Found right on the edge of Hempstead off FM 395 is the Thirsty Parrot Bar and Grill. It is like most bars you will find anywhere else: you can shoot pool, throw some money in the jukebox, or have a beer or cocktail at the bar. You might be wondering why would I bother writing this review of a run of the mill bar out in the middle of nowhere (no offense to Hempsteadians)? quite simply, it is all about the burger.
I am a member of a private shooting range that is located between Hempstead and Brookshire. Every time I head out there I see a sign for the Thirsty Parrot indicating its location only a few miles ahead. For months I had been able to pass by without giving the sign a second thought. However, the past few months have been brutal, running around with a 25lbs shotgun in +100 degree heat doesn’t really help one stay cool. Just the idea of a ice-cold beer only a few miles up the road looks like an oasis in the Sahara at this point.
As I stated before, the bar appears to be as average as they come, a large plain white structure with typical neon and beer logos everywhere. However, among the bland bar monotony are the burgers, truly a miracle as to how something so good can come out of a place such as this. It is not the condiments or the toppings (i.e. tomatoes, lettuce: which do taste very fresh) but it is the flavor and texture combination of the meat and the bread that is something that should raise the standards for any burger. As you begin eating, the first you realize is how juicy, soft, and full of flavor the burger meat is. When combined with the sweetness brought on by the broken down starches from the Jalapeño sourdough bread, the rush of flavor and texture from the fried Jalapeños just overwhelms the senses. I have to say I was a little hesitant towards having Jalapeño bread and fried Jalapeños on my burger, I never understood the need to have a ridiculous amount of spice in food to where all you can taste is heat, surprisingly this was not the case. The Jalapeños were mild and perfectly accented the burger rather than dominating the flavors and ruining the burger.
It was Plato who believed that all man made things were only poor imitations of their perfect ideal selves, let me tell you this my burger hungry brothers and sisters, if the Thirsty Parrot doesn’t have a perfect burger than it is a hair-thin second.