I was on a mission, a hunt for a genuinely unique burger. The name is what caught my eye- the “Hanna Banana” burger. I was intrigued despite the menu’s outrageous description of the burger, yet ordering is what cultivated my anxiety. I was already discouraged by the restaurant’s uncleanliness and the inattentive staff, making me apprehensive about continuing this endeavor. But I refused to give up; I was willing to be proved wrong.
It was apparent that the staff were overwhelmingly busy; there appeared to be only two servers for the barn full of patrons. We stood patiently, but no one addressed us, so we assumed it was seat-yourself. Choosing the cleanest paint-chipped picnic table we could find, we began our 15-minute wait for an acknowledgment. Finally, four styrofoam cups and menus were placed on the table, and our server walked away in a hurry. Ten minutes went by, and we managed to flag down the server to take our order.
I had hoped the boldness of the burger would salvage my impression of the place that pridefully calls themselves “The Shack Burger Resort.” But as a dreadful hour passed in the tight confinement of what reminded me of a crowded “backyard shindig,” my hunger abounded, making me extra anxious for a delectable meal. Eventually, a red basket lined with greasy parchment paper presented me with my feast- A beef patty overwhelmed by a spattering of greasy onion strings, bacon, unpairing banana chips, and a deceiving caramelized banana smothered in pepper jack cheese. If that was not enough, the soggy pretzel bun settled heavily in a pool of Spicy Thai Peanut Sauce. Once again, I was suspicious. I was not sure how to begin eating such a fiasco. I decided to dive right in. Smashing together the burger’s contents into an unbefitting edible size, I took my regrettable first and terminal bite.
I searched for even a trace of satisfaction from my taste buds, but all I found was utter confusion and disappointment. Reasonably, it may have been my fault for ordering something with such apparent competition for flavor, nonetheless anticipating a culinary masterpiece. However, nothing about my experience merited my return as I cannot justify driving 40 minutes to Cypress just to be disappointed again.
I had high hopes for the quality of the food and the place as, typically, I am pleasantly surprised by such peculiar establishments. The atmosphere was interactive and lively with abstract, retro decor that matched the variety of absurd menu items, but that is where the excitement ended. Upon further investigation, it was clear that the days of quality were short-lived for this place. It was especially not a place concerned with the pandemic; no social distance guidelines were followed, nor did the kitchen staff seem to follow proper health guidelines.
I could only stomach one bite of the burger. From the smell that reminded me of old Chinese food to the disagreeing flavors, I regretted my order. If the caramelized banana’s sweetness pairing with the dense meat patty wasn’t sickening enough, the sauce outmatched my disgust. Though the ingredients did not compliment each other well, there is hope for their quality individually. The pretzel bun and patty had potential, perhaps in a different setting with less offbeat toppings.
Eager to leave and put this unpleasant ordeal behind me, I was relieved to get the check. Though the outrageous bill only presented more letdown. I knew upon ordering the burger’s priciness as every menu item was of generous portions with unconventional ingredients. Yet, I couldn’t justify what of my experience was worthy of such a high price.
Though most of the burgers on the menu had an unusual twist, not all may reflect the unpleasant taste of mine, if you dare give them a try. Unfortunately, I won’t be back to sample the rest of the menu. I accomplished my mission in that I tried a bizarre burger, but my meal’s flavor and experience were not worthy of applaud. Needless to say, I will not be enjoying a burger anytime soon.