In the heart of Lufkin, you’ll find a find food establishment that’s close to the hearts of locals. Since 1986 Mom’s Diner has been home for those looking for some hearty food and it all started when local Bonnie Sue Hooper Free started a new venture.
Terry Gardiner is one of Bonnie’s seven children.
“Mom had a dream, she wanted to make baked goods,” Terry said. “She started on a wing and a prayer. She did, I mean seriously. And she nurtured this thing for the rest of her life.”
Bonnie’s fiery southern spirit made Mom’s what it is today. That’s why losing her made 2017 so hard on the family and the entire town of Lufkin.
“Our customers were worried,” Terry said. “It’s probably the hardest thing we’ve ever done is keep it open without her. As always, that’s what we do, what mom wants that’s what we do.”
Most of Bonnie’s kids have a hand in the business. Their goal is to keep Mom’s food up to par with what Mom would have expected. One recipe that’s legendary in Lufkin, Mom’s Monster Burger.
“We have people eat one and then order another one because it was so good,” Terry said.
Two of the 1/3 pound patties hit the grill and taming this monster stats with tearing it up. Black pepper is put on and the crumbling creation is flipped and further seasoned. Then come the onions. While the patties finished up, a mayo covered bun is placed on the burger while the mayo covered bottom bun gets extra helpings of lettuce, pickles, and tomatoes. Stack it all together and what do you got? Something that would make Momma proud.
“This is the best burger in Texas,” customer Grant said. “It might be the best burger in the United States.”
Mom’s Monster Burger is monstrously huge. A pound and a half of food wrapped up in this beautiful blanket of goodness.
“Everybody that I’ve ever talked to loves it,” customer Cecilia said. ““It would be a positive on their bucket list and they should come.”
Well mom’s monster burger all comes together, despite the fact that it tends to fall apart. But that doesn’t matter because the taste is what matters with this big ole burger, and the taste is well worth the stop on the Texas Bucket List.
“If they want the biggest, fattest, juiciest old-fashioned hamburger, this is where they’re gonna get it,” Terry said.