill's Cafe today. I've had the steak for two and I have to tell you that was a ton of steak! It came with a to-go box full of salad, and another to-go box full of homemade fries. Today I tried the hamburger, and it was delicious! It was juicy, and filling. I love the relaxed feel of the cafe.

 
At 7:56 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Pete's, a mile North on 494, is much better. Bill's has never impressed me as much as Pete's.

 
At 5:01 PM, Anonymous Phylbobjoejr said...

Been going to Bill's for 30 years (I'm 53 now). COLD, COLD, COLD beer (wide variety too). You can also bring your wine/liquor. Hamburgers are BIG & tasty (have kid burgers too (not just for kids). The T-Bone is great (medium rare for me). The atmosphere is hometown with many locals, but you always wind up making friends w/someone new. Very friendly & efficient wait staff. Owner Cheri Huber is an absolute jewel!

 
At 11:45 PM, Blogger Zane Hovell said...

Looks like this cafe could use some sort of door against burglars. It seemed to me that it's like a garage turned into a burger snack restaurant. Back home, such restaurants have crimsafe in perth. Nice to know they offer good less-greasy burgers though. Thanks for sharing!

 
At 11:37 AM, Blogger Cinamon said...

Pete's has nothing on Bill's. Bill's is mostly homemade, or atleast they have a better Vendor. PLUS the staff never writes your order down. They know it by heart and always get it correct.
Pete's is a wanna be Bills. Their food is pre made, dipped in the fryer and not always fresh.

 
At 11:41 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have been going to Bill's for about 20 yrs now, used to be scared of the place thought it was a BAR. WRONG! It is one of the most family oriented places in town. Plus it is older than the neighboring Kingwood since it was established in 1945.
The girls take your order and never need to write it down, somehow they get it correct every time.
Their menu has grown tremendously in the 20yrs since I have been eating there.
you used to order a loaf of onion rings and boy did you leave with a loaf. The steaks will serve one for a week, A couple for two days!!
I always get a Jr Burger and NEVER LEAve hungry.
PETE'S IS NOTHING COMPARED TO BILLS. ThEY SERVE PREMADE FOOD.

 

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