Category Archives: Arlington

Burger Hunt: Fork in the Road – Arlington, TX, February 2014

Let me start by saying, I love local, unique and sometimes hard to find places that have great food.  With that said, have I got a place for you!  Burgers may be on the menu, however this place is a gem in the heart of Arlington that has an assortment of flavorful fare that will appeal to just about anyone looking for a great place to eat.  While the restaurant suggests that there is a choice to be made on the street it lays on, the proverbial “fork” is all about the decisions you have to make on the menu.  Hello Fork in the Road!

Chef Josh Hopkins describes his restaurant as “Freestyle off the hip food from specialty sandwiches to hand formed Burgers and salads with a twist.”  I couldn’t agree more.  Before we get to the food, I do have to say a couple of things.  One, expect to wait if you’re there during a rush, as the restaurant only has about 12-13 tables.  I like the quaintness, but I’d question how long I’d wait if I didn’t live just a few blocks away.

Second, they have a very eclectic choice of beverages that if you aren’t specific in what you ask for; you may end up with something you don’t like.  My example is that I asked for a Diet Coke and was given the option for Coke Zero.  The semantics here are in question, and while I don’t think I was unclear about what I wanted, I got a Stevia sweetened cola from a brand I wasn’t familiar with in a bottle that about made me want to gag.  This isn’t about the cola, and I’ll get tea or water next time, however I thought it was worth mentioning.  Funny thing is that I saw Diet Coke sitting in the back and left wondering why that wasn’t offered.

So, what’s the deal with the food?

The Hedberg sandwich (Ham, Turkey & Bacon on Sourdough) and a build my own burger (Sharp Cheddar & Bacon) with fries was what we chose for lunch.  All of the reviews I’ve read prior to going suggested that I needed to try the house favorite “Crackeroni” which is a 3 cheese truffle blended mac n’ cheese, but I’ll save that for next time.  The food is all fresh, locally grown and the meat used for the burgers was some of the best I’ve tasted.

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The sandwich was simplistic but very tasty and I’ll leave it that, however the burger was the star of the show.  Roughly a  1/2 patty, flattop grilled, full of flavor served on a ciabatta bun.  The veggies were crisp and complimented the juices that combined from the meat.  I opted to get a roasted jalapeno on the burger as well, and while it was tasty it was hot, as it was basically a whole jalapeno grilled and sliced whole, so be careful if you can’t handle the heat.  The fries that came with the meal were just enough to satisfy the palette, and I’m pretty sure are double blanched so they retain the crispiness and soft interior that makes an awesome fry.

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We finished feeling very satisfied and will definitely make a trip back for something different, but no matter what you pick, I’m sure you’ll enjoy not only the vibe of the place, but the food as well.

We were offered a slice of their red velvet chocolate fudge pie, but I think that might be a bit much and will require a dessert only run if we ever have a hankerin’ for something sweet.

Overall, I think this a great burger, and I think that there are a few burger joints in the area that should be on the look out for a changing of the guard.  You won’t be disappointed with whatever you get, but the burger is up there with one of the best I’ve had in a while.  Enjoy!

Burger Hunt: 2012 Year In Review!

The Year In Review! Burger Hunt’s choices for top picks in 2012! This is based off the reviews we completed last year, and there are plenty more to come for 2013, so if we missed your favorite, let us know and we’ll check it out soon!

1. Maple & Motor – Dallas, TX
2. Fred’s Texas Cafe – Fort Worth, TX
3. Bottlecap Alley – Grapevine, TX
4. Kincaid’s – Southlake, TX
5. Peace Burger – Grapevine, TX
6. Off Site Kitchen – Dallas, TX
7. Shaw’s Burgers – Fort Worth, TX
8. Chop House Burgers, Arlington, TX
9. Dutch’s – Fort Worth, TX
10. Twisted Root – Deep Ellum (Dallas), TX

Alternates too hard to pick but certainly worth a mention and a must try…

– The Grease Monkey – Arlington, TX
– Mr. B’s Burger Palace, Pantego, TX
– Tom’s Burgers – Arlington, TX
– Snuffer’s – Dallas, TX

Burger Hunt: Al’s Hamburgers, Arlington, TX

Have I ever told you about Al’s? Check this out!

Best way to describe it is it’s the kind of family style throw back diner that you’re parents would probably love.  The wait staff is awesome and always willing to get you whatever you want. The cheeseburger is the best bet here, and you can get it however you like.  This location has been open since 1989, but the original Al’s was a carhop in the middle of Arlington before there even was an Arlington hardly.  The burgers are flat top grilled and seasoned to taste.  This goes on my list for the Burger GPS App simply because it’s a taste of the way everyone used to eat burgers.  Paper wrapped and hot off the grill.  Nothing fancy about this burger. It’s just made with love and gives you a good feeling after you finish.  They’re not real big, but doubles are an option, or you can dress it up with some of Al’s famous chili. Overall I’d give the food and customer service experience 3  1/2 out of 5, but it’s just that place that when you see it, you have to stop by.

Burger Hunt – The Grease Monkey: Arlington, TX

I’ve held off for a bit on this review, because the first time I went there it wasn’t the best of food. After seeing a post at another local Arlington burger joint I soon realized my displeasure with The Grease Monkey may not have been their fault, but mine. Arlington city health code requires all restaurants to serve meat at medium well, and as most of you know this can kill a burger. After finding this out I decided to go back and give the Monkey another try.

I got a 1/2 pound pepper jack, fried jalapeño & bacon burger. I asked for it medium and it made all the difference in the world from the first burger I had there. The bun is slightly sweet and toasted on the flat top. All condiments and veg are at a self serve bar.

Atmosphere is like a car garage… Cool.

Fries are meh…

Good value during lunch with specials going for $4.

Overall, I’ll go again and try some of the other signature burgers, but if your in the Arlington area, it’s worth a stop. They also have musician showcases Thursday through Saturday, so it makes a great hangout for live music and drinks as an alternative to the same ole song and dance at other local bars.

3 3/4 patties out of 5 for this burger hunt.

Enjoy!

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Burger Hunt – Chop House Burgers: Arlington, TX

They say, “Never judge a book by its cover,” and in our continuous hunt for the best burgers around, this statement certainly comes to mind.  Don’t let the strip center location and somewhat of an office break room motif spoil your appetite.  Here, it’s all about the food, and Chef Kenny Mills aims to make you all believers. Located in the heart of Arlington, right across the corner from the University of Texas at Arlington Baseball Complex is where it all happens.  This is Chop House Burgers.

When I first heard about Chop House Burgers I was intrigued to know its owners history, and how he came about opening up a burger joint.  Chef Kenny Mills has done it all.  Working his way up from the bottom as a busboy when he was a teenager, to eventually being named in the 2004 a “Who’s Who of International Chefs” for his work at The Capital Grille in Dallas, TX.  Another local burger joint in Arlington boasts three chefs trying to make a better burger, and I have to say it’s one of my favorites; so coming here was definitely a must.

I had heard that if you go during the lunch rush, depending on the number of customers, it could be a bit of a wait, but we risked it anyway and was pleasantly surprised to see it not too busy for a Monday around Noon.  Walking in the restaurant, it is split into two sections.  The one on the right is basically just tables and chairs with white walls and a few pictures on the walls.  The left side is where you order and has a different feel like this where it all started, and then rented the space next door to accommodate the extra customers when needed.  Make no mistake, there’s nothing fancy about the décor, but the question remains does that really matter?

The signature burger is the “Chop House” burger.  It’s a mix of char grilled beef and brisket with homemade steak sauce, topped with bacon and cheddar cheese.  While this particular burger sounded pretty good, I usually keep to the same kind of burger I get at all the places I try in order to have a baseline of comparison, so I ended up with a regular cheeseburger with bacon of course!  My wife and I heard the onion rings were fantastic so we got a basket and they split it for us with fries and onion rings so we could have both.

After only about a 10-minute wait and calling to the name “Cheech” (not a new concept but still kind of fun), we received our food in a traditional basket lined with paper.  The smell was amazing and I could tell that the char grilled flavor we were about to enjoy had a hint of smoke to it as well.  After dressing the burgers to our liking, we tried the sides first.  First off, the onion rings were as great as we had heard and they were cut thick with a crispy seasoned batter that flaked off with perfection.  The fries on the other hand were a little greasy and slightly soggy.  Now we all know this isn’t why you come to a burger joint, but it is an important side dish.  They were hand cut and seasoned well, I just would have preferred them a little crisper.

After working on the sides for a minute, we both hunched over and got into the burgers.  There was good meat to bun ratio with the bun being toasted and buttered with that slightly crisp edge everyone loves.  The toppings were all fresh and crisp.  After ordering, I saw a sign that stated all burgers will be cooked medium well, “unless otherwise stated,” per the Arlington health code, so I knew we were probably going to get something overcooked to our liking, but surprisingly enough even medium well, the patty itself was still pretty juicy and had a great char grilled taste.

Overall if I was to rate the total experience, and this was just an average burger, I’d probably give this burger joint 2 ½ to 3 out of 5 (stars, patties, widgets, etc.), but I have to say this might be the best “flame grilled” burger I’ve had in Dallas/Fort Worth.  As soon as I bit into the burger, it reminded me of grilling outside with my friends on the patio, and having a good ol’ fashioned backyard BBQ.  For that memory and taste, Chop House Burgers is worth every bit of 4 out 5 whatever you want to call them.  Work on crisping up the fries a bit and I’ll rewrite the review, and that’s a promise, because fries or not I’ll be back.

Be on the look out as well for Chop House Burgers on a future episode of Diners, Drive-In’s & Dives with Guy Fieri in 2012.  Guy was recently in town to check the place out, and it will be great to see and hear what he has to say!  For more information, check your local listings or go to http://www.foodnetwork.com/diners-drive-ins-and-dives/index.html to see all the upcoming show listings.

You can also check out Chop House Burgers on the web at http://www.chophouseburgers.com/

And as always, if you have a place in your crosshairs for great burgers and more, add them to the list and we’ll see you on the hunt!

~ Chance

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