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Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Nova Restaurant Dallas - November 14, 2010

Last week's burger quest took our group to Nova, Kelly Hightower's restaurant at 1417 West Davis Street in Oak Cliff. Nova has been open since mid-July and I have been told by multiple people that a great burger was to be found there. In a prior life, Nova's building was a Dairy Queen but the owners have completely transformed the location into a modern restaurant while still keeping the feel of a throwback to a hip diner. When we entered the restaurant, we were promptly seated and menus and a water with a slice of cucumber was brought to our table. We were shown the drink list written on the chalkboard and menus featuring small plates, pizza and a selection of entrees such as pasta with Jimmy's Italian Sausage, Nova's twist on Pho, a pork chop, a New York Strip and a lamb burger. I was hoping for a beef burger but was glad to try something different. I ordered the lamb burger cooked medium and an order of house smoked salmon potato skins and after the table enjoyed the potato skins, the following burger was placed in front of me:

A layer of baby spinach was placed on the bottom bun and then topped with the lamb patty. The patty was then topped with a blend of tatziki sauce and feta cheese and then topped off with a brioche bun. It was a very simple but pretty presentation for a burger. Taking a bite I tasted a blend of Mediterranean spices and the creaminess of the tatziki sauce, little bit of bitterness from the spinach and a slight saltiness from the feta cheese. The feta cheese was present but it didn't over power the flavor of the burger. The tatziki sauce was well seasoned and contrasted nicely with the slight gaminess of the lamb meat. The patty was cooked to a perfect medium and while not as juicy as a beef patty, it stayed juicy in each bite. The brioche bun was one of the better buns I have had while eating burgers in this quest. It was light and fluffy and it surprised me by not apart while I was enjoying the burger. With the amount of sauce placed on top of the patty, I would have expected it to disintegrate before I finished with the burger. Finally the fries served on the side were crispy and seasoned with a light dusting of salt, pepper and an herb blend. They had a good flavor and it was hard not to stop using the tatziki sauce as a dip for the fries.

Overall I thought that Nova's lamb burger was very tasty and fit well with the atmosphere of the restaurant. It was a nice mix of Mediterranean flavors and was cooked perfectly. While it wasn't the typical bacon cheeseburger that I try on this quest, I would return to Nova to try the burger and I look forward to seeking what the next version of the burger will be when Chef Hightower decides to change up the menu again.

Ratings (1-25):

Bun - 21, light fluffy Brioche bun, nicely toasted, held up well to saucy burger

Meat - 20, well seasoned lamb, cooked medium, juicy patty

Appearance - 20, golden bun, cascade of sauces, nicely grilled patty

Taste - 20, flavorful non-traditional burger, good seasoning throughout

Overall - 81
Nova on Urbanspoon

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