Ben’s Triple B (3020 E Rosedale St, 682-385-9262) is very good. How’s that for a dazzling lede? Oh, were you expecting me to wax poetic on how the well-made biscuits can recall childhood memories of being perched on your grandmother’s knee? Did you want a tightly woven précis on how the sorcery of making the quintessential Southern staple is as controversial as it is codified? Not this week. The week-old eatery opened by Ben Merrit, head chef and owner of West Magnolia Avenue upscale comfort purveyor Fixture Kitchen & Social Lounge, is no-nonsense, and so am I. There’s no flowery language in this column, I’m afraid.
Sure, I could bore you with details on how the once-blighted Poly neighborhood is making a comeback –– though the amount of bail bondsmen still outnumber restaurants tenfold. Ordinarily, I would write a paragraph about how Texas Wesleyan students have been starved for better options than fast food (aside from nearby taqueria standout Los Taco H’s), and Triple B’s finally gives them something that’s fresh-made and high quality while still staying reasonably priced. But I’m not going to do that this week. You’re just going to get the facts.
The three B’s of Ben are as follows: biscuits, burgers, and brews. I tried all of them, and they tasted yummy. Real good. Fact 1: the Buffalo Chicken B ($6.95), a well-brined chicken breast bathed in a tangy sauce, slathered in blue cheese dressing, and nestled in between two housemade, fluffy, buttery biscuits halves. The fist-sized gut-rocket was delicious and filling, and it proved to be an excellent value. The tater tots ($2.25 for a small) were fresh-tasting, crunchy, and just salty enough.
Fact 2: the Fun Guy burger ($6.25), a single thin patty sharing space with sautéed mushrooms and Swiss cheese inside a sweet bun. That was a good hamburger, though the bun-to-meat-ratio was a little disproportionate. My accompanying loaded fries ($5) were ballpark-level decadent. An ample bowl of crispy-on-the-outside, pillowy-soft-within hand-cut fries were smothered in zesty chorizo, shredded cheddar cheese, jalapeño wheels, and chopped scallions and crowned with a giant glob of sour cream. Fact 3: Come hungry (or stoned) if you plan on ordering the fries. The kitchen gives you a lot of them.
Fact 4: For dessert, the chocolate strawberry shortcake ($6.95)–– a split buttermilk biscuit covered in chocolate sauce (or what the menu calls “chocolate gravy), fresh strawberries, and a meringue-like whipped cream –– was jaw-droppingly decadent. It’s the sort of dessert that stays with you. Your friends get tired of hearing you talk about it. Go eat it.
Other assorted facts: My chief complaint about Ben’s is that the place needs a second point of sale. The line formed out the door on my recent weekday visit and, though the one woman ably navigated the bustling crowd of mostly college-age students, at times it looked like she needed help.
My only other complaint is that the kitchen needs an intercom system or some way to communicate to customers when their order is ready. Patrons had to hover around the kitchen window, which caused some serious bottlenecking –– the area also houses the fountain drinks, condiments, and flatware.
But all of that is trifling. The food was good and served quickly, the open space (festooned with college-themed décor) was comfortable and fun (there are Pac-Man and Golden Tee games toward the back), the spacious patio looked rife with party people, and the prices fit into even a college budget.
Now I’m going to stop writing about this place and go eat there again. Fact.