The Award-Texas Monthly burger ($12.98) is one of the remaining original menu items Canada kept when he took ownership.
Burger Fresh & More has been operating in the Conroe area since 1997, but when James Canada took ownership and revitalized the restaurant in March 2019, he continued a family legacy that stretches back to the 1930s.
The restaurant business is more of a family business for Canada—his grandfather moved to Conroe in 1935 and opened a grocery store and ice cream parlor, creating a legacy still seen today in the Blue Bell ice cream Canada uses. And family is still a part of the business today—Canada’s son works the grill, and his daughter handles the marketing.
Canada formerly owned several businesses in the Conroe area including Canada’s Dairy Kastle, Conroe Lunchbox and Main Street Diner, but said Burger Fresh is the most fun.
“I designed it exactly how I wanted it with the retro ’50s feel, the ’60s and ’50s music, and just kind of concentrated on the burgers,” Canada said.
Canada said he renovated the interior with a ’50s-inspired aesthetic and changed the menu.
“They were using frozen patties, and it’s Burger Fresh so I thought they should be fresh,” Canada said. “I took a lot of stuff off the menu that nobody bought and added new stuff.”
Burger Fresh’s most popular item is the Award-Texas Monthly—named for the Best Burgers in Texas spread featured several years ago by Texas Monthly in which the burger ranked 13th—a handmade patty served with mayonnaise, mustard, pepper jack cheese, grilled onions, lettuce, pickles, tomatoes, avocado, pepper and bacon on a jalapeño-grilled bun.
In addition to burgers, Burger Fresh serves catfish, cheesesteaks and a growing ketogenic diet menu, added when Canada started on the diet.
“You’d never think at a burger place you could do that,” Canada said. “So I’ve got chicken, catfish, steak and the no-bun burger.”
Canada said the biggest challenge he faces is building a customer base because, despite how the restaurant has been in operation since 1997, few people know Burger Fresh is there.
“That’s 22 years and people go, ‘I didn’t know you were over here!’” Canada said.
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