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Thursday, August 27, 2009

Jakes (Lake Highlands) - August 27, 2009

Today the group headed over to Lake Highlands to try out the burgers at Jake's Hamburgers. Jakes has been serving burgers since 1985 and was recently nominated as one of the top 50 burgers in Texas by Texas Monthly magazine.

We arrived at 11:45 and stepped up to the register to order our food. Jake's has a large selection of burgers and sandwiches including an Atkins friendly bunless burger. For those wanting a beer with their food, Jakes has numerous draft beers, six packs, 12 packs and cases of cold beer. I ordered a bacon cheeseburger with mayo and onions and a side of tator tots. The cashier took my money and gave me back a receipt with a number on the top. I got my ice tea, sat down and about five minutes later my number was called. The burger was wrapped in wax paper and aluminum foil and served on a tray. After opening the foil I was treated to this:

The Jake's burger holds two thin patties served on a poppy seed bun. The onions were on the bottom bun and the bacon was placed on top of the cheese on the patties. Fortunately this week the burger was left intact instead of cut in half. Flavors were really good but I would have preferred that the onions be grilled similar to the past few burgers. The meat was seasoned well and cooked well done. I am not sure you could really do the thin patties anything but well done due to the cooking time. The tator tots did not disappoint - crispy chunks of potatoes that were lightly salted:

Overall, the Jakes burger was a very good fast food style burger. Great flavor, not too greasy, good layering of the cheese bacon, patties and buns. I prefer the Keller's burger a little more but I like the fact that you don't have to sit in your car to eat a Jake's burger.

Ratings (Scale 1-25):

Bun - 21, good flavor and poppy seed coated

Meat - 19, two thin well seasoned patties with crispy slices of bacon on top

Appearance - 19, cheese was nicely melted on the patties, bacon was crisp and plentiful, onions were fresh and colorful

Taste - 19, great tasting fast food style burger, tator tats were crispy and salty

Overall - 78

Bonus Pics of Jalapeno Bottle Caps:

Jake's Old Fashioned Hamburgers on Urbanspoon

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Midway Point - August 19, 2009

Today's journey took us to Northwest Dallas and the lovely corner of I-635 and Midway Road and the formerly very smoky restaurant - Midway Point. You can still smoke on the patio but Midway Point is now completely nonsmoking inside. The restaurant was crowded when we arrived at noon but we were promptly greeted by our server who showed us the one menu on the table and took our drink orders.

At Midway Point, patrons have a choice of two burgers - 1/4 pound for $5.25 or 3/4 pound for $6.25. Cheese, grilled onions, bacon, jalapenos are all $0.50 extra a piece. We all ordered 3/4 pound burgers and were told that they take 25 minutes to cook even though the menu says 20 minutes. I ordered a 3/4 pound cheddar burger with bacon and grilled onions with mayonnaise and no pickles lettuce or tomato. All burgers are served with a choice of Home Fries, Cottage Fries or Curly Q Fries. I ordered the cottage fries per the suggestion of our server. Since the burgers were going to take 25 minutes, we ordered an appetizer of onion rings to share.

Five minutes later, the onion rings arrived piping hot fresh out of the fryer. The thick slices onions were coated with a tempura batter which gave a good crunch and a good sweet onion taste with every bite.

Very close to the 25 minutes promised by our server, the burgers arrived at our table all cut in half wrapped in paper with the fries on the side. The first things I noticed were that my burger was served with lettuce tomato and pickle and it was very well done. I didn't specify a temperature but I wasn't expecting well done but should have known with a 25 minute wait to cook the burgers.

Picture of the burger:

I wasn't overwhelmed with flavor with the first bite of the burger. The vegetables and mayonnaise were placed on the bottom bun and four slices of bacon and grilled purple onions were placed on top of the patty and then a single slice of American cheese was placed on top of the bacon. The first bite was underwhelming - it was another very dry somewhat tasteless patty which was probably a combination of being cooked well done and cutting the burger in half. The bun was also a little too thin to hold a burger of that size.

Overall the burger was an average burger. The grilled onions, bacon and bun tasted really good but when I go back, I will definitely ask for the burger to be cooked medium or medium rare. Also I would like cheddar cheese or a few more slices of American cheese. Finally the fries were good but not great. They were hand cut but inconsistent. Some were thin and crispy while others were thicker and flabby. The fries were also not seasoned at all.

Ratings (Scale 1-25):

Bun - 17, good flavor somewhat sweet but far too small to hold a 3/4 pound burger

Meat - 14, dry flavorless patty cooked too long, bacon was the saving grace to the meat

Appearance - 18, toppings were fresh, bacon was plentiful, nice large burger but would have been better not cut in half

Taste - 16, crispy bacon, tasty grilled onions, burger and fries needed more seasoning

Overall - 65

Bonus pic of burger cooked medium unfortunately not ordered by me:

Midway Point on Urbanspoon

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

The Loon - August 12, 2009

Today's trek took our group to The Loon on Lemmon Avenue which normally is a dark smoked filled bar full of people looking to imbibe in the strongest drinks in Dallas. At lunch it is a completely different story - well lit and tables full of tea and water drinkers enjoying burgers, pizzas, salads and pasta dishes.

The chipper waitress took our drink orders and after bringing out our drinks, she took our ordered. Once again today's order was a bacon cheeseburger cooked medium. About 10 minutes later our order arrived the first thing I noticed was the burger was served with potato chips not fries. Not a killer but you would think with as substantial of a menu as the Loon has, it would have a deep fryer. Also the chips were somewhat lackluster - tasted like kettle chips you would get at most delis.

I promise to have a better camera next time so that I can show off all this wonderful food pr0n. You might not be able to tell from the picture but the first thing I noticed was no bacon. The mayonaise was on the top bun and a small amount of grilled onions were on the bottom bun and the burger was cut in half before plating. The first bite showed that it was probably a mistake to cut the burger as the patty had a very good flavor of salt pepper and maybe onion or garlic but was somewhat hard as if the juices had run out after cooking. The rest of the group noticed that as well. The bun was soft sesame seed bun that had not been toasted but held up well to the burger since it was not really juicy.

Overall it was an ok burger - nothing great but not really bad either. It had a decent flavor and was cooked perfectly but with the hard patty, no bacon and a side of chips instead of fries, I wouldn't put it as one of the top burgers in Dallas.

Ratings (Scale 1-25):

Bun - 17, typical Mrs Bairds style burger bun with sesame seeds

Meat - 16, good flavor of spices, perfect Medium but hard and not juicy, lack of bacon was a disappointment

Appearance - 18, burger looked good on the plate but would have been better not cut in half and served with fries

Taste - 17, overall a tasty burger but somewhat lacking in the complete package

Overall - 68

Bonus Pics of Cheeseburger fully Loaded:

Bonus Pic of Chili Cheeseburger:

The Loon on Urbanspoon

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Angry Dog - August 5, 2009

Yesterday the group made the trip to the Angry Dog in Deep Ellum area of Dallas. The Angry Dog was established in 1990 and has been serving cold beer and burger ever since. I have always heard of the place but I hate to say this was my first time to try the food at Angry Dog.

Our group arrived right after 12pm and the restaurant was packed with patrons enjoying their lunch. We were told that there would be a 10 minute wait but within 5 minutes we were seated at our table where the server took our drink order and passed out menus. While there were some intriguing items on the menu like the chicken fried steak sandwich, the award winning hot dog and the steak sandwich, we were there to try a burger.

I ordered the bacon cheese burger cooked medium with grilled red onions and mayo. Others in the group also ordered grilled jalapenos but I am trying to stay consistent between places so no jalapenos for me.

Within ten minutes, the burgers arrived and unfortunately the picture didn't turn out well but this was placed in front of me:

The thick half pound patty was served on a traditional lightly toasted hamburger bun with the mayonaise on the top bun. The cheese, grilled onions and bacon was then placed on top of the patty and lettuce tomato and pickles were served on the side. The plate was rounded out with a nice portion of crispy fries that weren't salted so that you could either use the seasoning salt or salt and pepper that was on every table.

The meat was perfectly cooked to medium with a little bit of pink left in the middle and the patty was lightly seasoned but the beef flavors were allowed to stand out. The bacon was grilled but not overly crunchy which blended well with each bite. The grilled onions were average and could have been a little sweeter. My only real complaint with the burger was that the bottom bun could have been a little thicker to stand up to the juiciness of the patty. Overall I thought that Angry Dog made a really good burger that highlighted the taste of the beef and used toppings that complimented rather than detracted from the burger.

Ratings (Scale 1-25):

Bun - 17 - bottom bun needed to be a little thicker

Meat - 22 - well seasoned, juicy, perfectly cooked bacon

Appearance - 21 - thick patty with fresh toppings, cheese could have been melted a little more on the patty

Taste - 22 - very tasty burger, greasy but not messy, fresh tasty toppings

Overall - 82

Extra Pictures of a Medium Rare Cheeseburger with Grilled Jalapenos:

Angry Dog on Urbanspoon

Keller's Drive In - July 30, 2009

Welcome to the Quest for the Ultimate Burger and hopefully this will be on enjoyable trip as our small group raises our cholesterol to taste burgers and report back on our findings.

The July 30, 2009 entry is Keller's Drive In just east of Abrams Road on Northwest Highway. Keller's is a typical drive in where you stay in your car and turn on your blinkers when you are ready to place your order from the menu painted on the side of the building. Nothing fancy here just burgers, BLT's, ham and cheese sandwiches, onion rings, tater tots, fries and soft drinks, tea and ice cold beer. Unfortunately today was a work day so no cold beer but I ordered the Double Bacon Cheeseburger plain with mayo, onion rings and an ice tea. About ten minutes later a tray was brought to the car, sat on the rolled down window and revealed this:

Keller's uses a thin hamburger patty so the double double is the way to go in my opinion. The two beef patties have a slice of American cheese on top of each and the thick bacon was placed on top of the mayo on top of the bottom bun. The bun is a tasty poppy seed bun which holds the sandwich together nicely. Of course I am partial to a poppy seed bun. The meat is not overly seasoned but has a nice beef taste and somewhat greasey. To go along with the double-double with bacon was Keller's take on onion rings which are thin rings of onion that are battered and fried to a crispy perfection. Biting into the ring you get the crunch of the coating and the sweetness of the onions. Overall, the burger is what a fast food burger should taste like - beef, bacon and cheese served with very good onion rings.

Ratings (Scale 1-25):

Bun - 21, toasted poppy seeded goodness

Meat - 19, the patties were a little thin but were tasty and fresh, bacon was substantial and crispy

Appearance - 19 - the patties fit nicely inside the bun with bacon on bottom and cheese placed on top of each patty

Taste - 20 - Well done fast food style burger that is a Dallas tradition

Overall - 79

Extra Pic of Tater Tots:

Keller's Drive-in on Urbanspoon