There is a lot of thought that goes into making a successful blog/website etc., however; it takes real people and true friends that care about what you do and have the same passion that you do.
I’m lucky as I have reconnected over the last couple of years with a friend of mine from high school named Sean Martin.
He and I try to get together when we can and enjoy a good burger. While we have known each other since 7th grade, we have only recently reconnected and become closer. I’m posting this because the fun and enjoyment that I get from maintaining this site is due to the people I get to hang out with and have a common bond with.
The first and primary burger hunter in my life, is my wife Nicole, as she went on the first journey with me, helped me formulate the name and ultimately loves burgers as much as I do; however throughout the last few years Sean and I have had a similar bond and I just wanted to say, “Thank you!”
Here’s to 2014 and a lot more fun and good food to keep us busy blogging about burgers!
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.
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.
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!
I ran across this review I had done a while back but never posted it cause it just wasn’t all that good. They are closed now and the location is now a Dickey’s BBQ… Maybe there’s a reason. I try not to bash on anyone especially because there are so many degrees of what people think is good or not, but this wasn’t the best of burgers I had ever had that’s for sure.
Really I thought you might find it interesting how it is I capture the notes on our Burger Hunt and then adapt it later to the review, so here’s the notes taken verbatim from my iPhone after we finished eating.
Christie’s Extreme Burgers – Notes
Burger Hunt: BurGR – Las Vegas, NV, April 2013
It’s been 3 weeks since I left Vegas and all I can think about is “When the hell am I going to get this review done!” Work, buying a house and finding time to blog about my passion has been difficult, but I’ll stop with the sob stories and focus on the issue at hand.
I have been searching for the perfect burger for a while now, and I have my top pick for all that is burger at a little place called Maple & Motor, located in Dallas, TX. It’s legit, and make no mistake, I can’t exactly compare the two, so I’m going to claim a new favorite burger… outside of Texas! Yes, I know… there will be some dissenting views and opinions, but the world has much to offer and Gordon Ramsay has done it right in Las Vegas with his latest creation. It’s BurGR time!
First off, let me tell you that a friend of mine told me about this place when he went just a few weeks prior to my trip. He and I went to Maple & Motor before a Mavs game one night, and we were squaring up for a football bet we had. I felt it appropriate that if I had to pay up for a good burger, Maple & Motor was the place to be. As we were discussing how good M&M was, he told me about his trip to Vegas and how he had tried the new Gordon Ramsay joint at Planet Hollywood. While he loved the burger we were eating in Texas, he kept raving about BurGR and if I ever had a chance to go, knowing that I’m always on the hunt, he suggested I make it point to go.
Of course at this point, I figured I wasn’t going anywhere anytime soon, so I kept it in mind and thought that if I ever went to Vegas on the spur of the moment, I’d try it out. About a month passed and my Dad called me up about sending my Mom to Vegas for her birthday. A whirlwind of phone calls and trying to get off work last minute, and the next thing I know… I’m going to Vegas.
So, with all of that said… let’s get to the review!
Once the trip was planned and the tickets were booked, I suggested that we make one of our dinners at BurGR. Mom agreed and the rest was well, you know. Our trip consisted of gambling a little, sightseeing and seeing a couple of Vegas shows. Determining when we would go to dinner wasn’t difficult per say, but when a show starts at 9 PM, and you don’t plan ahead in Vegas to eat a popular restaurant, you are either eating at 6, or you are waiting till Midnight.
This particular night we went to BurGR, we had just left seeing Penn & Teller at the Rio, where we were staying. Knowing full well that we probably couldn’t eat late on a Monday night, I suggested we go anyway to Planet Hollywood and see where the place was first and then just spend some time gambling in the casino. Turns out, we got there by 11 and the restaurant was still serving. We hadn’t eaten since Noon, and figured why not? Let’s eat now!
Not knowing where we were going exactly other than Planet Hollywood, I’ll go ahead and say the one negative about out experience, and then I’ll move on. The restaurant had only been open for about 3 months, and the signage in the hotel had not been updated to reflect where exactly the hell it was. As tourists, we figured it would be simple to locate, but Planet Hollywood has a shopping mall behind it called the “Miracle Mile,” and it really is about a mile long in diameter of retail shops located behind the hotel. With this said, finding someone to help, much less give you directions when the mall area is closing, as well as the long walk to the front of the hotel where BurGR is located, is a bit much with no signage or any sense of direction, but after a few minutes of parking and asking a few questions, we finally made it to our destination.
When we arrived, the hostess was awesome and excited that we had come to join them for a fantastic meal. She said, “I have a couple of servers working, but I have the perfect guy for you. He’s awesome, and you’re really going to have a great time!” This set the tone for the night, and we were not let down.
We sat down, got our menus and began looking them over, while looking at all of the wonders the restaurant had to offer in regards to decoration and experience. Next thing I know, a guy named Alex (with glasses) walks up, says “Hello,” and thus began our journey to Awesomtown.
A glass of wine and a Boddington’s for myself were quickly ordered. The menu was fully explained, and then we were given a few minutes to decide. There was little debate for the both of us, as we both quickly found our favorites. My Mom decided on the Hell’s Kitchen Burger (Asadero cheese, jalapenos and avocado) and I chose the Farm Burger with duck breast bacon, English sharp cheddar and a fried egg. We also decided to split a side of truffle Parmesan fries with truffle salt, truffle aioli and chipotle ketchup with molasses. Wow!
The burger was served medium rare with a solid ½ pound of a chuck, short rib and brisket mix. The 600-degree wood burning grill gives the meat a texture like no other and the apple and alder wood gave an amazing smoke flavor. This burger was juicy, flavorful, a bit glamorous to taste, but with a bit of a backyard feel that made me love every bite. It was simple. No dressing, no veg and a made from scratch daily sesame seed bun that was to die for. What could possibly make this any better? Yes, those previously mentioned truffle Parmesan fries. They were amazing, and the truffle aioli spread that came with them, I could have eaten by the spoonful and had been satisfied.
Surprisingly, the food didn’t really take that long to come out. From the time we sat to the time we finished our meal, was probably only an hour, but while the food was fantastic and way beyond my expectation, the service from our waiter Alex (with glasses) was memorable and definitely worth a repeat trip, just to have him wait on us again.
Turns out that night at Midnight, Alex (with glasses) was having a birthday. We started talking and I told him about my Mom’s birthday, where we were from and why we were there. Next thing I know, the manager Emily from the restaurant came by, and then Alex (with glasses) brought us out an amazing treat to share with him for his birthday. I never would’ve thought prior to my night at BurGR that I would ever enjoy this particular dessert, but we were brought a salted peanut ice cream and chocolate maple pudding cake, served push up style. All I can say is, “Damn, that was a tasty treat!”
I’m officially claiming this Burger Hunt as the best I’ve ever had, outside of Texas. The greatest I have experienced in the Lone Star state still hands down is Maple & Motor, but I would be hard pressed to claim a winner if these two establishments were in the same town. The style and atmosphere is 180 degree opposite of each other, but the food doesn’t lie. Great burgers and great people serving up something they believe in always wins.
Well played, Gordon Ramsay! You’re not just another TV chef with attitude anymore in my eyes. Now that I have experienced what you have to offer, I have a whole different respect for what you’ve accomplished in your life.
Thanks go to Emily Debenham the manager and Alex (with glasses) for making our night special, and I hope that anyone who has a chance to go to Las Vegas can experience the greatness of BurGR.
Till next time my friends… stay hungry and keep on the hunt!
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
Before I start this review I want to comment on all the negative comments I’ve read on various food apps and or websites about owner Jack Perkins, and I want to especially address the “house rule” of waiting in line to order before you grab a seat, commonly known as seat poaching.
First of all, this is a classic example of if you don’t like something you don’t have to continue to go, and everyone is certainly entitled to his or her opinions. I have had nothing but great experiences at Maple & Motor, interacted with Jack on the occasions I’ve been and he’s been nothing but great to my wife and I.
As far as the “house rule” of waiting in line before you grab a table, you should have some common sense walking in even if you don’t see the sign on the door or have the inability to read. The parking lot is bigger than the restaurant, and they have had a huge following well before Diners, Drive-In’s and Dives ever decided to show up. If you walk into a restaurant and decide that you want to skip ahead of everyone in line, clearly in a place with limited seating just so you can get what you want, then you are the selfish one, and have no respect for the other twenty people waiting patiently before you.
If you don’t like the way you are handled because of this, and feel like the rules don’t apply to you, then that’s the owner’s prerogative and I respect the hell out of him for not wanting your business, as he clearly doesn’t need it. So here’s to the 1% out there who feels like you deserve something in life. Get over yourselves and understand that you walked into a burger and beer joint, not a white table clothed, jacket required establishment that kisses your ass because you want to feel important for a couple of hours.
With that said, Jack asked me how the burger was while we were sitting at the bar and I told him that it was the best burger I’ve had so far in North Texas. He said and I quote, “Thank you very much and I appreciate you being here. If it’s not, that’s ok, but it’s not for the lack of work trying to make it one.” I agree.
This burger could very well be the one I compare all others to. Which burger joint is going to step up, cause this may be the best burger I’ve ever had. While I have only been doing the Burger Hunt for just a little over a year now, I have tried a lot of burgers, and I have had a lot of great burgers. As a matter of fact I have given 90% of the burgers I’ve tried at least 3 ½ to 4 stars, because I tend to research places I go first before I try them out. I have had a lot of recommendations and while most have been good, I have had my share of burgers I have not liked, including, well documented and very popular burger joints. The one that comes to mind is 5 Guys, and I don’t mind the fact that people have openly criticized me for my review of their burgers, but just like people that have a problem with wanting to cut in line and grab a seat in front of everyone else, it’s my opinion and that’s the end of it. With that said, I’m going to skip ahead and let you know that this is my 5 star review. Intrigued? You should be.
A burger at Maple & Motor is not just an experience in waiting in line to get your food; it’s a well oiled machine that turns out some fantastic food. I’ve only tried one burger there, but it’s the signature burger for me at most of the places I’ve reviewed. Bacon cheeseburger please! The wait for the food once you sit is not terribly long considering everything is made to order and fresh.
The bun is semi sweet and fluffy, flat top grilled with butter and the edges are perfectly crisp. It reminds me of a perfect grilled cheese with the edge that gives that hint of crispy while the rest melts in your mouth.
Here’s a word to the wise, once you pick up this beast of a burger, you’ll need a few napkins. The one I usually feast on is a 1/2 lb. patty with bacon, cheese, mayo, lettuce and fresh onions. Make no mistake, the napkins are a must, but don’t think this is a sloppy and wet burger. It’s juicy, tender and the juices make all of the veggies explode with flavor. The seasoning on the patty is simple and really let’s the meat stand on its own, plus they ask you if you want it pink in the middle, which is very important. You can get it cooked more than that, but honestly I can’t think of why you would if you’re a true burger aficionado.
The meat wasn’t a pressed burger but wasn’t a house burger either. It landed somewhere in between, but there is more bun than burger at the end of the day, which isn’t bad. Bacon for me could have been crispier, but my friend Billy, who went with me on one of the occasions said, he could have gone a little less, so I know that it’s just a preference. Bottom line is, the flavor was great, and I’m not judging the burger on whether or not is should have bacon on it. The burger by itself is what we’re here for people. The condiments provided were proportional to the sandwich, which really can make a difference, so get it anyway you like to eat it and I promise, you’ll have an out of body experience.
To round out the experience, let me say that the fries are awesome. Salt, pepper, double blanched crisp and served hot and fresh. Add, bacon and cheese if your feeling daring, but we saw an order of them come out and it might as well have been a meal, not a side, it was so big. The beer battered onion rings had a perfect almost corn dog like crust, and the tots were perfect. They were crisp and not at all greasy. Now I can review these multiple side items here all at once, as I’ve been a few times, and tried them at different intervals. After all, if I’m going to put myself out there and say this is the “Holy Grail” of burgers, it probably requires a few sessions, just to make sure. Right?
Lots of burger joints have tried to find a way to dress up the burger with a bunch of extras that really don’t add up to much. They even try to throw in a theme or two, to make the dining experience more pleasurable, but if you don’t have a rock solid piece of meat that can stand on it’s own, there isn’t anything you can do about it. It’ll be just another burger. Jack Perkins has decided that the K.I.S.S. approach (Keep It Simple Stupid,) really may be the best and only approach to something so fanatical as burgers in America.
As far as the wait, the atmosphere, and anything else the naysayers may want to complain about, it really doesn’t matter, as the burger makes it all worth it. So stop all the fuss, and stop telling all your friends about how you’re life was ruined, and you were embarrassed, or whatever else you want to rant about on your favorite local food App. It’s a burger for crying out loud, and I happen to like the fact you won’t be coming back, as it just means I’ll be one step closer to burger glory.
Maple & Motor has earned Burger Hunt’s official title of, “The Burger To Compare All Other’s To Award of Excellence,” or simply, “Damn! That was good burger!”
Let the debate begin.
For more information about Maple & Motor check them out on Facebook at:
If your looking for a good old fashion burger stand, that has the look and feel of the 1950’s, then you need to take a ride East on 180 (Division) into the heart of Grand Prairie, TX. If your not looking for it, you could miss it, but as you roll up on Theo’s Drive In, you immediately get transported into a time when going to the car hop was in, and crusin’ was a way of life.
When we got there, we didn’t know if we should stay in the car or go in, but you can do it either way. We parked under the rustic canopy and was immediately greeted by a waitress who was ready to take our order, but we opted to go inside and have a seat. The inside of the restaurant feels more like late 1970, but it was a family friendly atmosphere and you could tell that the people who eat here, have been eating here for years. There was even a game of cards going on next to the kitchen, and when the cook wasn’t busy, he would sit down and watch the guys playing and they were talking about the news of the day.
The menu is simple; Hamburgers, Hot Dogs, Fries and Shakes.
The staff was friendly and eager to help. We went during lunchtime and it wasn’t very crowded at all, so we got our food within minutes fresh off the grill. I got the usual for myself whenever I get a burger just about anywhere, the bacon cheeseburger. My wife got the regular hamburger and we split some fries, with a couple of sodas.
One of the first things we noticed as we got our food was they brought out the plastic squeezable ketchup bottle and it was ice cold. It’s a nice touch to go with the thick cut fries. I never can remember what the name of these fries are actually called, but they are basically crinkle cuts, without the crinkle. They were hot, crispy and pretty tasty. Definitely something you would expect from a 50’s burger joint.
The burgers are large for the price and you can tell that the ingredients are fresh. The bun was nothing special, but it had that signature flat top grilled crisp on the edge that really completes the burger. The meat patty was thin (1/4 lb. roughly) and had the crispy edges you would expect from a griddle. Sadly, I always forget to ask for the patty a little less than well done, and as most places in Arlington and Grand Prairie, city code requires them to cook them medium well, but besides the fact it was overcooked for my liking, it was a tasty burger. The bacon was a little overdone as well, but it had a good flavor and it’s really nothing to complain about.
Overall, it’s a cool place to go if you want a little nostalgia and you feel like getting out of hustle of the city. It’s just far enough into Grand Prairie heading towards Loop 12, which gives you the feel of a small town. Here are a couple of things to note, if you go, take cash, as that’s all they accept. We were lucky we had some cash; otherwise it would’ve been the walk of shame with one of us left behind to get to the closest ATM. Also, don’t be confused by the restaurant Theo’s Bar & Grill about 2 miles up the road if your looking online for directions. They are more than likely related somehow, but Theo’s Drive In, is past Belt Line Rd. going East and is about the last thing you’ll see before you get to Loop 12.
As far as the food goes, don’t expect the best burger you’ve ever eaten, but it’s a cheap good-sized meal that’s pretty tasty. We both ate for $14.50 with tip, and they gave us a couple of sodas to go. If I were in the area I’d go back, and maybe try a milkshake next time too, as I hear that’s a highlight for Theo’s. For those of you who live in the area, it actually reminds me of Burger Box in Arlington, but that’s not a knock at all, as I like Burger Box and go occasionally when there is one close. If I had to give a rating I’d say it’s a 3 out of 5 for the food and atmosphere. This is the type of burger joint that I hope gets continued support, as it’s a landmark of what used to be the place to go on a Friday night and just hang out with your friends. Theo’s has been around since 1958, and we’ve seen a few recessions since then, so they must be doing something right.
While we focus on burgers in North Texas and surrounding areas, we all know that there are fantastic tasting burgers all over America. Recently watching the documentary “United States of Burger” on Destination America, Burger Hunt has decided to report the “Burger Bucket List,” and we agree that these are some fine choices for ultimate burgers in America that everyone needs to try at least once.
For more information on Destination America (Formally Discovery Planet Green) and “United States of Burger,” check out: http://new.destinationamerica.com but if you have Time Warner Cable in North Texas, it’s Channel 760
- Louie’s Lunch – Home of the Original Hamburger: New Haven, CT
- Billy Goat Tavern – Home of the Billy Goat Curse of the Cubs and the Cheeseburger Cheeseburger: Chicago, IL
- Mr. Bartley’s – Harvard Square in Boston, MA
- The Old Homestead Steak House – Home of the 20 oz. Kobe Burger: NY, NY
- Dyer’s – Home of the “Grease Dipped” Burger: Memphis, TN
- Holman & Finch Public House- Only serve 24 “Double Patty Burgers” a day: Atlanta, GA
What burgers would you put on your “Bucket List?”
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.
The following review is a short synopsis of this Burger Hunt for Bottlecap Alley Icehouse Grill provided for the latest release of Hamburger America’s, “Burger GPS” App available now in the App Store or on iTunes! A brand new update featuring Burger Hunt as an EBT (Expert Burger Taster) will be coming soon! For more information on this App check out http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/burger-gps/id437178689?mt=8
Bottlecap Alley Icehouse Grill – Serves up a fresh, juicy, flattop grilled ¼ lb. patty, which is actually large for it’s size if that makes any sense at all. The bread is a sourdough like bun (artisan style). I got mine with crispy bacon, grilled jalapeños and cheese and it’s near perfect. Only issue is that I’m not a big fan of foil wrapped burgers, because if you let them sit too long they will get soggy, but this isn’t an issue as long as you eat it there and not get it to go. Don’t get pickles unless you like bread and butter style, as it’s the only option. Price is very reasonable as we got fries and onion rings, 2 burgers, 2 drinks for about $21.00. The fries are fantastic too! They are hand cut, which usually are soggy, but these were crispy, hot blanched and double fried which is the secret according to the GM. Onion rings are those typical beer battered Brew City frozen kind, and are not bad tasting just not spectacular. They have a nice sports bar atmosphere, lots of beer choices, and everything is go to the bar or counter to order. Have your menu filled out (at least the first time). It’s a little off putting for first time guests, but it would speed things up in rush hour. On a side note for women, my wife said bathrooms are clean and they have a ledge in stall to put your purse. Our experience would rate this burger joint a 4 out of 5.
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