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Sean Martin: My Friend and Contributor!

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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.

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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!

Chance

Burger Hunt: 2012 Year In Review!

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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 – Maple and Motor: Dallas, TX

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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:

https://www.facebook.com/mapleandmotor

Best Cities For Burgers??? Where’s Dallas/Fort Worth At???

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Well of course I will respectfully disagree since Dallas isn’t listed, but whatever…

Check this out!

http://travel.yahoo.com/ideas/america-s-best-burger-cities.html

Burger Hunt: Liberty Burger – Dallas, TX

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Liberty Burger is a place that opened last November at Forest Ln and Inwood. I don’t get by that corner frequently, so I just noticed it this week. It was receiving high praise on Yelp, so I decided it needed a visit. I talked a couple of my co-workers into joining me and they were glad they did.
Walking in the place, we were greeted by friendly staff that asked if we had been there before. Being open about being newbies, they told us how things worked and gave us a table number. The decor had an almost ’60s feel combined with a modern flare. I liked it. The way it works is fast casual, much like a Pei Wei. I had decided what I wanted before hand via the gorgeous website. I was sticking with the Liberty Burger and adding Applewood Bacon and Cheddar cheese. The menu is all on vertical digital menu boards and they have a wide variety of unusual toppings on their burgers. Even more so than many burger restaurants I have tried. One of my co-workers ordered the chicken fried burger. That is where they take a burger patty and fry it in a chicken fried steak type breading. There is also the choice of pink or no pink on your burger. I went with some pink. I also ordered the sweet potato fries, though it was a tough call between that and the fat onion rings. $14 out the door for me, which is pricey for a work lunch. It would have been cheaper with just the regular fries. They had Bison meat available for $4 extra. I really like Bison, but not $4 more like it. They also have a variety of adult beverages and concoctions available, but we did not partake on this work day.

In addition to the usual sodas, they have iced tea and sweet tea. I went with the regular iced tea after sugaring up on donuts in the morning. We sat down and got our food after 5 minutes or so, which was about right.

Our food came out and was impeccably displayed on nice plates. The fries were served in cool metal containers. You know how a lot of places have these great pictures of pretty food, but it looks like it fell off a truck when you get it? That was not the case here, as somebody obviously took care in choosing the ingredients, cooking the food, and putting it together. It looked just as good as in the photos.

I cut my burger in half and the meat was cooked perfectly with a line of pink across the width of the patty. The toppings were fresh, and the very soft bun was great. The patty was a good size, but not massive. I would call it just right. The flavor was excellent and it was a eye closing good with every bite. I enjoyed the sweet potato fries, which had just a hint of cinnamon to them. I tried the regular fries, which are of the skinny variety. My co-worker loved his chicken fried burger. That is not my favorite style, but they were cooked perfectly. I will definitely be trying the onion rings next time, and I may venture out into some of the wilder varieties. In case you have not guessed it, I would definitely go back and recommend everybody check it out. FYI, they are reportedly opening a location at Keller Springs and Tollway in the old Snookies location.

 

Sean Martin

Burger Hunter & EBT for Hamburger America

Burger Hunt: Twisted Root Burger Co. – Dallas, TX

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The following review is a short synopsis of this Burger Hunt for Twisted Root Burger Co. 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

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Twisted Root Burger Co. has six or seven different types of meat choices, several dozen different burger toppings, and a three or four different buns make the burger options limitless and delicious. My favorite is the Western which has bacon, onion strings and jalapenos! 3 culinary chef’s with a quest to make the perfect burger. They are pretty close. Juicy, seasoned well flat top burgers with all the fixin’s… yup I said fixin’s. 4 out of 5 experience for sure!

Again this is a quick hit review of one of my favorite burger joints in Dallas/Fort Worth.  Not all are built the same… the original location in Deep Ellum is still the best!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Want more?

Check out our Facebook page at http://www.facebook.com/burgerhunt or follow us on Twitter @burgerhunt

Burger Hunt – Off Site Kitchen (OSK): Dallas, TX

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This burger hunt has led us to a little place (literally) that has been listed as one of Dallas/Fort Worth’s Top Ten Burger Joints. That’s a pretty bold statement, so it was our mission to check out this place out more thoroughly.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Before I get into the specifics, let me just say… this is a pretty tasty burger  I’ll also say it’s worth the trip, but there’s a few things you need to know before you attempt a trip to Big D for this burger.

  1. Crappy parking: There are about 10 spots available and everywhere around, unless you risk getting towed, is just as bad or your dodging traffic parking a ¼ mile away.
  2. Limited seating: There is a small bar to the right of the counter with about 6-8 spots to sit inside, otherwise you’re stuck outside eating. Outdoor eating isn’t bad unless it’s the middle of Summer in Texas, so you may consider getting this one to go. Otherwise go in September.
  3. Lunch rush would suck: We went at about 1:30 and still waited in line for about 10 minutes and then about another 10 to get our food. If we had gone from 11-12P, then it would have been at least an hour or more, from what I gather from a few other people who have been before.

Get past these little nuances and you can welcome yourself to a very tasty burger. The “Stock Cheese” burger is the one that put them on the map according to most sources, but I tried the Green Chile/Bacon burger with Muenster. It’s a slight variation on what I normally get which is usually a regular bacon cheese, but the thought of fresh Hatch green chiles got me all excited.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Get your napkins out and be prepared to not put this one down, as this may very well be the “wettest” burger I’ve ever had.  Since they’re in Dallas and not Arlington, you don’t have to ask for the burger for anything less that medium well. It comes as a very juicy and pink medium rare to medium, and it’s 8 miles of awesome.  Be careful though, because if you let it sit too long you may be eating this one with a fork. I felt like I scarfed the burger down just to maintain it as a burger, but ultimately I didn’t mind.

It’s also very large for it’s quoted ¼ size. Make no mistake, it’s plenty if you’re hungry, so think twice before going for a double here.  The bacon was cut into huge pieces and it was cooked like real breakfast bacon Mom would make on Sunday mornings. The green chile was chopped, grilled and had fantastic flavor. The muenster cheese on the burger was a nice touch and gave a very distinct flavor.  I highly recommend this, even if you don’t get the green chile on your burger.

On a side note (no pun intended) the hand cut fries were crispy, tasty, covered in sea salt, parsley and were a great addition to the meal.

So… How does it rate? Top 10 burger in Dallas/Fort Worth? Yeah, I think so, but the parking, amount of seating and fact that I need to stay away between 11-12P may keep me from going more often. My wife said something perfect to sum up this burger hunt, she said, “If we were getting back from lake and getting it to go on the ride home, this would be very satisfying, but if I had to pick it for an everyday lunch spot, I’d probably pass, because it’s just too much work for a burger.”

If you know this going in and you’re prepared, it’s what makes this place unique.  If your hungry and want something quick and easy on the run, you may want to try something else. Overall, I enjoyed the food and give the OSK 4 out of 5 patties (with a twist) and we’ll definitely be back… although probably in September.

Burger Hunt – Maple and Motor: Dallas

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Maple and Motor is a burger place I had heard about for a while. I went there while my parents were in town a little while back. The place is definitely hole in the wall, in a cool way. The outside of the place has kind of a cool design and there was a range of cars and clientele, from average Joe to businessmen in ties. That’s a good sign. We went during the middle of lunch on a Friday and the line was to the door, with all tables full. The line was not atrocious and they were good at getting tables cleared out. We had no problems getting a table by the time we ordered.

The burger can be cooked either “pink” (medium rare), or well done. The burgers I saw from a distance looked a bit too pink for me, but I would have gotten that after seeing my father’s burger. I got a bacon cheeseburger, and tater tots. My parents got fries and onion rings so we could try all 3 sides. We did not have to wait too long for our food. The burger was excellent. The bun was falling apart, but very good and the meat was amazing. What a joy to eat! The fries were definitely solid and above average, but not the best I’ve had The onion rings were not bad, but were decidedly average. The tater tots were as perfect as I could imagine and I plan on getting those the next time I go. Give the tots a shot, even if that is not your usual thing.

There is apparently an egg on the burger option, which I did not try. My co-workers rave about that, so I may look into it. They are not the only place to offer something like that, but I am a fan of eggs. This is just something to think about if you’re checking this place out (and you should).

A friend of mine said I should say hi to the owner, Jack. Jack was very friendly and truly interested to know if I had a great experience there. I wish this place was closer, but it’s definitely worth going across town to eat at! I give it 4.5 out of 5 stars.

~ Sean Martin
Burger Hunt Corespondent
Dallas, TX

Burger Hunt – Molankis Burger: N. Dallas

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I met my buddy and old classmate, Chance, at Molankis Burger around the Christmas holiday. The place is in a little strip center in far north Dallas. It’s your basic build-out, without much decor to speak of on the walls. That’s okay; we’re here for the food. They have a wide variety of burgers available, but I wanted to try the basics. I went with a bacon cheeseburger and sweet potato fries. Chance got the regular fries, so I got to experience those. The place is apparently under new ownership, but the menu looks to be unchanged. They did not have their replacement fountain machine after the ownership change, but each drink order got us 2 sodas instead of just one.

The burger was cooked to order and was of the 1/2-lb. variety. The bacon was nice and thick, as was the patty. It was more along the medium well line, with just a touch of pink. It was very juicy and a pretty solid burger over all. The sweet potato fries were of the probably frozen, crinkled variety. I definitely enjoyed the regular fries more and that is what I would recommend you do too. I give it 3 out of 5 stars. I don’t know if I would go across town for this burger, but it’s definitely a place to try if you’re in far northwest Dallas.

~ Sean Martin
Burger Hunt Corespondent
Dallas, TX

Burger Hunt – Judy’s Burgers and Shakes: N. Dallas

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Judy’s Burgers is in the location formerly occupied by 12 Burgers, which I never got a chance to try before it closed. I ordered my usual bacon cheeseburger, fries, and drink. A couple of misspellings on the menu caused me to raise an eyebrow, but I’ll overlook that in my rating. That cost about $8. The patty reminded me of something that was possibly frozen before it was cooked for me. The toppings were fresh enough, but this was decidedly not what I was expecting for an $8 meal. The fries were crinkle fries were just okay. I am giving this 2 out of 5 stars. It was better than Carl’s Jr., but 2 is not something I would recommend to friends. If you’re in the area, head a couple hundred yards over to Burger Island instead.

~ Sean Martin
Burger Hunt Corespondent
Dallas, TX

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