Category Archives: Mmm… Bacon

Burger Hunt: Radial Cafe, Grand Prairie, TX

First off, having a burger joint in a municipal airport is cool. Second, it’s clean with TVs and even a small lounge area. This is presumably for airport folks, however it’s right next to the food area, so I feel like this could be a welcome lunch break location. Third, the fries are awesome. Hand cut and I like the seasoning. Very tasty.

Lastly, the burgers are fresh, grill top, 7 oz. patties. Next time I’ll ask for it Medium, but it was still a decent flavor, although a little juicer for me would’ve been preferred. Buttered grill top buns with everything on it. Veggies were fresh as well. You add whatever condiments you choose. I liked it. I’ll try something else next time just because I want to go back, but the burger was good enough for a repeat trip. I’d normally classify this as a place I would go back to, “if I was in the neighborhood,” but it’s 5 minutes from work, so I’ll be back.

It’s not the best you’ve ever had, but it’s better than fast food, and certainly better than the place that was there before.

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: BurGR – Las Vegas, NV, April 2013

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!

 

http://www.planethollywoodresort.com/restaurants/ramsay.html#.UXo5nL_hFcs

Burger Hunt – Maple and Motor: 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:

https://www.facebook.com/mapleandmotor

Burger Hunt – Theo’s Drive In: Grand Prairie, TX

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.

Burger Hunt: Bottlecap Alley Icehouse Grill – Grapevine, TX

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.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Want more?

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

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

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

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 – 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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