Broiler Burger food truck closes, original site sold
The promise of a revival of the original Bellaire Broiler Burger has ended, with food sales suddenly shutting down on Labor Day, and the vintage building at 5216 Bellaire Blvd. sold for use as a law office.
Even though the operator, Jason Scheinthal, regaled customers until the end with plans to restore the iconic eatery to its 1960s glory, the property had been quietly put on the market in July.
Scheinthal offered multiple versions of why the BBB — which never moved beyond a food-truck-in-the-parking-lot phase of development — was abandoning the location. The official statement said “due to circumstances beyond our control,” while he told a newspaper that the LLC which owned the property, with his father listed as agent, received an offer literally too good to refuse. He also blamed summer heat and the cost of bringing the building up to code, while telling Essentials that the closing was due to “a very personal family issue.”
Whatever the reason, Scheinthal vowed to reopen at another location. The business had never really resonated with customers, though, with high prices for food that didn’t live up to the venerated original Broiler Burger.
Scheinthal was also operating at least three additional burger “ghost kitchens” from the food truck. None of the burger recipes were strictly Broiler Burger’s but were under the umbrella of Next Bite, a national virtual restaurant company who contracted with Scheinthal to offer at least eight different restaurant concepts out of the food truck.
Devotees of classic burgers are pinning their hopes on the family-owned, 85-year-old Lankford Burgers, which is renovating the longtime Brisket BBQ space at 5208 Bissonnet St., in hopes of an opening its second location before the end of the year.
George’s Bistro & Bar at 2715 Bissonnet St., open for lunch and dinner seven days a week, with small plates, pizzas, sandwiches and salads, and full meals. Family friendly with a patio and specialty cocktails.
Aya Sushi in the Bellaire Triangle where Bernie’s Burger Bus once operated, with its kitchen led by celebrated Tokyo-trained Yoshi Katsuyama. The chef is known for careful sourcing of ingredients for his sushi, with a focus on sashimi and nigiri and options for a la carte service or omakase — multi-course meals selected by the chef. Aya boasts a patio and sophisticated beverage program featuring large wine and Japanese whiskey selections.
Urban Bird, 5404 Kirby Dr., serving Nashville-style hot chicken tenders and meatless versions for lunch and dinner daily with a variety of loaded fries, sides and shakes.
Slowpoke’s, a popular group of cozy breakfast-lunch-happy hour places to eat and drink coffee, beer and wine is expanding to West U Commons in the 6700 block of Stella Link. Each location is customized to the area.
Snooze, a concept offering breakfast deep into the afternoon, is headed for the former Pronto Cucinino space in Vanderbilt Square.
Craft Pita is aiming to open its second location in the former Kenny & Ziggy’s space at Plaza in the Park (Kroger center) by the end of the year. Its Mediterranean specialties earned the original a designation as one of Yelp’s 100 Top Places to Eat in the U.S. in 2020. The owner plans to add kebabs and sampler plates to the menu, which is known for its traditional items, pita sandwiches and rotisserie chicken.
This column first appeared in the September 2022 edition of Bellaire•West University Essentials magazine.