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Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Stephan Pyles - August 26, 2010

Last week's burger adventure took us to downtown Dallas to try the burgers at Stephan Pyles. Normally Stephan Pyles is a place you think of for Southwestern cuisine but we had been told that the restaurant serves a great burger at lunch. We were greeted by a friendly hostess who seated us at the bar overlooking a large kitchen full of energetic people preparing lunch for a fairly full restaurant. A few seats down from us, chefs were preparing for the nights service of Fuego which is Stephan Pyles restaurant within a restaurant concept. Our friendly server greeted us and told us about the daily specials and asked what we wanted to drink. A few minutes later she returned with our drinks and then I ordered a cheddar burger cooked medium with a side of spicy onion rings. Stephan Pyles features a Kobe beef burger cooked over hickory wood for $12 with a choice of fries or onion rings. All burgers are served with house made pickles, pickled carrots, onions and jalapenos. About ten minutes after taking my order, the server brought me a selection of house made ketchup, mayonnaise and must and a few minutes later, the following burger was placed in front of me:

The thick patty with prominent grill marks was a placed on top of lightly toasted house made bun and then covered with a thick slice of melted cheddar cheese. It was fairly simple in presentation but I have found that with Kobe burgers, simplicity is usually a better choice. Taking a bite, I tasted a hint of smoke from the wood grill and a light seasoning of salt and pepper in the beef. The patty was cooked to medium and was juicy but slightly dense in texture. The flavor of the Kobe beef overpowered the cheddar cheese so I would probably save two dollars and order a hamburger in the future. The bun was one of the best buns I have tasted on a burger. It was dense enough to stand up to every bite of the burger but it was still light and fluffy with a great flavor. The server told us that the make the buns fresh every day. Finally the sides served with the burger were hit or miss. The pickled vegetables were extremely good and while I think they would over power the burger, they had a great flavor by themselves. Unfortunately, the onion rings were not that good. Thin slices of onions were lightly battered and fried and then dusted with a blend of chile peppers and salt and served in a large mound next to the burger. The onion rings lost their heat very quickly and while good while hot, they ended up being lifeless once they lost their heat.

Overall I thought that Stephan Pyles prepared a nice burger but it did not provide the burger experience that makes me think this a great burger. The Kobe beef was seasoned well and cooked to perfection but the overall patty was too dense and the cheddar cheese got lost in every bite. The highlight of the burger was definitely the bun - lightly toasted, flavorful, fresh baked that morning and was the perfect holder for the burger. For a gourmet burger offering, Stephan Pyles serves a good burger but in the future, I would probably choose one of the other offerings on the menu.

Ratings (1-25):

Bun - 23, light and fluffy, great bun

Meat - 17, nicely seasoned but a little too dense, fresh meat

Appearance - 18 great grill marks, pickled vegetables were very pretty, bun had a nice shine on top

Taste - 17, good burger but something missing, flavors just didn't blend together perfectly

Overall - 75
Stephan Pyles on Urbanspoon

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