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Friday, December 10, 2010

Restaurant AVA - November 20, 2010

The Saturday before Thanksgiving took the burger quest to Downtown Rockwall to try The "AVA" Burger at Restaurant Ava. Ava is owned by Randall Copeland and Nathan Tate and the restaurant strives to use locally sourced ingredients in their dishes. I entered the restaurant from the back entrance and walked past the open kitchen where I saw a burger cooking over open flames. The smells coming from the kitchen were wonderful and I was glad I had made the trek to Rockwall. I was seated at a table in the main dining room which had a nice view of the shops in Rockwall. A few moments later, the server took my order for The "AVA" Burger cooked medium which is one of the less expensive gourmet burgers at $12. I could hear and smell my burger cooking and after a short wait, the following burger was brought to the table:

The presentation of the burger was very pretty - thick slices of purple onion, homemade pickles and mixed field greens were served on the side next to a large cup of thick house-cut fries. The bun was lightly toasted on the top and bottom and a thick hand-formed patty was placed on top of the bottom bun. A slice of lightly melted white cheddar was on top of patty and the burger was finished with two thick slices of bacon that were made in house from Niman Ranch pork belly. The server told me that the meat for the patty was ground from steak scraps and the bun was baked in-house as well. Taking my first bite, I tasted a lightly seasoned, very juicy patty that was infused with smokiness from being cooked over a wood fire and it was cooked to a perfect medium. The cheddar cheese gave a mild nutty flavor to each bite. The bacon was extremely good but it wasn't a typical crispy bacon but it added a welcome layer of texture to each bite. Unless I am wanting Maple and Motor's crispy bacon, this would be the bacon I would want on my burger and is some of the best in the Dallas area. The homemade bun was light and fluffy but held up well to each bite of the burger. I would have expected it to fall apart from the juicy patty but I never had to pick up my fork and knife. Finally the fries were seasoned well and cooked to a nice crisp. Although I prefer a thinner style fry, the had a good flavor and were great dipped in the homemade mustard, mayonnaise and ketchup.

Overall, Restaurant AVA served a great burger using fresh ingredients prepared in house. The flavors melded together nicely and it was a great showing of what can be done with a gourmet burger. If you aren't in the Rockwall area but are looking for an outing on Saturday, I would recommend visiting the shops in downtown Rockwall and then having The "AVA" Burger.

Ratings (1-25):

Bun - 19, lightly toasted bun, good flavor in every bite

Meat - 22, great patty, thick slices of bacon, well cooked

Appearance - 20, fresh ingredients, well cooked burger, great presentation

Taste - 22, great flavors in each bite, tasty burger

Overall - 83

Bonus Picture of Homemade Condiments:

Restaurant AVA on Urbanspoon

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