Search This Blog

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Pappy's Old Fashioned Hamburger Company - February 24, 2010

This week we traveled west down Mockingbird Lane past Love Field and New Fine Arts to visit Pappy's Old Fashioned Hamburger Company. Pappy's is a no frills diner serving burgers, hot dogs, chicken fried steaks, smothered hamburger steaks, catfish and a variety of sides including cheese fries, fried mushrooms, tator tots and onion rings. Needless to say your local cardiologist would not approve of the menu gave us hope we were about to try a great burger. Arriving around 12:30, we stood in a line of about 15 people to order our burger and a few minutes later we made it to the register where I ordered a bacon cheeseburger with grilled onions and mayonnaise and a side of cheese fries. The kitchen was directly behind the register and you could see the patties cooking on the flattop. One thing we noticed was that partially cooked patties were taken out of a container and then finished on the flattop under a sheet tray. We thought this was a little strange but we got out drinks and sat down to wait for our orders. About seven minutes later, my name was called and I picked up the following burger:

The bun was nicely toasted and the mayonnaise was only placed on the bottom bun. Two strips of bacon were placed on the bottom bun as well and the patty with melted shredded cheddar cheese was placed on top of the bacon. Grilled onions were missing on my burger but they looked good on other burgers at the table. I took my first bite and was met with the taste of cold bacon and a flavorless patty. You could taste that the patty had been reheated as we had feared while placing our order. The bun was crispy and had a good flavor and held up well to the half pound patty. Bacon appeared to have been cooked early in the morning but had an ok flavor in every bite. French fries were skin on medium sized fries that were slightly crispy but could have used a little more time in the fryer before serving to crisp them up.

Overall, Pappy's was an intriguing restaurant with its 1950's decor and menu consisting of all the right diner foods but unfortunately the burger was lacking in taste and execution. Some seasoning on the patty and cooking the patty to order would have helped improve the overall burger. I might go back in the future to try the chicken fried steak but unfortunately I will staying away from the burger.

Ratings (1-25):

Bun - 19, nicely toasted bun, good flavor, slight sheen from butter on the bun

Meat - 15, reheated patties, no seasoning, cold bacon

Appearance - 17, gooey melted cheese, fresh ingredients, toasted bun

Taste - 15, bland burger that lacked seasoning

Overall - 66

Bonus Pics of Cheese Fries and Burger with Grilled Onions:

Pappy's Old Fashion Hamburger on Urbanspoon

Friday, February 19, 2010

Ball's Hamburgers - February 18, 2010

Yesterdays quest took us to Ball's Hamburgers at the northeast corner of Midway Road and Northwest Highway. Ball's menus has something for everyone including burgers, sliders, salads, chicken sandwiches, chicken fried steak sandwiches and shakes. The decor inside is a shrine to local sports teams of the past. You might see a 1970's team picture of the Cowboys next to a ticket stub from a Texas Rangers game. The open kitchen is behind the cash registers and you can see and smell the burgers cooking over open fire in the back. The menu is posted above the registers and you walk up to the registers and place your order with the friendly workers. I ordered a bacon cheddar burger with mayonnaise and grilled onions and a side of fries. I was asked if I wanted it cooked medium rare which is the house standard. I ordered it medium and my order was totaled and I was told that my name would be called shortly. I got my ice tea from the selection of sweet, peach or unsweetened teas and sat down to wait. About ten minutes my name was called and the following burger was served:

For some reason the burger had been cut in half which allowed the juices to escape from the patty. The half pound patty had nice grill marks on it and was cooked to the medium that I ordered. The grilled onions were thin rings of purple onions that had been cooked for a short time so that they were still a little crispy. Bacon was placed on top of the patty and then covered with shredded cheddar cheese. Taking my first bite, the patty was fresh but had dried out from being cut in half and no seasoning to the meat. The cheddar cheese was tasty even if a little piled on only about half of the patty. The bacon was crisp and gave a nice crunch to every bite. The bun was a little overcooked but somewhat chewy which I wasn't expecting but it did have a good flavor with the poppy seeds and toasting. Finally the substantial serving fries (enough for two people to share) were thin shoestring fries cooked very crispy but they were not very warm when they got to the table. A little less time under the heat lamp would have done them good.

Overall Ball's Hamburgers had some good things going for them - half pound burgers cooked to a perfect medium over fire, fresh ingredients, thick crispy bacon, poppy seed buns and a great hangout for families with kids or youth sports team, but the burger didn't come together as well as I had hoped. It was a little too dry and needed more seasoning on the patty. If you are in the area and craving a burger, Ball's is worth visiting.

Ratings (1-25):

Bun - 17, well toasted poppy seed bun, somewhat chewy but held up well to size of burger

Meat - 18, unseasoned dry patty but cooked perfectly, probably would have been better if not cut in half

Appearance - 19, nice grill marks on patty, fresh ingredients, cheese melted nicely over bacon and patty, grilled onions spread in rings over patty

Taste - 18, fresh ingredients but overall burger was somewhat bland

Overall - 72

Bonus Pic of Hamburger with Grilled Onions and Side of Fries:

Balls Hamburgers on Urbanspoon

Monday, February 8, 2010

Five Guys Burgers and Fries - February 8, 2010

Today's burger quest took our group to Five Guys Burgers and Fries located by the ice rink in the Galleria Mall. Five Guys has a very small menu focusing on burgers, single and double patty varieties, hot dogs and french fries, either Five Guys Style or Cajun style. Riding down the escalator, Five Guys is to the right and is brightly lit store with red and white tile and sacks of potatoes and boxes of peanuts scattered throughout the restaurant. The kitchen is open behind the cash registers and you can smell the fries and burgers cooking. Patrons line up and can read the menu which is posted on the wall behind the registers. After a short wait a friendly worker behind the register took my order for a bacon double cheeseburger with mayonnaise and grilled onions. One great thing about Five Guys is that they use only fresh beef that and patties are hand-formed. Other choices for burgers included lettuce, tomato, grilled mushrooms, relish, jalapenos, A-1 sauce, hot sauce, mustard and ketchup. We also ordered a large fry 5 Guys style for the table to split. I paid for my meal and was given a number to wait for my order. About ten minutes later my number was called and the following burger and fries came out of the paper bag:

Opening up the aluminum foil, I noticed that the cheese had melted nicely over the two beef patties which were sitting on a layer bacon, diced grilled onions and mayonnaise. The bun appeared to be a sesame seed bun but for some reason most of my sesame seeds had fallen off during cooking. I like the idea that buns are made fresh by contracted bakeries around the country but taking a bite I was met with a somewhat soggy bun which I think was due to the burger being wrapped in foil. The bun appeared to have been toasted before wrapping but the foil ended up taking away most of the crunch. The two hand formed patties were seasoned nicely and the bacon added a crispy crunch to each bite of the burger. The thin slices of American cheese melted well on the patties and oozed out of the sides of the burger but the cheese didn't add much to eat bite. Grilled onions were average flavored due to needing a little more seasoning while the mayonnaise was applied a little too generously but had a good flavor. The large order of fresh thick cut fries were enough to serve 3-4 people and were seasoned with a special seasoning that added a good flavor to the fries. I didn't like though how some of the fries were placed in a cup and then a large amount were dumped in the bag.

Overall I thought that Five Guys Burgers and Fries served an ok burger. Too much mayonnaise, flavorless cheese and a soggy bun ruined a flavorful juicy patty and crispy bacon. I think that Five Guys has a good concept and a great location for mall visitors but I don't think that I would make a special trip to the Galleria to eat another burger.

Ratings (1-25):

Bun - 15, toasted bun that turned soggy due to being wrapped in foil, missing sesame seeds

Meat - 19, nicely seasoned patty, crisp bacon in every bite

Appearance - 21, fresh handformed patties made for a great looking burger especially with the melting cheese oozing from between the patties

Taste - 19, patties were tasty but soggy bun and tasteless cheese brought down the burger

Overall - 74

Bonus pics of fully dressed burger and peanuts:

Five Guys Burgers and Fries on Urbanspoon

Monday, February 1, 2010

Club Schmitz - February 1, 2010

Due to business conflicts the rest of the week, we decided to head to Northwest Dallas to the corner of Harry Hines and Webb Chapel to try out the burger offering at Club Schmitz. Club Schmitz is a dark bar with wood paneled walls, cold beer and a menu featuring hamburgers, appetizers and fried shrimp and chicken baskets. When we entered we were told to pick a table and a waitress would be by to take our order. About 75% of the tables were full and several people were sitting at the bar sipping on draft beer. Our server came by and took our drinks orders and when she returned with drinks, she asked if we had questions and then took our food order. I had been told by others that the patties were thin style patties so I ordered a double double with bacon and grilled onions and a side of French fries and a little over five minutes later the following burger arrived at the table:

The top of the bun had a sheen of grease and taking the top bun off revealed caramelized grilled onions, American cheese, a substantial amount of crispy fried bacon on top of two greasy thin-style grilled patties. The bun was slightly toasted and had absorbed some of the grease from the patties. Taking a bite, the gooey cheese contrasted with the crispy bacon, the sweetness of the grilled onions and salt and pepper that seasoned the patties. The buns held up well to the toppings and the bottom bun soaked in the juices from the patty which helped round out the flavors of the burger. The patties were cooked well done which is expected for this style of burger. The French fries were thick cut fries that were slightly crispy and unseasoned. Other options included tator tots and seasoned fries which might be a better option but everyone at the table ordered fries.

Overall Club Schmitz serves a great burger in a very cool atmosphere especially if you like a thin patty on your burger. The ingredients were fresh, the burger was hot and seasoned well, bacon was crisp and the bun held up the juices from the meat. I would definately recommend making the trip to Northwest Dallas to have a burger and beer at Club Schmitz.

Ratings (1-25):

Bun - 18, slighty toasted bun, held up well to the ingredients without crumbling or breaking

Meat - 22, well seasoned juicy thin patties, crispy bacon

Appearance - 21, nicely caramelized grilled onions, well melted cheese, glistening top bun

Taste - 22, great juicy burger, ingredients melded together with great beef and bacon flavor

Overall - 83

Bonus pics of sign out front and kitchen ticket:

Club Schmitz on Urbanspoon