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Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Snuffers (Preston Center) - December 28, 2009

Monday's burger adventure took us to the Preston Center location of Snuffers restaurant to try their burger. Snuffers has been open over 20 years in the Dallas area and specialties include burgers, salads, chicken sandwiches, Snufferitas and cheese fries. We sat upstairs and our waiter quickly came over to take our drink orders which were brought to the table fairly quickly after which we placed our food order. I ordered a bacon cheeseburger with mayo and we ordered a large cheese fries for the table. The waiter asked if medium rare was ok for the burger and that is how I ordered it. About ten minutes later the cheese fries and the following burger was placed on the table:

The poppy seed bun was toasted crispy and the bottom bun was lightly coated with mayo. The patty was placed on the bun and cheddar cheese was melted generously over the patty. Crumbled bacon generously coated the cheese. Taking my first bite, I tasted the well seasoned patty that had flavors of salt, pepper and garlic but unfortunately the bun was very chewy almost like it had been left out for a while. The bacon was crispy and tasty and added a great smoky flavor to the burger but I really prefer slices of bacon instead of the crumbles. The patty was juicy and was cooked just past medium rare which was great.

Overall, this was a good burger with well seasoned patty and perfectly melted cheese but with some shortcomings like the chewy bun. I am not sure if a different location would have been better or worse but I definitely would not hesitate to order another cheeseburger at Snuffers.

Ratings (1-25):

Bun - 16, well toasted but very chewy bun

Meat - 19, good salt, black pepper and garlic taste, well cooked

Appearance - 19, all ingredients melted together nicely, juices running out of patty

Taste - 21, great seasoned burger, very flavorful

Overall - 75
Snuffer's on Urbanspoon

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Burger House (Hillcrest) - December 14, 2009

On Monday, we trekked again to Hillcrest Avenue across from the SMU campus to try the burgers prepared by Burger House. Burger House has been open since 1951 and have a reputation of making a great burger and seasoned fries. Parking can be hit or miss in the Snider Plaza are but we were able to get close to the restaurant even at noon. The restaurant was doing a good business at the order window just inside the doors. While you are ordering you can see the meat and onions grilling on the flattop and the smell is wonderful. I ordered a bacon double cheeseburger with mayo and grilled onions and a side of fries and they took my name and I went outside to the patio to enjoy the nice 72 degree day. About five minutes later, they called me name and I brought the following burger out to the table:

The patties were stacked on top of each other with a layer of American cheese between them and on top of the upper patty. Two thin slices of bacon were under a generous mound of diced onions that had been grilled and the bun had been lightly toasted. Taking a bite, the flavors of melted cheese, grilled onions and Jack's secret seasoning were a good combination. The hamburger patties were two thin patties cooked well done when you order and then dusted with seasoning salt before putting on the bun. The bacon was slightly disappointing. It was two very thin slices that had been cooked on the flattop but they didn't get crispy. The fries are some of the best that I have had so far. They are thin shoestring potatoes which are cooked crispy and then dusted in the seasoning salt.

Overall, I thought Burger House made a good burger especially for a fast food style burger. The meat was fresh and tasty but it wasn't an incredibly memorable burger; however, I will visit Burger House again especially for the fries and grilled onions.

Ratings (1-25):

Bun - 19, lightly toasted bun, good flavor

Meat - 18, fresh meat, seasoned nicely with secret salt blend, bacon was average

Appearance - 20, nice appearance of melted cheese, onions and patty

Taste - 19, great grilled onions, seasoning salt has a good flavor, juicy patty

Overall - 76
Burger House on Urbanspoon

Village Burger Bar - December 7, 2009

On a cold Monday outside, we visited the Village Burger Bar off of Lemmon and McKinney Avenue in Dallas to try their cuisine. The Village Burger Bar is a very modern restaurant where you order at the counter but your food is brought to your table and the menu consists of a selection of burgers plus salads and paninis as well. The people behind the counter were very friendly and I placed my order for a Build to Suit burger consisting of bacon, cheddar, grilled onions and mayo with a side of shoestring fries. I was given a number and pointed in the direction of the drink bar where you have a choice of flavored tea, black tea and a variety of soft drinks. We all sat down and about ten minutes, our burgers were brought to the table:

I immediately noticed the bun which was brushed with butter on top and was toasted crispy on the bottom. The onions were thin slices of white onion that appeared to have been barely grilled. There was not much caramelization and crispy bits on them. The patty was fairly thick and juicy. The bacon was thin slices that were crispy and the cheddar was melted on top of the patty. Taking a bite, the bun was crispy on the outside but fluffy on the inside and it held up well to the juicy patty. The patty was seasoned lightly with salt and pepper and the bacon was lightly smoked. The flavor of the cheese neither detracted nor added to the taste of the burger. The french fries were generously seasoned with salt and pepper but they could have been a little crispier. Finally the onions were good but they didn't add much flavor to overall burger.

Overall, I thought Village Burger Bar did a good job on preparing a burger in an upscale location. The ingredients were fresh and the restaurant offers a myriad of options for preparing your burger. I would definately go back to get a burger if I was shopping in Uptown.

Ratings (1-25):

Bun - 21, fresh bun, nicely buttered and toasted

Meat - 18, nicely seasoned patty, cooked well, juicy, fresh

Appearance - 19, fresh ingredients, well prepared burger

Taste - 18, good burger with fresh ingredients

Overall - 76

Bonus Pic of Turkey Burger with Cranberry:

Bonus Pic of Beef Burger with Grilled Jalapeno's and Sweet Potato Fries:

Village Burger Bar on Urbanspoon

Friday, December 4, 2009

Park - December 3, 2009

It's been almost a month since I have gone on the quest for the ultimate burger but between a much needed vacation, work and Thanksgiving, we have not been out to try something new. Last night I had dinner at Marc Cassel's restaurant Park which is located east of Central on Henderson Avenue. Park is a very pretty restaurant with interesting menus on both the food and drink side. After we handed over our keys to the friendly valet staff, we entered into Park and were promptly seated by a perky hostess. A few moments later our server offered us a choice of complimentary filtered still or sparkling water and the specials of the night were explained. I ordered the Henderson Honest Burger which is described on the menu as half pound natural beef patty on sesame seed brioche roll. I ordered it medium rare and asked if the kitchen could add bacon. The server was unsure about the bacon but when the burger arrived several slices of bacon were placed on top of the cheese.

The burger arrived with a generous serving of crispy french fries and the burger was skewered with a crown of in-house made horseradish pickles. The bun was fresh looking, was covered in seasame seeds and appeared to be homemade. The half pound patty sat on top of the bottom bun and was covered with two slices of mild cheddar cheese, several slices of bacon and thin sliced of marinated grilled onions. A few minutes later, ketchup, mayo and dijon mustard was also brought to the table. Taking a bite, the patty had been cooked to a perfect medium with a thin layer of pink in the middle and it had been seasoned well. The bacon was thin but crispy and added a smoky flavor to the burger as a whole. The patty could have been slightly juicier but I think they are using leaner cuts of meat ground in house to make them which limits the fat content. Finally the fries were wonderful. They were thin slices of potato that were hot, crispy and seasoned with salt and pepper.

Overall the burger at Park was a very good burger with fresh well seasoned ingredients. It's hard to pick the burger with all the great choices on the menu at Park but you can't go wrong if you need a burger fix.

Ratings (1-25):

Bun - 18, fresh tasty bun, lots of sesame seeds on top

Meat - 21, fresh ground beef seasoned well and cooked to medium, tasty bacon

Appearance - 19, nice stack of meat cheese and bun served next to crispy fries, cheese could have been melted more

Taste - 21, well seasoned patty, smoky bacon and fresh bun

Overall - 79
Park Restaurant on Urbanspoon

Friday, November 6, 2009

Roasters 'n Toasters - November 6, 2009

Todays burger adventures took us to the southwest corner of Preston Road and LBJ Freeway to an unlikely burger place - Roasters 'n Toasters. Roasters is a New York Style Jewish deli that started in Miami Florida and opened in Texas about six to nine months ago and the menu focuses on deli food but it has also branched out to include other blue plate type items such as meat loaf. We walked in the restaurant and a pleasant host showed us to our table where we found two large jars of pickles and cole slaw was brought to us as well. The pickles were large and quite tasty and the cole slaw was very creamy and well seasoned. We were given a few minutes to review the menu and then I ordered a half pound bacon cheeseburger with mayo cooked to medium. Burgers are served with thick cut fries but for extra you can order skinny fries. About ten minutes after we enjoyed a half pickle and some cole slaw, the following burger was brought to the table:

The bun was slightly too small for the size of the patty but it had been buttered and toasted. Cheddar cheese was melted on top of the patty and several thick slices of bacon were placed on top of the cheese. Mayo was served on the side which was a nice change from Wingfield's last week which had too much mayo on the burger. Taking my first bite, I enjoyed the crispy bacon and the nicely seasoned patty that was cooked to a perfect medium. The perfectly toasted bun was slightly sweet and reminded me of challah bread and it held up well to the juicy patty and melted cheddar. The cheddar cheese was a mild cheddar slice that had a good flavor and a great consistency when melted. Finally, the fries were really small potatoes that had been quartered and then baked until crispy on the outside and fluffy on the inside. They could have used a little more seasoning before being placed in the oven. While the tables had grind your own salt and pepper, it really didn't stick to the outsides of the fries. Next time, I will have to try the skinny fries.

Overall, Roasters cooked a great burger especially in a place where you are drawn to try the pastrami, corned beef or even tongue sandwiches. The bacon was thick and crisp, the patty was perfectly cooked with a good amount of juices and the bun help up to the burgers. I would definitely recommend the burger and will be going back in the future.

Ratings (1-25):

Bun - 22, nicely toasted, somewhat sweet which added flavor to overall burger

Meat - 20, perfectly cooked large patty, bacon was thick and crispy and flavorful

Appearance - 19, great looking bun, cheese melted nicely over top of patty

Taste - 21, well seasoned patty and bacon, great toasted and buttered bun

Overall - 82
Roasters' n Toasters on Urbanspoon

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Wingfield's Burgers and Breakfast - October 28, 2009

Today's quest took us to Southern Dallas to Wingfield's Burgers and Breakfast which is located on Beckley Street near the Dallas Zoo. Wingfield's is a tiny restaurant with no seating inside or out so you either eat in your car or take your food to go. We walked in and saw the cooking area to the right of the register, ESPN on the tv to the left and the friendly cashier taking orders. Burgers come in three sizes single, double and triple and you can add bacon and cheese to your burgers. Side items include fries and onion rings. I went with a bacon cheeseburger with mayo with a side of fries. I paid for my order, was given my number and I sat back to wait for my burger to be cooked. About 10 minutes my number was called and I was handed a white paper bag that seemed to weigh a ton. We took our orders and drove down about two blocks to the Beckley/Saner Park where we opened the following paper wrapped fries and cheeseburger:

My first thought was that the burger was massive. Crispy bacon piled on top of a huge hand formed patty surrounded by two pressed and grilled buns. Taking my first bite, it was hard to get all the flavors together since the burger was so big. The patty was well seasoned and tasted fresh and the bacon was crispy and well cooked but you couldn't get all the flavors into one bite. All the patties are cooked under a press so there is no grease left in them at all and being cooked well done, it leave the burger was somewhat dry. I was able to press the burger down so that it was easier to eat but then the overabundance of mayo on the bottom bun overpowered the rest of the burger. I also didn't notice the cheese in any bite. I think that size of the patty completely overwhelmed any flavor of cheese. The highlight of the burger was the pressed and grilled bun. The bun became crispy on top and bottom and stood up well to the amount of meat and mayo placed on top of it. A bacon cheeseburger with fries and a drink cost $10.05 and could easily feed you for two meals. I couldn't imagine trying to eat a double or triple.

Overall I thought Wingfield's cooked a very good burger especially for the size of it and the price point. The patties were fresh and hand formed and the bacon was crisp and abundant. There could have been a little less mayo on the bottom bun and for a burger this big, several slices of cheese melted on top of the patty was needed. I also would have liked the patty to have been pressed and cooked a little shorter time to keep some of the juices in and not dry it out as much. If I am visiting the Dallas Zoo or in the are, I will be going back to Wingfield's but I am not sure if it a place that will keep me coming back just for the burger.

Ratings (1-25):

Bun - 22, crispy bun cooked on the grill, held the burger together well

Meat - 19, overabundance of crispy bacon and well seasoned patty but overcooked and somewhat dry

Appearance - 20, meat meat and more meat, fresh ingredients, irregular shaped patty showing off that it was handformed

Taste - 19, somewhat dry, too much mayo not enough cheese flavor

Overall - 80

Bonus pics of grill area and burger fully dressed:

Wingfield's Breakfast & Burger on Urbanspoon

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Twisted Root Burger Company - October 21, 2009

Yesterday's burger adventure took the group to Deep Ellum to try Twisted Root Burger Company. Twisted Root has been in Dallas for several years and was started by three chefs who were trained at the Culinary Institute of America. The menu at Twisted Root consists of multiple burgers, hot dogs, shakes, sweet potato chips, french fries, onion rings, fried green beans and homemade root beer. Yesterday's root beer flavor was Caramel Apple Root Beer. Burgers come standard with beef but depending on availability you can also get buffalo, venison, alligator or lamb burgers. I ordered a bacon cheeseburger with onions sauteed in beer with a side of sweet potato chips. I paid for my order, filled up my drink with homemade root beer and got a sample of their homemade pickles which are on the counter for everyone to try. Twisted Root had a selection of Bourbon Bread and Butter Pickles, Spicy Pickles and regular Pickles. All three were very good and a great as an appetizer before the burger arrived. About ten minutes later, my name was called and I picked up the following burger at the counter:

The burger looked great on the plate with the bun buttered and toasted, cheddar melted nicely on the patty, slices of crispy bacon and thick slices of sauteed onions. Taking a bite of the burger, the flavors were good but really didn't meld together compeletely. The patty had a nice salt and pepper flavor and was somewhat juicy but the bacon didn't shine through like other burgers and the onions were somewhat bland. The cheddar cheese was a thick slice and was well melted on the patty. The bun held up well to the large patty and toppings and had a good flavor. The sweet potato chips were crispy and sweet. I didn't try the fries but they did look good.

Overall I thought Twisted Root had really fresh ingredients and a good tasting patty but the burger just didn't blend together like a great burger should. The separate parts were good but they didn't come together. I would like to try some of the specialty meats to see if they give a different flavor profile.

Ratings (1-25):

Bun - 19, buttered and toasted, held up to the thick patty, good flavor

Meat - 19, well seasoned patty, bacon could have been crispier but had good flavor

Appearance - 19, fresh ingredients, well melted cheese,

Taste - 19, nicely seasoned peppery burger but overall flavors could have blended better

Overall - 76
Twisted Root Burger Co. on Urbanspoon

Thursday, October 15, 2009

JG's Burgers - October 14, 2009

Yesterday's burger quest took us to JG's Hamburgers just north of Forest Lane on Greenville Avenue. JG's has been cooking burgers, chicken sandwiches and salads for over 20 years. When you walk in you notice the condiment bar along with a handwritten menu on chalkboards hanging from the ceiling. The kitchen is in the middle of the restaurant right behind the cash registers. The lunch special yesterday was a 1/3 pound cheeseburger with fries and a drink. Other options for sides included onion rings and tator tots. I ordered a bacon cheddar burger with fries and a drink. You could see the flattop while paying for the order and it was a nice sight of buns toasting and burgers cooking. I paid for my order and was given a number. We filled up our drink glasses and sat down to wait for our orders. About ten minutes later, my number was called and I was given a basket with an undressed burger and a side of fries. I put the mayo on it that I wanted then sat down to enjoy this:

The bacon on my burger was nice and crispy but was a little sparse. The cheddar cheese was melted nicely on top of the patty and the highlight was the golden brown crispy buttered bun. I took a bite and the flavors of bacon and beef and cheddar all blended together. The bun held up nicely to the large patty that was cooked medium well. The fries were crispy and fried perfectly. French fries were thick cut and the onion rings were large rings of onion that had been breaded and then fried. I thought the bite of onion ring I had was very good.

Overall the burger was well done and ingredients were fresh but it really didn't wow me or turn me off like some of the other burgers that we have tried. I would definately go back to JG's if I was in the area but I don't think that I would go out of my way to return.

Ratings (1-25):

Bun - 21, nicely buttered and toasted

Meat - 18, well cooked patty, flavorful, bacon was crispy but sparse

Appearance - 18, good looking burger, fresh ingredients

Taste - 19, ingredients were fresh and well seasoned, cheddar was good

Overall - 76

Bonus pic of cheddar burger with grilled jalapenos and onion rings:

J.G.'s Old Fashioned Hamburgers on Urbanspoon

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Ratings So Far in the Quest

82 - Angry Dog
81 - Maple and Motor Burger and Beer
81 - Chips
81 - Ozona
81 - Melios Brothers Char Bar
79 - Kellers
78 - Jake's
75 - Grape
74 - Goff's
72 - Hole in the Wall
72 - Mighty Fine Burgers (Round Rock)
72 - Central 214
70 - Peggy Sue's BBQ
68 - Loon
65 - Midway Pointe

Maple and Motor Burgers & Beer - October 7, 2009

Yesterday's burger quest took us to corner of Motor and Maple near downtown Dallas to try the cuisine of Maple and Motor Burgers & Beer. This small restaurant has only been open a few weeks and has a menu of burgers, baloney sandwiches, brisket sandwiches and chicken sandwiches. Sides include tots, fries and onion rings. The restaurant is currently applying for its liquor license so for the time being, patrons are given two glasses of beer. When you step inside the restaurant, you see the cooks grilling up burgers behind the cash register and a jukebox is in the far corner. There is also a three seat bar next to the cash register. All burgers are cooked with a hand formed 8 oz patty and you have a choice of American, cheddar or pepper jack cheese. I placed my order for a bacon cheddar burger with grilled onions and mayo, tator tots and ice tea. A beer would have been welcome but too much work had to be done in the afternoon. I was given my number and a glass to fill at the self serve drink station. Choices of drinks included RC Cola, root beer, sweet tea, unsweet tea and Jolly Rancher tea. The Jolly Rancher tea reminded me of the watermelon tea from Twisted Root. It was slightly sweet and sour and hinted of a Green Apple Jolly Rancher. We sat down at our table and listened to George Jones serenading us from the jukebox and about five minutes later our number was called and burgers and sides were brought to the table:

The burger look wonderful in the white paper lined basket but I noticed that my burger included lettuce and tomato even though I asked that they be taken off. The bun was toasted and the top bun was slightly flattened. The grilled purple onions were chunky but were nicely caramelized. Mayo was put on both the top and bottom bun. Taking my first bite, I got a good combination of fresh patty that was well seasoned along with the smoky flavor of the bacon and the sweetness of the onions. The cheddar cheese really didn't add much to the burger. Maybe a sharper cheddar would have worked better. I noticed when refilling my tea that the buns were Rainbo burger buns so nothing special but they worked well holding the burger together. One thing that we noticed among the table was the inconsistency among the patties. My patty was cooked slightly above medium while other patties were well done including one that was a step above well done. I know part of the problem was that they dropped eleven patties at one time. The side items were probably the only real disappointment - all were perfectly fried but theyseemed to be from a restaurant supply company. The sides weren't bad but they didn't add anything to the burgers especially the onion rings which tasted frozen.

Overall I thought this was one of the best burgers that we have tried so far. The bacon was smoky and the patty was juicy and well seasoned. With a little time to work out the kinks, I think Maple and Motor Burgers & Beer will put out a great burger.

Ratings (1-25):

Bun - 18, nicely toasted, held up well to the juicy patty, mayo lettuce and tomato

Meat - 22, well seasoned juicy patty, crispy smoky bacon

Appearance - 21, nicely melted cheese, fresh ingredients, well placed ingredients

Taste - 20, slightly overcooked patty but over fresh well seasoned taste

Overall - 81

Bonus Pics of Burger with Grilled Jalapeno's and Sides:

Maple & Motor Burgers & Beer on Urbanspoon

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Goff's - September 30, 2009

This weeks burger quest took us to Southern Methodist University to Goff's Hamburgers. The last time I had eaten at Goff's was when it was still on Lovers Lane and Harvey Gough was running the place. It now has new owners and multiple locations around Dallas but the burgers are still cooked on a grill over charcoal. The menu is posted on the wall next to the cash register and the grill is less than 5 feet away from where you place the order. In the past, ordering at Goff's could be a tricky proposition. You never knew when you would be told you were too fat to order a burger or you to-go drink would be your drink poured into a paper bag and handed to you. Currently the staff at Goff's is much nicer and friendly. I placed my order for a bacon cheddar burger with mayo and onions, fries and a drink. I was given a number, my drink cup and was on my way. Five minutes later, my number was called and I was given a tray with the following burger and fries wrapped in wax paper:

The bun was nicely toasted and burger looked good on the plate. The bacon was five thin slices that almost reminded me of microwavable bacon. The mayo and cheese were on the bottom bun. Taking my first bite, you were hit with the flavor of smoke and fresh grilling but also how cold the mayo and cheese were on the burger. The cheese had no chance at all of melting and was shredded American. We asked for cheddar but I think the only type that is served is American. I would have preferred that the cheese be melted on the patty. The patty was probably a five ounce patty that while on the small side was flavorful and well seasoned. The patty was not very juicy but being cooked over coals usually helps to get rid of any fat. The fries were crispy medium cut fries that were unseasoned. Fortunately every table had salt and pepper on it so that you could give a little flavor to the fries.

Overall Goff's serves a good patty but could have better quality ingredients for the cheese and bacon. The bun was a typical sesame seed bun that held up well to the burgers. If you around SMU and looking for a quick burger fix and can find parking, Goff's is a good alternative.

Ratings (1-25):

Bun - 19, typical sesame seed bun found at many burger places, nicely toasted

Meat - 18, well seasoned patty, bacon was thin and didn't add much to burger

Appearance - - 18, compact burger, looked good on the plate, ingredients never melded together

Taste - 19, burger was well seasoned with a great charcoal taste, American cheese was cold and didn't add anything to the burger

Overall - 74

Bonus Pic of Chili Cheese Burger:

Goff's Hamburgers on Urbanspoon

Monday, September 28, 2009

The Grape - September 27, 2009

The Grape on Lower Greenville was voted by Texas Monthly as having the best burger in the state of Texas so yesterday, we made the quest to see how it tasted. Upon arriving at The Grape, we noticed that the place was packed with people enjoying Sunday morning brunch and most had ordered the burger. We were seated at our table and a few minutes later our server brought us menus and took our drink orders. I ordered the Grape Burger cooked medium rare which was served with fries. The burger is listed as being a 10oz patty with homemade peppered bacon, white cheddar and dijonaise on a toasted pain au lait bun.

About twenty minutes later our burgers were brought to the table. Unfortunately my camera batteries had died so I was unable to take pictures but it was a very good looking burger on the plate. The fresh were fresh and crisp, veggies which included lettuce, salt and peppered tomato slices, sliced purple onions and horseradish pickles. The bun was light and fluffy and well toasted.

I ate the vegetables first since I didn't want them on my burger and they were fresh and very tasty. The seasoned tomatoes were very and the highlight was the horseradish pickles. I think they probably would have overpowered the burger but they were great as a side. The dijonaise was on the bottom bun which was topped by the patty, white cheddar cheese and two thin slices of bacon. Taking my first bite of burger, the juices flowed out of the burger but unfortunately it was cooked well done and reminded me of meat loaf. The dijonaise and cheddar had a very good flavor as did the bun but the bacon and patty were somewhat lackluster. I think if the patty had been cooked less, it would have had more flavor but while juices were in every bite it just seemed dry.

Overall, I could see how the burger at The Grape would have been incredible before the Texas Monthly review but now there are two hour waits at lunch to try the burger, I think that it is hard to have an consistency.

Ratings (1-25):

Bun - 20, light fluffy bun, tasted great and held up to the juicy patty

Meat - 17, overcooked thick burger, could have used more seasoning, bacon was lackluster

Appearance - 21, great looking burger, fresh ingredients, juices from patty on plate

Taste - 17, fresh ingredients but overcooked patty tasted dry and unseasoned, bacon could have been crisper and more flavorful, bun was outstanding

Overall - 75
Grape on Urbanspoon

Friday, September 25, 2009

Peggy Sues Barbeque - September 22, 2009

This week, the burger quest took us to Snider Plaza where we tried the burgers at Peggy Sues Barbeque. Peggy Sues is across the parking lot from Kuby's and while it specializes in smoked meats, we saw that it had a burger on the menu so we thought we would give it a try. Walking in the restaurant, you are reminded of a restaurant in a small country town. The place is decorated with various posters of 50's movies, antiques and other western memorabilia.

Our group was seated and we were given menus to peruse while the server took our drink orders. The first thing that we noticed was that the burger had two prices so we asked what the difference and it was a choice between a one meat or two meat burger. The server recommended getting two patties since he said they were fairly small. I placed my order for a double bacon cheeseburger with house smoked onions, mayo and no veggies on the regular bun and served with a side of onion rings. Nick didn't opt for the onions but chose griddled jalapeno cheese bread instead of a regular bun. Ten minutes later our order was brought to the table and my burger was served open face on a plate.

The first thing that I noticed was that the my top bun had lettuce tomato and pickles on it and the bacon wasn't on the burger. They were easily taken off and were tasty as a salad but it's always nice to have to order prepared to your specifications. The smoked onions were served on the side in a small ramekin and when I told the server, he brought out two slices of bacon on a plate. American cheese was melted between the two patties. I put the bacon and onions on top of my burger as well as the top bun and took my first bite. The bun had a good flavor but the bacon was a little limp and chewy and the patty tasted like a frozen patty that you would serve at a pool patty. The smoked onions were the highlight of the burger. They had a smoky sweet flavor and are a wonderful addition to the burger. I also noticed that no mayo had been put on my burger.

As I kept eating the burger, I enjoyed but I kept thinking that for a place that specializes in meats, it should have been better especially since I really like their barbeque; however, I really did like the onions rings which were thick slices of onions that are hand battered in a buttermilk batter and fried and then seasoned with a salt and pepper blend.

Overall I thought that the burger was an ok burger served with some great onions - both the fried and smoked.

Ratings (1-25):

Bun - 18, typical burger bun

Meat - 16, seemed like a frozen patty, bacon was a little limp

Appearance - 17, burger looked good on the plate, smoked onions were wonderful

Taste - 19, ok burger, patty tasted frozen, no mayo on the burger, smoked onions and onion rings were wonderful

Overall - 70

Bonus pic of burger served on griddled jalapeno bread:

Peggy Sue BBQ on Urbanspoon

Melios Brothers Char Bar - September 17, 2009

Last week we ended hitting two burgers places and on Thursday we visited Melios Brothers Char Bar. The Char Bar is on lower Greenville Avenue and specializes in grilled steaks, chicken and burgers. The walls of the restaurant are lined with Greek travel posters. We walked in and saw the menu posted on the back wall. Fairly simple with burgers, steaks, salads and sides and for the early morning person, they also have breakfast foods.

I ordered a bacon cheeseburger with mayo and grilled onions with a side of fries and a drink and my total came to $10.01. The cashier gave us our drinks and we sat down to wait for our burgers to be cooked. The burgers at Char Bar are cooked over open flame while the onions are grilled on a flattop. It is a fairly small kitchen but perfect size for the number of seats in the restaurant.

We could smell our burgers being cooked over the open flame and about seven to eight minutes later, the cashier brought my burger out to our table:

Taking the first bite of the burger you could taste the smoky flavor of the patty along with a crispy taste of bacon and sweet grilled onions. The patty was juicy but could have used a little more seasoning. The bun was similar to your average store bought bun but it held up well to the burger. Bacon was placed on the bottom and was topped by the patty, shredded cheddar cheese and grilled onions. The top bun was slathered with mayo. I like a little less but it was not overpowering. The french fries were nothing special - thick cut fries with a good crisp.

Overall I thought this was a really good burger especially since it was cooked over open flame. If you are looking for a really good burger, it would be worth making the trip to lower Greenville to try out the Char Bar.

Ratings (1-25):

Bun - 16, typical grocery store bun, could have been a little fresher

Meat - 22, smoky flavor, well cooked, bacon was crisp and tasty

Appearance - 21, ingredients looked great when served, good amount of cheese, bacon and grilled onions

Taste - 22, the whole burger worked well, great tasting grilled burger

Overall - 81
Melios Brothers Char Bar on Urbanspoon

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Central 214 - September 14, 2009

Today we ventured into the Palomar Hotel at Mockingbird and Central to try the burger at Central 214 which is led by the upcoming tv star of The Naughty Kitchen ( on Oxygen Network - Chef Blythe Beck. I had heard through the grapevine that their special burger was a Kobe beef burger with smoked gouda and fried pickles. Although this isn't a bacon cheddar burger, it's still a burger and in the quest for the ultimate burger, it needed to be tried.

We walked into Central 214 and were promptly seated by the hostess. The restaurant is open and the front part of the kitchen can be seen from the tables. Our server came to our table and went over the menu. Unfortunately Nick is not a fan of pickles so he wanted to know if the burger could be made with cheddar and bacon since it is posted on the menu on the website. The server said that the kitchen could prepare it that way but Nick decided to go with the kobe burger with smoked gouda but no pickles. I ordered my burger with pickles and cooked medium rare. Nick then also asked that his burger be cooked medium rare as well.

Once our order was placed we could hear the burgers sizzling in the kitchen. About ten minutes later, our order was brought to the table. The burgers smelled wonderful but unfortunately Nick's burger had fried pickles on top. He was able to take them off which gave me more to eat on the side. The bread and butter pickles were coated with a batter that had a hint of cayenne and were amazing. Being a pickle fan I could have eaten them all day long.

Taking a bite you were treated to a taste of fried bread and butter pickles and a juicy patty of Kobe beef. The smoked Gouda and patty was slightly overpowered by the flavor of the pickles but after taking off the pickles it allowed to flavor of the cheese and beef to blend nicely. The fried pickles were cooked perfectly and were extremely good but I think they were a little much for the burger. The french fries were thin crispy shoestring style that had been lightly salted. They had a good flavor and were nice and crispy. The bun was fluffy and held the patty nicely. A nice touch to the burger was that the bun was buttered and then placed on the grill showing off perfect hatch marks:

Overall I thought that Central 214's burger was a good high end burger but I would have preferred the fried pickles to be served on the side since the pickle flavored was overpowering in every bite. A good option would have been a choice of fried pickles or french fries. The gouda gave a smokey creamy flavor to the patty which was juicy.

Ratings (1-25):

Bun - 16, good flavor but top bun was slightly too thick and gave too much bread in every bite

Meat - 19, kobe beef was juicy and gave a decadent flavor to a traditional burger

Appearance - 18, good looking burger, pickles were perfectly cooked, buttered bun was very pretty

Taste - 19, smoked gouda and kobe were a great combination, pickles were wonderful but overpowered the flavor of the burger

Overall - 72

Bonus pics of cooking temperature of both burgers:

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