Serious Wild Game Burgers and Dogs in the Second Ward
When Moon Tower Inn opened a year or so ago, it seemed to be on everyone’s radar but mine.
Not that I don’t enjoy hot dogs, but it’s over on Canal, a few blocks from the ball park and other than trips to the original Ninfa’s, I don’t get over on the east side that much. Katharine Shilcutt of the Houston Press wrote about it
a couple of times and even showed a pic of a Chihuahua in a bun which caused me to imagine what THAT was doing on the menu.
Well, it’s been open a year now and the First Anniversary celebration weekend is September 16th and 17th.
A reader of my blog commented that I should try it and I did.
While it wasn’t crowded on a Thursday lunch when I was there, it does get crowded, and whiners are told to not complain about the wait by a sign where they order. I suspect that the long waits were when they were getting started, as the items I ordered were cranked out quickly.
Owners Evan Shannon and Brandon Young, took quite a gamble with an unusual menu for this area, only street parking and one-third acre of property and only patio seating. There’s a horseshoe pit, covered bandstand area, a covered patio with ceiling fans to ward off heat and pests. Immediately visible is the huge barbeque pit/smoker that seems to always be churning out wild game sausage, brisket, and anything else that crosses their minds… but mostly wild animals. Boar, lamb, ham, deer and buffalo roam these parts and it’s actually an insult to the food to call ‘em hot dogs, as they are really hearty country sausages . They look a lot more manly than hot dogs, too.
L-R, Boar and Lamb Hot Dogs
The dogs are served on Slow Dough Baking Company pretzel buns and burgers are on Slow Dough Challa bread buns. Sauces are generally slightly assertive, creative and delicious. The dogs are topped with Black Pepper Ketchup, Sambal Mayo, Country Mustard, etc. While the spices in the various sausages are matched with appropriate sauces, custom combinations are allowed (not really necessary, as the combinations are excellent). The sign admonishing customers not to complain about a wait seems like more of a joke when being served by Alex, who was as courteous as I can imagine anyone being in a burger joint.
Cuban Reuben Sammich
XXX Rated Sammiches are really good and come with thoughtful sexy names like Morning Wood, Cuban Bastard, Orgasmatron and Pork n’ Granny and a few others. I had a Cuban Rueben (smoked pork loin, beer kraut, pepper jack, pickled okra and country mustard). The okra was a nice touch and if I get another one, I’ll order extra okra.
Hot Dog Menu
“Half Elbow” burgers are HUGE and have names such as The Cheech (roasted poblano, bacon, goat cheese and sambal mayo) and the one I had, the Southernplayalisticadillacburger (smoked pepper, pimiento cheese, country ham and slaw). If I had eaten an entire burger here, it could only be to show off. I split mine.
If you want a cold beer with your burger and dogs, the beer menu reads like a museum of Craft Beers, too.
If you’re interested in something unusual and delicious, you can find it at Moon Tower Inn. It’s built for fun and on the first birthday of the place, it looks like it will be around for a long time.
Moon Tower Inn
3004 Canal Street
Houston, TX 77002