By Ken Hoffman, Houston Chronicle
Published 5:00 a.m., Wednesday, July 29, 2009
NBC’s Today show recently conducted a search for the best burger in America.
The winner was the Ranch Burger from Perini’s Steakhouse in Buffalo Gap. That’s just outside of Abilene. Here’s an idea how incredible this Ranch Burger must be… second place went to something called “Heart Attack on a Plate”. The foundation of every great burger is the bun, and the bun for Perini’s Ranch Burger is baked by Sheila Partin’s Sweet Sourdough in Houston.
“Years ago, I sent Tom Perini a sample box of our breads and buns,” Partin said. “He’s been using our breads since that time. The judges on the Today show were Matt Lauer, Hoda Kotb and Natalie Morales. Instantly they picked the Perini burger. They didn’t mention our bakery’s name, just that it was a sweet sourdough bun. But it was mine!”
Partin got into the baking business in 1990 when a friend at Second Baptist Church gave her a recipe for plain white bread. She called her company Well-Bread. Soon she began baking different goodies, like jalapeño cheese loaves, wheat bread, sausage kolaches, cinnamon buns and dinner rolls. And sweet sourdough burger buns that taste like pastry.
She changed the company name to Sheila Partin’s Sweet Sourdough in 1993. Nine years later, she picked up a partner, John Neath, owner of the Sweet Mesquite restaurant chain in Houston. Now Sheila Partin’s Sweet Sourdough sells to 75 major food distributors in 30 states.
She doesn’t have a retail store, but if you click on www.sbakery.com you can place an order online and pick it up the next day at the bakery in northwest Houston. The pickup room is open 24 hours. Do NOT do a pop in. Everything is baked to order only.