We chose Houston to shoot the pilot episode for Hamburger America the TV Show (working title) because there are great burgers there and it's warm this time of year. We originally chose Oklahoma for the pilot but decided against it fearing the cold weather would affect the show. Turns out we were right and wrong. The weather was warm, but tornadoes ravaged the state earlier this week and definitely would have impacted the show.
We filmed for 2 days visiting Christian's Tailgate, Lankford Grocery, Blake's BBQ & Burgers, and of course Tookie's in Seabrook. Christian's and Lankford are both in the book so visiting was like coming home. The interviews were great and the burgers as I remembered. Tookie's was closed of course thanks to Hurricane Ike but we visited anyway to show how important it is to appreciate these places (it was sad to see the water line still on the windows). There was still lots of visible hurricane damage 4 months after (as you can see from the spooky sign above).
Blake's was a spot in a West Houston neighborhood that was suggested to us by local food critic Robb Walsh. He sure chose correctly because Blake's has a damned tasty burger. Owner Don Blake himself was a trip and the whole thing made for a great story.
Overall things went great. The pilot is being edited right now and I'll be in LA for voiceovers early March. Check back soon for more info and click here to see photos from the shoot.