Houston's Best for Sliders

Bite-size burger bliss
December 10, 2015
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by Zagat Staff

The sliders at these Houston spots may be cute, but don’t underestimate them based on their small package. Bursting with juicy meat and crunchy toppings, these minis have full-size impact.

Paulie's
Italian · Montrose · $$
Food 4.4 · Decor 3.7 · Service 4.0

This “superb little spot” in Montrose serves Italian-inspired sandwiches and “fantastic” handmade pastas plus soups, salads and some of the “best shortbread sugar cookies” in the area; the counter-serve setup adds to the “relaxed” atmosphere, as does the “polite, helpful” staff; P.S. the terrific sibling wine bar, Camerata, is next door.
Reef
Seafood · Midtown · $$$
Food 4.5 · Decor 3.9 · Service 4.3

The contemporary dining room at this Midtown spot fills with fans of chef Bryan Caswell’s “absolutely wonderful” seafood creations (which are often “inventive takes on the classics” from the Gulf Coast and beyond), as well as creative sides like the “fantastic” fried mac ’n’ cheese; just know that it can get “very loud” , perhaps due in part to the “incredible” wine selection.
Hubcap Grill
Downtown · $$
Food 4.5 · Decor 3.2 · Service 3.7

“Juicy, handmade” patties from never-frozen ground beef piled with interesting toppings (Cheetos and cheese sauce, anyone?) create lines at these “hole-in-the-wall” counter-serve burger joints; don’t let the “semi-gruff” service or “spartan surroundings discourage you” , as it’s all about the “tasty” , inexpensive burgers here – plus the Heights and Kemah branches have a “nice selection of local craft beers.”
Liberty Kitchen & Oyster Bar
Breakfast · Heights · $$
Food 4.1 · Decor 4.0 · Service 4.0

“Oysters are always a treat” , as is the “extensive” menu of locally attuned seafood faves and American grub (steaks, burgers) at this upscale-casual eatery in the Heights, which also pours “excellent” drinks; though contemporary, the interior is “warm, wonderful and cozy” – no wonder it’s a “packed brunch destination” on weekends.
Bernie's Burger Bus
$
Food 4.4 · Decor 4.0 · Service 4.1

“With a school bus inside that serves as its kitchen” , this Bellaire patty joint doles out “absolutely wonderful” “gourmet” burgers (grass-fed beef, lamb, chicken) and hand-cut fries; “kids love the bus” and sitting at tables resembling school desks, plus there’s an enormous patio and a full bar with flat-screens and local craft beers, making it a “fun place to visit” for all ages, though critics claim it’s “way too pricey” for what it is.
Brooklyn Athletic Club
Bar · Montrose · $$
Food 4.1 · Decor 4.0 · Service 3.9

Fashionably casual with “an expansive outdoor area” that includes a croquet field and bocce courts, this Montrose spot “shines in the fall and spring when the weather is nice enough” to dine in the open air; the “fairly limited menu” – supposedly inspired by pre-hipster Brooklyn favorites like hefty Reuben sandwiches and pasta and meatballs – offers “twists on traditional” American fare complemented by a fairly “strong wine and beer selection.”