The Skinny: The beer selection is top notch, the atmosphere is cozy and Austinesque and the burgers are great* (do read below for my beef with their burgers.)
The Fat: I’ve been a lover of Onion Creek for quite some time. I can head there midday for a cup of coffee or go there late night for a couple of beers. The enormous multi level patio deck offers plenty of seating with outdoor tables, chairs and picnic benches. Inside, you’ll find more tables closer to the bar and a little lounge section off to the side filled with mismatched couches and a Packman machine.
Overall the menu is pretty expansive for this little Heights patio bar. They offer an assortment of individual pizzas, hot dogs, sandwiches, salads and a decent number of vegetarian selections. I am, however, a loyal fan of their burgers - the OC burger to be exact. It’s layered with white cheddar, avocado, bacon, lettuce, tomato, red onion and chipotle mayo.
Burgers and sandwiches are served with your choice of chips or potato salad. Now, listen to me when I say this...DO NOT LEAVE without trying the potato salad! This creamy concoction tastes like a stuffed potato that’s been mixed, mashed, chilled and scooped out for your side dish pleasure.
So back to the burgers*. Here’s the catch. Every once in a while, they’re simply out of burgers. I have to say that, in all the years I’ve ever been to Onion Creek, this only happened once. The rub is that it happened on the one night I took seven friends there specifically for their burgers. On the way there I’m like "The burgers are so great...You have to try the burgers...I’m getting a burger...Burgers this and burgers that"...only to find out that there was not a burger to be had. What? Who runs out of burgers at 8pm on a Friday? Apparently Onion Creek does from time to time. Yep, sort of felt like an ass.
From what I was told when I asked the guy at the bar, Onion Creek has a pretty small kitchen, so they get their burgers cooked down the street at their sister restaurant, Dry Creek (great burgers too, go figure). When the place gets busy, sometimes they just can’t keep up with the burger demand and they fall a bit short.
After a couple of beers and some SERIOUS whining, I settled for a pathetic variation of a Panini. Panini, as we’ve come to know and love them, have one deliciously distinguishing quality - those babies are grilled to have a nice, hearty crunch. Some places may grill them more than others, but any way you toss it, Panini get some grillin’.
Now, I’m not sure if it was a busy night, but my "Pathetinini" - as I like to call it - was made of two pieces of soft round bread, whose tops had been sliced off to resemble Panini bread. Ok, so I’m into working things out on the fly, but can I get some grill action? Uh, none? It was so sad. I think my friends and I actually laughed, (out loud) pointing and criticising, my soft, white sandwich when it got to the table. Sure we behaved like cruel children on a playground poking fun at the one kid wearing faux converse tennis shoes, but I asked for a Panini God dammit, not some sandwich with a star drawn on the side of it.
I won't even get into the Asian Wrap my friend ordered...Ok, I will get into it. This wrap was filled with little more than lettuce and dry Ramen Noodels. Literally! You know those mechanically bent, white noodles that (once water is added) suddenly take on the form of nutritional and totally acceptable meals you used to eat during your first few years of college? While some of us love the taste of $.15 noodles, (myself included) I can't think of anyone who can figure out how $.15 noodles plus lettuce = $7.25. I don't care how bad you are at math!
I love this place overall. And after all is said and done, I'll continue to go back because, if you know what to order, the food is great. The people are friendly and the place is alive with a certain spirit the makes you feel like you're at a backyard party. While the pizzas and appetizers aren't bad either, I say order a burger for your main dish. Give me a burger, a beer and some awesome weather and I’m all about Onion Creek.
P.S. You may want to call ahead and make sure they're stocked up on beef before you get there because if you're anything like me, once you crave a burger...nothing else will do.
Location :3106 White Oak Blvd.
Nobody likes a sad, skinny baby...nobody!
Whether I’m ordering a meal at a restaurant or cooking up something at home, enjoying what I eat brings me immense satisfaction. On the other hand, being disappointed in a meal sends me into tantrum mode.
I expect certain things out of a dining experience. I’m realistic about the standards I hold for each place, from the local taco bar to the five star steak house. What I've decided is that it's about a perfect balance between service, food quality, ambiance and price. That may seem like a lot to juggle, but Houston is a big city with a plethora of restaurants to choose from. There’s no reason to expect anything less than the best.
If you strip my needs down to the bare essentials, you'll find I'm very much like a baby; I love tasty food and I love to be happy. If an experience doesn't generate a sense of fulfillment for those two basic needs...you're gonna hear me cry.
Nobody likes a sad, skinny baby...nobody!