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Monday, June 21, 2010

Cisco Grill - June 21, 2010

It's the first day of summer 2010 and we decided to take our quest back to Snider Plaza to try the burgers at Cisco Grill. Cisco Grill has been open over 21 years and at lunch features a menu of burgers, salads, chicken sandwiches and a variety of Tex-Mex offerings. We were met at the door by a pleasant waitress who welcomed us and promptly showed us to our table. We placed our drink order and when she brought our drinks, I placed an order for a Bacon Cheddar Burger cooked medium with mayonnaise only which was priced on the menu at $6.95. Each burger comes with a choice of fries or onion rings and I ordered the onion rings. About ten minutes later the following burger was brought to the table:

Unfortunately the burger arrived fully dressed with vegetables but they were easily removed off of the patty and they actually made a nice fresh salad to eat along with the burger. The top bun of the burger was toasted and generously coated with mayonnaise. The grilled patty was placed on the toasted bottom bun and a thick slice of cheddar cheese was melted all over the patty which was then topped with three slices of crispy bacon. Taking my first bite, I tasted a combination of sharp cheddar cheese, smoky bacon, a fresh bun and a nice combination of smoke and fresh beef. Cisco Grill hand forms seven ounces of beef for their patties. The patties are lightly seasoned and then cooked over flame. I would have liked a little more fat content in the patty but it was very flavorful. I also would have liked for the patty to have been cooked to medium as ordered which might have helped add a little more juiciness to the patty. The bun was nicely toasted, fluffy inside and held up well to each bite of the burger. Finally the onion rings were cut and then battered by hand and came out crispy and tasty. I prefer the rings at Cisco's sister restaurant Peggy Sues BBQ but these were a close second.

Overall I thought that Cisco Grill delivered a very good burger especially for the price point. The patty was fresh and flavorful, bacon was crispy and tasty and the sharp cheddar added to each bite of the burger. I would go back to have another burger at Cisco Grill when I am in the Snider Plaza area.

Ratings -

Bun - 19, fresh bun, good flavor in each bite

Meat - 20, fresh hand formed patty, crispy and plentiful bacon

Appearance - 21 - well presented burger with melted cheese and fresh ingredients

Taste - 20, smoky flavor in patty and bacon, cheddar was sharp but not overpowering

Overall - 80
Cisco Grill on Urbanspoon

Monday, June 14, 2010

Barley House - June 12, 2010

This week's burger quest took our group to SMU Boulevard to try out the burgers offered by the Barley House. The Barley House is first a bar but it does have a menu of burgers, chicken sandwiches, bbq sandwiches, a variety of salads and appetizers such as fried pickles and fried mozzarella. We sat at the bar and asked the server for food menus and then I placed an order for a half-pound bacon cheddar burger with grilled onions cooked medium and tator tots which cost $8.45 plus tax and tip. According to the menu, the burgers at the Barley House are made with sirloin. The kitchen is somewhat open and you can look in and see the burgers cooking on a gas grill. About ten minutes later, the following burger was placed before me:

The bottom bun was lightly coated with mayonnaise and diced grilled onions. The patty was covered in melted cheddar cheese and two thin slices of crispy bacon. The bakery style top bun was buttered and toasted on the flat top. Taking a bite, I tasted a well seasoned juicy patty and sharp cheddar cheese. The grilled onions and mayonnaise were a nice compliment to the burger but they didn't over power the flavor of the beef. The inside of the patty was cooked to medium. The bun was light and fluffy but near the end didn't really hold up well to the size and juiciness of the patty. The tator tots were served hot and crispy with a touch of salt. Next time I'll have to try the fries to see how they taste.

Overall, I thought that the Barley House served a well done burger. The meat was cooked perfectly, the seasoning and flavor of the meat was good and the cheese and onions added nice flavors to the overall package. The only downside to the burger was that the two thin strips of bacon were slightly lackluster. I would go back and order burgers in the future.

Ratings (1-25):

Bun - 20, fluffy bun, good taste, could have held up a little better

Meat - 20, good flavors, cooked to medium, bacon could have been better

Appearance - 20, good looking burger, cheese melted nicely on patty, toasted bun

Taste - 21, well seasoned juicy burger, flavors melded nicely in each bite

Overall - 81

Barley House on Urbanspoon

Friday, June 4, 2010

The Grazing Cow - June 2, 2010

Once again we traveled to Plano this week to seek out new burgers to try and we ended up at The Grazing Cow at the northeast corner of Spring Creek Parkway and Avenue K. The Grazing Cow opened in early 2010 and serves only grass fed beef from Burgundy Beef in Grandview Texas on the burgers. The menu consists of 1/3 and 2/3 pound burgers, hot dogs, fries served plain or dusted with different salts, cheese fries, salads and a chocolate chip cookie for dessert. Our group walked in and were promptly greeted by the owner who sat us at a table near the open kitchen where you could hear burgers sizzling and smell the fries and burgers cooking. Our waiter brought us menus and took our drink order about a minute later. When he returned with our drinks, he told us about some of the off the menu items that he likes to create such as hamburger meat wrapped around cheddar cheese and bacon and then shaped like a hot dog and served in a hot dog bun. We all decided to stick with the menu burgers but were intrigued by some of his offerings. I ordered a 1/3 pound bacon cheddar burger served on a brioche bun which was priced at $7.87 and the table decided to split The Experiment which is fries topped with danish blue cheese, cheddar cheese, bacon and pesto sauce. About ten minutes later, the following burger arrived at the table:

A thin handformed patty was topped with a slice of cheddar cheese and two slices of crispy bacon cut in half and the patty was then served on a toasted brioche bun. The patty had a good blend of crunchy bits from cooking and had a good amount of juices around the edges. I took a bite and could taste a nice blend of flavors of fresh meat, sharp cheddar cheese, crunchy smoky bacon and a fresh bun. One negative to my burger was that it was slightly overflattened during cooking which caused it to be thinner and a little drier than other patties around the table but it still had a great flavor and the fresh grass-fed beef was evident in every bite. I will probably try the 2/3 pound patty next time. I really liked the bun as well. It held up well to the patty and had a nice homemade taste. Finally, "The Experiment" was some of the best cheese fries that I have tried around Dallas. The pesto sauce was very fresh and coated each bite of fries which were then tossed with blue cheese and bacon and topped with a substantial amount of melted cheddar cheese. The waiter suggested that we add smoke salt to the fries next time to take them to the next level. We tried the smoke salt on regular fries and it added a unique flavor to each bite that I would think would work well with the bacon and blue cheese.

Overall The Grazing Cow serves a nice offering to the selection of burgers in the area especially if you are trying to eat products that are grown locally. The grass fed beef is top notch and the side offerings are very good as well. If you are in the area and it's during their opening hours of 11ish to 3ish, you can't go wrong with trying one of their burgers.

Ratings (1-25):

Bun - 20, fresh brioche bun, good flavor

Meat - 20, grass fed local beef, seasoned well

Appearance - 20, cheese melted on patty, crispy bacon, patty had good amount of crunchy bits

Taste - 20, patty had fresh flavor but slightly overcooked, bacon was crispy, cheese complimented well

Overall - 80

Bonus pics of "The Experiment" and "Cow Patties":

The Grazing Cow on Urbanspoon