Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Hubcap Grill

If you've ever been to downtown Houston and haven't seen the Hubcap Grill then you probably shouldn't be driving, what with the amount of attention you're paying to your surroundings and all. The Hubcap Grill is located at 1111 Prairie, and as it's covered in hubcaps, I've obviously wanted to go ever since I first moved to Houston and drove by it, lost, on my way to a different restaurant. (Haha that was I joke I never get lost haha haha haha) I ate their guacamole Swiss burger and my dining companion tried their sticky burger, which grossly sounding is a burger with crunchy peanut butter, bacon, and American cheese. Both were very good, but obviously none of you are interested in the food.

I guess I'll start with the decor of the place. What I'm mostly interested in is how they came up with the name, Hubcap Grill. The whole front of the restaurant is covered in Hubcaps, there are hubcaps in the restaurant itself.  Their small outdoor patio had hubcaps lining the walls. Every time I type the word hubcap I'm convinced I'm misspelling it. What I wonder is, what came first, the idea or the hubcaps? I really want to believe that this guy had a collection of hubcaps and his wife was out in the garage every day, complaining and nagging, telling him that he had to get rid of his hubcaps or she was going to leave him. So what does he do? He opens a restaurant. A great burger restaurant. And then, I assume, trades the wife in for a much younger one who doesn't complain over stupid things like a hubcap collection. The thing that's so great, however, is that he doesn't just stop at the exterior. Inside, there's even a whole clock that's shaped like a hubcap. A whole interior decoration that's a hubcap as well! +19 for the hubcaps for sure.

Another thing that I like is that the menu names specify only what the food itself is. Sometimes theme names can be very nice, very funny, really tie together the concept of a restaurant. Other times, however, they're just cheesy, cliche, over done. I think at Hubcap Grill novelty names would have very easily gone cheesy (get it? Because it's a burger restaurant and there's cheese on everything? MAN that's a good pun) and I'm glad they spared us. (Get it? Like a spare tire? Geez I'm on a roll!) Their menu items are only things like "Philly cheese steak burger" and "mushroom Swiss burger" and "jalapeno cheeseburger". I'm just saying, it easily could have gone bad, as all my great hilarious puns in this paragraph have shown. +8

Hubcap Grill is located in a very tiny building - actually that's one of the things I think is cutest about it. It's located next to a big, wide red building that I think they're turning in to a Target (coincidentally - a Target, guys! Downtown! Suddenly I have a reason to go to downtown that doesn't include eating or being pretentious! This is probably the only way to revive the flagging Houston downtown culture! Putting low cost sweaters and all the cute summer dresses I need three minutes closer to my apartment. Thanks, Target!) and a really tall yellow building that's probably bail bonds or whatever else people do in the downtown area. It's a tiny speck on the geography of Prairie street. It looks like one of the other buildings put it out to the curb but the garbage only picks up large trash on Fridays and so by the time they came round for Hubcap Grill it was already a restaurant and they couldn't get rid of it. Anyway, the point of this paragraph is that one of the tables had a sign on it that said: "We only have a few tables, so please don't linger any longer than necessary! Thank you for your understanding!" Oh man I loved it. I hate customers who linger. You can talk by your car or at your own house. I think that the real exercise this blog is doing for me is giving me all these great tips for the restaurant I'll open myself one day, and these passive aggressive signs are the top of my list, the very top. I just really, really do love a restaurant that's willing to put the needs of it's employees over the needs of their customers - I think it's a really good management strategy and I can tell you as an employee that a happy employee is a happy customer. So thanks for looking out for little guys everywhere, Hubcap Grill: +56

I'm just going to go ahead and talk about food again, even though I always swear to you guys I won't. OK. So I'd obviously never complain about a burger having too many toppings. This isn't really a complaint about the restaurant at all, so much as the fact that somewhere along the line I never learned how to eat food. As I stated earlier, I tried the guacamole Swiss burger and it was unbelievably delicious. Avocados aren't really cheap, and so usually when restaurants tell you there's guacamole on their food it's a tablespoon that they very carefully measured and didn't bother to scrape clean on your food. This burger had at least a gallon of guacamole poured on the top of it, and they used a really soft, tasty bread for the bun. For a normal human being I think this would probably be alright, and indeed it was delicious. Man I can't believe I just said indeed. Anyway, so the bun easily tears beneath my ravenous, searching teeth, and then I have this whole mess of guacamole to deal with. I mean it got everywhere. I had guacamole all over my face, all over my hands. I'm still licking it off my fingers, six hours later. (That was a joke I've obviously washed my hands since guys, come on) Plus the burger was really juicy, so I had burger juices running down my arms. I mean I was a real mess. Once my mother, exasperated, asked me if I would eat like this if I ever had dinner with the President of the United States. I mean for one thing I don't think we'd have dinner at the Hubcap Grill, since they're only open until three, plus I pay the President's salary (or theoretically will, once I start actually paying my taxes instead of just applying for refunds). I'm just saying. It's not the President she should be worried about. My poor boyfriend, however. I can't help but think that it's only fun to watch somebody pick guacamole out of their hair and rub it off their shirt and scrape it off their back and dab it off the ceiling and smudge it off the owner's nose for a while. Then it's just disgusting. -200 for my deplorable dinner manners.

Anyways if anybody's looking for a good burger, try the Hubcap Grill, but don't linger for too long, they only have a few tables. In case you're wondering, no, nobody's ever emailed me at arbitrarycriticism@live.com.

Hubcap Grill on Urbanspoon

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