Houston’s Best Secret Menu
This Pakistani-American Restaurant’s Off-Menu Items Build Serious BuzzBY Michelle Naik // 10.03.17
Bismillah Cafe is known for its inventive burgers — and secret menu. (Courtesy Bismillah Cafe).
Bismillah Cafe's secret menu created a sense of buzz around the restaurant.
Bismillah Cafe has a chef who is not afraid to push the envelope. (Courtesy Bismillah Cafe.)
Thanks in no small part to its secret menu, Bismillah Cafe is attracting notice in the crowded Houston restaurant scene. Owner and head chef Inam Moghul turns out donut burgers, Nutella-filled samosas, a 16-ounce rib-eye steak and traditional Pakistani biryani all under one roof in his 26-seat Hillcroft restaurant.
Growing up and watching his parents build their own restaurant empire, Moghul was inspired to continue their legacy and opened up Bismillah Cafe just a couple doors down from the family’s Bismillah Restaurant. Once he graduated from college, Moghul began to transform the image of a traditional Pakistani cafe that served an assortment of teas and sweets into Houston’s go-to spot for Pakistani-American fusion burgers. Among other things. If you want spicy heat, Bismillah is also your place.
But Bismillah’s secret menu builds the real buzz.
“I wanted to test the waters and create a secret menu for our regular customers,” Moghul says. “The items instantly became a hit, and just by word-of-mouth the secret menu spread like wildfire with Houstonians. Customers began to request the special items more than what was normally offered, so we had to completely redo the menus.”
Popular items on the special menu include:
— Ten Chicken Sandwich: Deep fried chicken breast smothered in homemade Ten Sauce marinade.
— Donut Burger: Two glazed donuts, beef patty, topped with caramelized onions and Swiss cheese.
— “CP3” Burger: Beef patty, Philly cheesesteak, topped with macaroni & cheese named after the Houston Rockets’ new all-star point guard.
– “Bad & Boujee” Burger: Two waffles, deep fried chicken breast with BRNC and Ten Sauce.
— Steak: 16-ounce ribeye served on a hot skillet, with garlic bread and corn.
Moghul gave us the inside scoop of what to expect next on the menu. “The ‘Boom Boom’ Burger…,” he says. “It consists of a beef patty, beef gyro meat, Pakistani chips, topped with a fried egg.”
Now, one of Houston’s more creative chefs is looking to go bigger. Much bigger. “We would love to introduce Bismillah Café to cities all around the U.S.,” Moghul says.
Maybe, secrets can take you a long way.