Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Elevation Burger- A Halal, Healthier Version of In-N-Out Burger

Restaurant- Elevation Burger
3819 Kirby Dr, Houston, Texas 77098
Buffet or a-la-carte? A-la-carte
Date of visit: 8/12/13

Salam/ hey everyone! Today I will be reviewing Elevation Burger. Elevation Burger is a burger chain, with locations in Florida, Maryland, Maine, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, and Texas. There are restaurants outside the United States too, with locations in Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Bahrain, Dubai, and Qatar. This will review the Houston location. The main goal of Elevation Burger is to provide a healthier alternative to popular burger chains like McDonalds, Burger King, and In-N-Out Burger. They use 100% halal organic meat, and are also vegan friendly.
Literally the only reason I got to review this restaurant was because I at the University of Houston for some work regarding my next semester's classes. As everything in UH was closed due to the summer intersession break, I could not eat on campus. I also had a tight budget, so M&M Grill was unfortunately ruled out. I had originally thought of trying Stanton City Bites near downtown, but it was closed on Mondays. So Elevation Burger it was! After finishing the work, I left for the restaurant.

Let The Experience Begin:
The restaurant is located at a congested area of town: Upper Kirby. Parking my car was extremely difficult with many people cutting through the restaurant to avoid being stuck in traffic. There were instances where cars were honking at me because I was backing out to straighten my car to avoid the possibility of a parking ticket, and nearly hit them :O Can they not wait for two extra minutes for the light to turn green??? After five minutes being stuck, I finally went into the restaurant.
The restaurant has a very casual ambiance. There are window-side booths that viewed the Galleria and surrounding strip malls. There were also normal tables and an outdoor patio. Diners were casually talking and everyone seemed so relaxed. I went up to the cashier and decided to order from the menu board.

Let's Eat!
Well this is how the ordering works. First you decide which burger you want. Second, you decide whether you want a normal bun, lettuce wrapped, or no bun. Finally, you have the liberty of choosing whatever toppings you want on your burger. I ordered the Elevation Burger with Mayo, lettuce, caramelized onions, and tomatoes. I also got fries and water. All at a price of $9.94 (tax included). The waiting time was good: only 10 minutes and 3 seconds. One thing I liked was that there were bottles of ketchup on the table for the fries. There was no TV inside the restaurant, so I looked outside and hoped to see a Ferrari or Lamborghini

Menu: Below is the normal menu. But there is also an online ordering menu. Note that bacon is haram, but cooked separately from halal meat

Normal Menu (Photo Credit: http://hungrypilgrims.files.wordpress.com/2010/10/img_2228.jpg)

Online ordering menu (varies by location)- http://houston.elevationburger.com/

Elevation Burger and Fries

The Verdict:
When I saw the burger and fries, my first thought was "OK this is DEFINITELY like In-N-Out" The portions were definitely the same. Well the food was above average; however, there were some problems. First the good stuff. The meat and cheese were absolutely mouthwatering. The melted cheese reminded me of the delicious grilled cheese that is present whenever I eat a philly cheesesteak. the meat was fresh and organic, as the restaurant claimed to be. The meat was cooked medium well to perfection. The tomatoes were fresh and delicious. Now the bad. There was barely any mayo or caramelized onions. Although it was delicious, I counted only four pieces of caramelized onions, and this was after eating 75% of the burger! I could taste the mayo after eating more than half the burger! I've never had that little mayo before. Secondly, the lettuce wasn't fresh. I am assuming that the lettuce used was iceberg lettuce. Iceberg lettuce is not always fresh, so I would recommend them to start using romaine lettuce as it gives more taste and is, in fact, healthier. Lastly, the fries were slightly undercooked. They were half soggy and half crispy and had barely any seasoning on them. Maybe they can come up with their own unique seasoning for their fries to improve their taste, and also put the fries in the fryer for some more time. Overall, one thumb up for the meat and cheese, and one thumb down for the fries and the lettuce.
How did I judge the burger? Well one half of the burger had the meat, onions and cheese, and the other half had the vegetables and sauces. So I took bites off each half and determined how they tasted.

Elevation Burger is definitely a place for health nuts who are looking for healthy alternatives to McDonalds or Burger King. It is also perfect for vegetarians and vegans. So if any of those apply to you, then the vegetarian and/or vegan burgers are perfect for you. But if you are a normal burger person, where you like meat and toppings together, then avoid the lettuce and order other vegetables or just get the meat and cheese. With regards to the other burgers that I have tasted and posted on this blog, this ranks below Famous Hamburger and M&M Grill. Regarding the fries, give them a pass. There are other places in town where you can get fresh, crispy fries. I will only recommend this because you would have the liberty to choose whatever toppings I want. Had this not been the case, I would have not recommended this place. I will be back and try different toppings with my burger.

Service: 9/10 (no problems)
Food: 6/10 (Good: Meat, mayo, onions, tomatoes and Cheese. Bad: lettuce and fries + lack of mayo and onions)
Waiting time: 10/10 (10 minutes 3 seconds)
Total: 25/30 = 83.3% (B)
Pricing: $ out of $$$$

Restaurant Information:
Elevation Burger
3819 Kirby Dr, Houston, Texas 77098
Phone: (713) 524-2909
Website: http://www.elevationburger.com/EB.php
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/ElevationBurger (National); https://www.facebook.com/ElevationBurgerKirby (Houston)
Twitter: https://twitter.com/elevationburger (National);  https://twitter.com/ElevationKirby (Houston)
Timings --> Mon-Thu & Sun: 10:30 AM - 10 PM; Fri-Sat: 10:30 AM - 12 AM
Caters: Yes

Feel Free to Comment Below

Zain Mohammed

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