“I bleed burgers and fries” is one of the many slogans plastered against the outside of this traditional, yet re-purposed, yellow school bus. Here recently, Bernie’s Burger Bus has been included in several competitions including Eating Our Words’ Burger Bracket Competition, in which they have now progressed into the top eight (the final four will be announced on March 26th and we are certain Bernie’s will be there). You can pretty much guarantee that if you ask someone for a burger joint recommendation in Houston, Bernie’s Burger Bus will top their list. Bernie’s, named after owner Justin Turner’s grandfather, has become synonymous with the place for the great American favorite. As Justin Turner states, “We offer a true burger experience…I don’t have ambiance and I can’t provide a table and chairs…my main focus is always the food”. We refer to Bernie’s Burger Bus as the “burger joint mobile” and this food truck embodies those things that result in loyal customers: great food, consistently great customer service, and a passion for creating something your customers will love and come back for time and time again.
On our visit we tried the “Principal”. This burger is a take on the classic, and kept simple, with mayo, mustard, ketchup, pickle, onions, lettuce, and roasted garlic tomatoes. Our mouths just about hit the gravel when Justin advised that Bernie’s Burger Bus not only uses fresh ingredients, but ALL their condiments are made from scratch including the ketchup, pickles, and chipotle aioli. You can even purchase their ketchup if you wanted to bring a little Bernie’s home (no pun intended :-)). Bernie’s is also working on bottling up their chipotle aioli and we will sure be in line for that! The Principal was a seriously “juicy” burger to say the least and was the first word we used to describe it. The toppings were the hot commodity and as we always say, “fresh is best”. The buns were toasted and are baked fresh daily (Bernie’s gets their buns from a local baker). How do we describe a burger that can hold such immense flavor and a deliver bang for your buck all in one bite…HEAVENLY! The Truffle Fries were also amazing – hand cut to the perfect size with soft centers and crispy edges; perfection at it’s best. The “Homeroom” is their most popular burger and is made with applewood bacon, Texas cheddar, Tipsy Onion’s, chipotle aioli, and topped with a fried egg. If you haven’t quite caught up to gourmet burgers and fried eggs, you need to play a little game of ketchup…sorry, “catch up”. It is the real deal and there is nothing like it.
We are happy to announce that Justin is looking forward to opening his second food truck for Bernie’s Burger Bus. However, he was having some trouble locating a home on the West end. It seems some establishments are not too keen on what they are calling “greasy food”. WTH! Come on guys…its Bernie’s! Nothing is more American than a good ole’ hamburger. Do we need to start a petition or something? Just let us know…the Urban Swank Girls are game for a good protest every now and then…lol! Justin is also gearing up to open a few storefronts called the Bernie’s Bus Stop and is currently looking for investors. And if that wasn’t enough, Justin will also be hosting a series of pop up dinners, called “Ghetto Dinners”, each aligning with a different theme, for example, taking it back to the South but with a twist. We are very interested to see Justin’s take on collard greens and cornbread (hint, hint).
During the month of March for March Madness, Bernie’s Burger Bus will be giving $2 off their burgers. We had a great time visiting Justin and can see why he remains at the top of the burger chain. You can find Bernie’s Burger Bus locations and hours at http://www.berniesburgerbus.com.
Urban Swank received a complimentary tasting; opinions expressed are our own.