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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