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Thursday, May 26, 2011

Flaming Burger - May 24, 2011

Last week's burger quest took us to East Dallas to visit Flaming Burger which has been open now about six months near the intersection of Garland Road and Jupiter Road. Walking into Flaming Burger you can hear and smell the burgers cooking in the small kitchen behind the register. The restaurant is very open with televisions tuned to ESPN and tables and booths throughout the restaurant. I placed my order at the register for a Bacon Double Cheeseburger with grilled onions, fries and a drink which cost just over $9.00. Other items on the menu included a variety of burgers and chicken sandwiches. After placing my order, I saw the cook put two patties on the flattop and about ten minutes later, my number called and I picked up the following burger:

The presentation of the burger reminded me of Jake's Hamburgers. The poppy seed bun was toasted extra crispy and the bottom bun was lightly coated with mayonnaise and then topped with a cheese covered thin patty and three slices of bacon. The top cheese covered patty was then topped with lightly grilled rings of onion and topped with the crispy poppy seed bun. Taking a bite, I was met with a contrast of the crispy bun which could have used a little less toasting and the juiciness of the patties. The patties were lightly seasoned with salt and pepper and had a few crunchy bits from the flattop. The bacon and onions were both cooked so that they were slightly crunchy and they both added a good flavor to each bite of the burger. Next, the buns were either over cooked or slightly stale but they were a little too chewy and detracted from each bite of the burger. Finally the french fries were thick cut skin-on fries that were cooked crispy. The fries were not fresh-cut but had a good flavor and complimented the burger. Next time, I would probably go for the tator tots but the fries are a good choice as well.

Overall, I thought that Flaming Burger prepared a good thin style patty burger. If I wasn't in that part of Dallas, I would probably head towards Jake's or Dairy-ette first but Flaming Burger will serve you a good burger combo at a good price.

Ratings (1-25:)

Bun - 18, poppy seed bun, chewy, toasted too long

Meat - 19, thin style patties, good seasoning, bacon had good flavor

Appearance - 20, well presented burger, nicely melted cheese, golden color to toasted buns

Taste - 18, good fresh flavor to beef, bun slightly chewy, bacon gave a nice pork flavor to each bite

Overall - 75
Flaming Burger on Urbanspoon

Thursday, May 12, 2011

Mooyah Burgers and Fries - May 9, 2011

This week's burger quest took us the newest location of Mooyah Burgers and Fries on Northwest Highway just west of Hillcrest Road. Mooyah is a fast casual Dallas based burger chain that serves burgers, fries and shakes. When you enter the restaurant, signs encourage guests to place their order before finding a seat and guests are directed to a counter with pens and menu pads. Options for burgers include a one patty or two patty beef burger, turkey burger or a veggie burger and all burgers are served on a choice of fresh baked white or wheat buns. I ordered a double burger with cheddar cheese, grilled onions, bacon and mayonnaise, a small fry (enough for one according to the menu) and a drink for $11.32. After paying for my order, the cashier called out the number of patties and they were then placed on the flat-top griddle by the cook. I filled my drink cup and about five minutes later, my name and number were called and when I went to the counter to pick up my order, a fry container was dropped into the bag and then filled with fries as I watched. Sitting down at my table, I pulled out an aluminum foil wrapped burger and then opened the following burger:

Two thin slices of bacon were placed on the bottom bun which was then topped with the two patties and two slices of cheese. Diced grilled onions were then placed on the top slice of cheese and a small layer of mayonnaise was smeared on the top bun. Taking a bite, I could taste the fresh beef and the flavor of the fresh baked bun. The patties were lightly seasoned with salt and pepper and were cooked well done. I am not sure you could cook them any other way due to their size. The cheddar cheese had a very mild flavor and complimented the overall flavor of the burger. The bacon on the burger was crispy but the slices were too small to add much flavor to the burger. The onions had been diced before caramelizing and added a slightly crunchy texture and a nice taste to each bite of the burger. Next the bun was probably the highlight of the burger, it was light and fluffy and perfectly proportioned to the burger. Finally the fries at Mooyah are fresh cut every day in house. They are a thicker cut fry and after frying they are dusted with a house blend of salt, pepper, a little sugar and some other spices. I thought they had a good flavor but had a little too much salt for my tastes.

Overall I thought Mooyah Burgers and Fries presented a pretty good fast casual burger. The meat for the patties and the bun were very fresh and had a good flavor in each bite; however, the burger didn't wow me as being a unique burger. While I liked the idea of cooking the patties to order and using a house baked bun, the burger did not stand out to me especially at the price point. If I was with a group of people who wanted to eat at Mooyah, I would gladly tag along and enjoy another burger.

Ratings (1-25:)

Bun - 21, fresh and fluffy, good flavor, held up to a double meat burger

Meat - 18, fresh beef, seasoned well, thin style patties

Appearance - 19, nice contrast of cheese meat and bun

Taste - 18, good beef flavors and representation of fast food style burger

Overall - 76
Mooyah Burgers & Fries on Urbanspoon

Monday, May 2, 2011

Screen Door - May 2, 2011

It's been a crazy few months so the Quest for the Ultimate Burger has been put on hold but today we started back and the quest took our group to One Arts Plaza to try the burger offering at Screen Door. Screen Door specializes in a modern take on southern classics and features items on their menu such as gumbo, shrimp and grits, fried catfish, pulled pork sandwiches, meat loaf and southern classics for dessert such as bread pudding and banana creme pie. We arrived at the restaurant and were promptly seated by a friendly hostess. Our server came by a few moments later and brought us menus and asked for our drink orders. After bringing our drinks, he took our lunch orders and I ordered the Angus hamburger cooked medium and added two slices of bacon and a side of house fries. According to the menu, the meat for the burgers is ground fresh daily and all burgers are served with sharp cheddar cheese and caramelized onions. The burger is listed at $11 on the menu and bacon is an additional $2. While we waited for our orders, the server brought us a basket of warm cornbread and brown sugar scones with a side of butter and apple butter. After enjoying a piece of cornbread and a scone, the following burger was brought to the table:

The burger was served on a pain au lait hamburger bun which had been lightly toasted. The hamburger patty was placed on top of the bottom bun and two fairly thick slices of bacon were criss-crossed on top of the patty. The bacon was then covered with cheddar cheese and a good sized stack of caramelized purple onion. A slather of mayonnaise coated the top bun to finish off the burger. Taking a bite, I tasted of combination of smoke and the freshness of the beef flavor of the patty intertwined with the peppery bacon, the tangy cheddar cheese and the sweetness of the onions. The bacon was thick enough that it gave a little chew to every bite of the burger. The onions were soft and sweet and nicely complimented the beefy flavors of the hamburger. The patty was juicy and cooked to a perfect medium with a layer of pink in the middle of the patty. The cheese provided a nutty earthy flavor to each bite of the burger. It was not the typical cheese found on most hamburgers but it worked really well for this burger. The hamburger was light and fluffy but held together throughout the whole burger even after soaking up the juices from the patty. Finally, the French fries were average frozen fries that had been seasoned with a semi-hot spice blend. They were hot and crispy and while they didn't detract from the burger, they weren't my favorite french fries at a burger place.

Overall, the burger at Screen Door was a very good representation of an upscale burger. The fresh ground meat was lightly seasoned to show off the beef flavor, the cheese and bacon were flavorful and worked well on the burger and the onions were caramelized to a perfect softness with a good sweetness in every bite. I would order the burger at Screen Door again but I also want to try the other menu items that I saw being served to other patrons around the restaurant.

Ratings (1-25):

Bun - 20, light and fluffy, great hamburger bun

Meat - 21, fresh flavors, smokey peppery bacon, cooked perfectly

Appearance - 20, well prepared burger, ingredients nicely stacked on burger

Taste - 21, great flavors of meat, cheese, bacon and onions

Overall - 82
Screen Door on Urbanspoon