Memorable | One of the Best
Avalon Diner | Lunch Counter Burgers at their Best | Houston
Review by: Jane & Michael Stern
Chat & Chew
The Avalon Diner began as a drug store in 1938. It included a short soda fountain and a little dining room. So it was until 2008 when the drug store finally closed. Today, Houstonians and Roadfood explorers know it as a great place to eat and to share a meal with friends or family.
The Avalon moved from its original location in 1993. But it was a short move. It remained in the Houston neighborhood of River Oaks. It feels as much like a community center as a diner. Come at lunch and experience the vibe. The din is like a happy party – for singles, couples, and families. Clientele are white collar, blue collar, blue blood, and redneck. Business men toss their tie aprons over their shoulders to shelter them from burger-juice drippings. Immaculately coiffed women hoist fork and knife to slice into smothered pork chops.
From-Scratch Milk Shakes & Lemonade
Avalon Diner food is made the old fashioned way. Behind the counter, waitresses squeeze lemons for lemonade and make milk shakes from scratch. Shakes and malts come in their mixing can. The can arrives with frost going three-quarters up the outside. Frost indicates the liquid level within. Shakes are thick enough that the waitress must jiggle the silver beaker to encourage the liquid to pour out into a glass.
The Consummate Lunch-Counter Hamburger
Fans of the Avalon know it best for its consummate lunch-counter hamburger. Listed on the menu as the “1938 Original Hamburger,” it comes well-dressed with tomato, lettuce, pickle, onion, mustard, and mayonnaise. You can have it with American cheese, of course, or Swiss. Variations include a crunchy jalapeno burger, a zesty avocado burger, an ooze burger (with a fried egg), and an open-face chili cheeseburger. Curly fries, crinkle-cuts, onion rings and fried pickles are possible accompaniments. Sweet-tooth eaters get sweet potato fries with marshmallow sauce.
Vast Menu, Including Breakfast
Avalon’s menu extends far beyond burgers. Chicken fried steak, fried chicken, meat loaf, roast turkey & dressing, blackened catfish and grilled pork chops are just a few of the week’s blue plate specials. Frito pie comes topped with house-made chili and shredded cheese.
Many regular customers visit the Avalon just for breakfast. A near-infinite number of omelets and egg dishes crowd the menu. Breakfast classics include huevos rancheros, corned beef hash, migas, chilaquiles, and a bagel melt.
Two other locations of the Avalon Diner: 11611 Katy Fwy (281-977-4554) and 8823 Katy Fwy (713) 590-4377
|Meals Served||Breakfast, Lunch|
|Credit Cards Accepted||Yes|