Few people pay premium prices for anything "just because". Typically there is an implied/earned/respected added value to buying anything that costs more than "normal". To suggest that one should not expect a much better burger and dining experience from Monica Pope than from a ballpark is disingenuous. Do you also believe that the only value a Mercedes has over a Dodge is the name attached? Apple vs. Acer? Hubcap Grill vs. Jack in the Box?
And since you brought it up, how does having the Pappas name attached to a steakhouse make it better than Steak & Ale? Ohhhh? Exactly.
And, speaking of Minute Maid; why do food and drinks at an Astros game cost the same as at a Yankees game? There is a true ripoff.
Is someone really complaining about a $15 burger at a restaurant owned by one of the state's most celebrated chefs? I'm guessing someone doesn't get out much. There are $20/30/50 burgers in this town, and pricier ones around the country. Even a burger from most Houston burger joints easily runs $10. Jeez.
Hmm. The only reason we ever go to Ninfa's these days is when ex-pat Houstonians come back to visit and insist on going because they recall how great it was, way back when. Well, for me, it hasn't been great for at least a decade. Simply mediocre. With so many better places in town, nostalgia isn't a good enough reason to spend money there. I wish them well, but I think El Tiempo (despite its ridiculous prices) will cause Ninfa's some concern. No doubt, both will be jammed pack though - you have to try really, really, REALLY hard to fail at serving Tex-Mex and margaritas in this town.
After reading months of your Burger Friday reviews; my better half and I embarked on our own Burger Saturdays tour last Fall using your reviews as a primary guide. We've since had many friends chime in with suggestions. We've eaten burgers (and fries/onion rings) at nearly 20 places since then. Some of them have been outstanding; some surprisingly good, some disappointingly bad. We've spent as little as $18 for a burger, side, and a drink X 2; and as much as $70. Our favorites have usually been in the $30-40 range. We've been surprised at how much two people can spend eating a burger meal in Houston.
We have a couple more to go before we switch to something new like Fried Chicken Fridays perhaps or Pizza Saturdays - we're debating. When we wrap up the burger tour soon, I'll let you know our favorites. One thing this tour has revealed is just how awful most fast food burgers are in comparison. I'd like to think it's about the costs, but two people can easily spend $20 at Whataburger or Wendy's - and they both were barely edible after some of the great burger meals we've had around town for similar costs. Meanwhile, I'll just say that Elevation was a disappointment; though we tried it during the first week thinking that a chain should not need time to work things out. Perhaps we were wrong, and perhaps we'll give it another shot. Thanks again for your good work.