Good gourmet burger? Beets me.

Mine eyes have seen less glory in the last two decades due to aging, heredity or for whatever reasons that might develop. I started out with prescription glasses but eventually found I could do just fine with cheap reading glasses that somewhere along the way have been dubbed as “cheaters.”

I usually take my glasses along if I anticipate reading. Often times I don’t take them and later wish I had. Then sometimes it doesn’t really make a big ice sculpture whether I do or don’t need classes.

Most times I have glasses when I visit a place to eat that I have not previously visited. There is no telling what type of font or print size on a menu one might find nor may one predict the lighting. Even with glasses, especially cheaters, I might not possess the ability to read a menu with ease. Who knows what one might order.

But last week while staying at a Marriott near Houston’s Galleria I did not have a clue where I wanted to eat or what I wanted to eat. I was by myself, I was on foot — I have been told by a doctor to stay off my feet for more than a month ago due to a foot ulcer — so I likewise chose not to venture far.

As it turned out, there was a little strip center just around the corner from where I was staying. It was actually across the street from the huge mall but I had already taken one tour, at least partially, through the center. So I was pretty tired and was hungry.

I try not to eat more than a burger a week, it being my favorite, for weight and health issues. Although, sometimes a man’s got to do what a man’s got to do. Using such irreversible logic, I decided upon a darkened little restaurant called the Burger Palace and Bistro.

The sign on the window made mention of its being Houston’s best destination for 100 percent Akaushi American Kobe beef. That pedigree being mentioned I could see dollars slowly fading from my debit card. Having been a hamburger cook at a 4-star flea market cafe — hey when I say “4-star” what they hell does it mean anyway? — I could cook a burger that would make Wendy and Ronald McDonald go into hiding.

Now all sectors of the farming and ranching industry these days put out all kinds of smack about their food. An old friend from high school works as a PR guy for a statewide farm association and he is on the warpath with the anti GMO folks. Me I could care less. Two things food is basically about. One is sustenance. The other is taste. Then, somewhere down the line is health. And yes, I agree, that is three. So sue me!

I must’ve been lost somewhere down the line. But all these foreign names for beef don’t impress me. That is why I chose the Mitsubishi, sorry, I mean Akaushi, which is a strain of Japanese cattle. Kobe originally meant beef sold by tall, dark professional basketball players. No, just joking. It’s a city in Japan, silly.

Once inside the Burger Palace, back to no glasses, I could hardly see what was on the menu. Out of the 50 or so imported beers, I did make out “Estrella Damm” as the kind of light Spanish beer I might like to have with or before my dinner. It was a nice light beer, reminiscent of Olympia, which was the only American beer I could find worth a damn in Asia back in the Navy. And way back before Oly became synonymous with Old Milwaukee,

Speaking of the Navy, I visited a few ports in Australia back when I rode a destroyer in the Western and Southern Pacific. That nation had some delightful oddities in their food and it had nothing to do with chewing rough kangaroo feet. Australians had some great variations on food we ate as a matter of routine in the U.S. Among that cuisine was fried eggs or pineapple slices on their hamburgers.

Australians also were very fond of beets — they call them “beetroot” — and found them to be a very fitting additive to a hamburger. I ate eggs and pineapple on Aussie food, but I never tried beets. It just didn’t seem right. Not on a hamburger. Not in my stomach.

But last week in the Burger Palace and Bistro, at 2800 Sage Road, #1100, I tried beets on my burger, called the what else? the “Down Under.” Here is what comes on your burger, mate:

“Grilled Pineapple, White Cheddar, Roasted Beets, Fried Egg with Duck Fat or olive oil & Homemade Aioli.” Aioli is a garlic-flavored yolk sauce. I don’t know if there was any “duck fat” on it. I hope not.

But it was a very delicious burger. The beet left a reddish color to the bun and the gooey-ness made the sandwich somewhat difficult to navigate as a hand food. But it was just as good eaten with a fork.

The burger, which I ordered with a side of upright fries, was $10.95. The imported beer and tip came out to about $20. It was kind of pricey for a quick meal alone. But This seemed to be favored by couples and small groups.

The menu displays a variety for just about anyone’s pallette including vegans. Just tell them to leave off the duck fat.

The Burger Palace and Bistro
2800 Sage Rd., #1100
Houston, Texas 77056
Monday-Saturday 11a.m.-10 p.m.
Closed: Sunday