By Zarah Parker
During to month of October, residents will have the chance to experience four different burgers with a local brew twist at Miller’s Café, 3830 N. Shepherd Dr.
The burgers are part of a collaboration for Miller’s Houston Brewery Hamburger Showdown. The showdown is in place of a Miller’s Hamburger Eating Competition, which the restaurant started back up last year for the first time since the 1980s. The switch in events was due to COVID-19 restaurant restrictions.
Jonathan White, who owns Miller’s along with his wife and mother-in-law, wanted a way to put beer to good use in a burger.
“I’m a strong supporter of the Houston beer scene … and I’m very proud of the beers coming out of Houston,” White said. “A lot of the people from the breweries have eaten with us for a number of years and have supported us, so this is a way to showcase the work they do and to support one another.”
The showdown will feature one burger per week made with beer from one of the four participating breweries, three of which are local. The collaboration burger from Eureka Heights Brew Co., 941 W. 18th St., will be showcased Oct. 1-10, while a burger by Great Heights Brewing Company, 938 Wakefield Dr., will showcase Oct. 12-17. A burger by Urban South HTX, 1201 Oliver St., will showcase Oct. 19-24, and Baa Baa Brewing, which is located in Brookshire, will have a burger from Oct. 26-31.
Voting will take place in Miller’s on index cards with a 1-5 star rating system as well as on Facebook, @millerscafeshepherd. The winning burger will gain a permanent spot on Miller’s menu.
“I created each of the burgers and then met personally with each brewer and bounced ideas off of each other as to which beers to use and what they wanted out of a burger and, poof, burgers were born,” White said.
The Eureka Heights burger will feature pulled pork made with Eureka’s lab series Bidi Bidi Bom Bom Dark Mexican lager with sea salt and dark chocolate, Mini Boss IPA pickles, BBQ sauce and queso sauce all on a Miller’s burger and poppy seed bun.
“We are really stoked to be partnering up with Miller’s on this epic burger competition,” Eureka’s Evan Camp said. “The creativity of the burger really came directly from John over at Miller’s.”
The Great Heights burger will feature Bratwurst boiled in Oaktoberfest beer, then grilled with bacon sauerkraut and layered with Swiss cheese with a Blue Tile IPA mustard.
Urban South HTX’s burger will be called “Raspberry Spilled Chipotle Bacon Jam,” featuring melted Brie, balsamic reduction, cilantro lime aioli, tomatoes and baby spinach.
“John is a regular at the brewery and is a big fan of our Spilled beer series, a series of heavily fruited sour beers,” said Dave Ohmer, general manager at Urban South HTX. “He shared his idea for the Brewery Burger Showdown and how he would like to try and use the Spilled line in one of the burgers. We started to brainstorm about what fruits would work best with a burger. John mentioned the idea of jam, and it just so happened we had raspberry on hand as an ingredient. John took it from there and we came up with the Raspberry Spilled Chipotle Bacon Jam.”
Since Baa Baa is vegan, White took its Smooth Ninja, a heavily fruited sour ale with banana, strawberry, pineapple and dragon fruit, and made a pineapple chutney. With it, the burger will have pickled red onions, a honey siracha aioli and arugula. The burger patty with be a beyond or black bean patty.
“This is just a really fun way to shine some light on the breweries, and to show people that we can do some different things up at Miller’s,” White said. “It’s a way to collaborate with other locals and will hopefully help all of us renew some business after everything we’ve been through with the pandemic.”