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Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Liberty Burger - November 7, 2011

This week's burger quest took our group to the Northeast corner of Forest and Inwood to try the burger offering at Liberty Burgers. Liberty Burgers is the creation of Mariel Street and its menu features a dozen burgers, salads, grilled cheese sandwich and a grilled chicken breast sandwich. Their beef patty is a blend of chuck, brisket and tenderloin but they also have a turkey, bison or vegetarian option for the patty. Entering the restaurant, I was impressed with the change from Roma's Italian to Liberty Burger. The space is very open with menus on the wall by the entrance, a bar featuring beer, wine and alcohol and an open kitchen behind the registers where you can see your burgers being cooked on the flattop. While the specialty burgers intrigued me, I ordered The Liberty Burger with bacon, grilled onions and cheddar cheese with a side of skinny fries and an iced tea which cost $11.91. I was handed a number for my order and a cup for my drink and after getting my iced tea, I waited about ten minutes and the following burger was brought to my table:

All of the burgers are served with a knife stuck in the middle so that you can slice it in half yourself. I was glad to see that they gave the diners the option instead of slicing in half and having all of the juices run out on the plate. While I didn't order any vegetables on my burger, the lettuce, tomato and pickles were very fresh and made for a nice side salad especially paired with Liberty's homemade mustard which tasted like a blend of mustard, mayonnaise and dill. The homemade bun was toasted crispy and then topped with a hand formed patty. A thick slice of cheddar cheese covered the patty and was topped with several rings of grilled purple onion, three slices of crispy bacon and the top bun which had a light amount of mayonnaise. Taking a bite of the burger, the flavor of the lightly seasoned patty was very evident. The meat was fresh and juicy and the texture of the beef worked well with the crispiness of the bacon and light flavor of the bun. The cheddar cheese had a light flavor and was slightly overpowered by the beef and bacon. The grilled onions were cooked to a point where they were slightly crispy but there weren't enough of them to really add flavor to every bite. Next the bun was the perfect bun for this burger. It was light and fluffy but didn't fall apart while eating the burger. The bun soaked up the juices from the patty but kept its shape and texture. Finally the fries were very thin extra crispy matchstick style fries. They were very good in the first few bites while hot from cooking but quickly grew lukewarm on the plate.

Overall, I enjoyed my burger at Liberty Burger. The dedication to featuring a high quality blend of beef for the burgers and trying to be as Eco-friendly as possible is a welcome addition to the neighborhood. I thought the burger was very tasty and really enjoyed the homemade bun. I enjoyed the sides but wish they could have stayed hotter longer. I look forward to visiting Liberty Burger again in the future and trying the other burger options such as the Napa Burger with Gorgonzola, wild arugula and olives or the Amore which features Parmesan cheese crisp, ham, cantaloupe and spinach.

Ratings (1-25:)

Bun - 21, fresh homemade bun, toasted well and could handle the very juicy burger

Meat - 21, fresh meat, lightly seasoned, good blend of brisket, chuck and tenderloin

Appearance - 20, very pretty burger, fresh ingredients which were layered nicely

Taste - 20, good tasting burger, dedication to quality ingredients

Overall - 82

Bonus Pictures of Napa Burger, Nooner Burger and Onion Rings:

Liberty Burger on Urbanspoon

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Stackhouse - November 1, 2011

This week's burger quest took our group to Gaston Avenue to visit Stackhouse. The menu at Stackhouse features 6 ounce single burgers or 12 ounce double burgers, sandwiches including a Pulled Pork Cuban, Chicken Club or a Grilled Tilapia, a quarter pound hot dog and a variety of salads. Sides that are available include chips and salsa or dips, french fries, onion rings, mac and cheese and sweet potato fries. For what it is worth, I did hear one of the employees tell a guest that the sweet potato fries were a frozen product while the regular fries were cut fresh and were better option. Stackhouse is housed in a renovated home that has a very open floor plan on the bottom floor, plenty of seating outside both on the ground floor and on a very spacious second floor patio. TV's featuring sports are scattered throughout the space so that you can watch your favorite game while you enjoying a burger and one of Stackhouse's beers on draft. When you enter the restaurant, you are pointed to the cash register and are shown the menu which is posted on the wall. Burger choices are very simple - do you want one or two patties and do you want extra toppings including cheese, bacon, chili, avocado, grilled onions or fried egg. I ordered a single bacon cheddar burger with grilled onions which cost $8.95. Just like at Maple and Motor, you are given a choice of pink or not pink. I went with pink. Once you are finished ordering, you can hear and smell the fresh patties cooking on the griddle. About ten minutes later, the following burger was brought to my table:

The bottom bun was buttered and lightly toasted and topped with lettuce, tomato and long thin slices of pickles. The salad was then topped with the patty that was completely covered with melted cheddar cheese, a generous serving of grilled onions and three slices of crispy bacon. I removed the salad from the burger and enjoyed the healthy fresh vegetables as a nice contrast to the burger. Taking a bite of the burger, I was pleasantly surprised at the juiciness of the patty. Unlike Maple and Motor which is closer to medium, pink at Stackhouse was just a step below medium rare and it allowed the flavor of the beef to shine through. The patty was lightly seasoned and was made from a proprietary blend of brisket and chuck that is freshly ground every morning by Patterson Meats. The cheddar cheese had a mild flavor and added creaminess more than anything to the burger. The bacon was crispy and flavorful and complemented the flavor of the patty. The bun was light and fluffy and soaked up all the juices from the patty and bacon. I kept expecting it to fall apart but it stayed together until I finished my burger. My least favorite part of the burger was the grilled onions. They had a good flavor with a nice sweetness to them but they had been cooked just past the point where they still had a little crispiness in each bite. Finally the fries were fresh cut and were cooked crispy and served without any salt on them. I could taste the fresh potato flavor and after adding a little salt, they made a good side to the burger. On my next visit, I would like to try the onion rings to see how they stack up.

I didn't realize that I was trying Stackhouse on its opening night. I thought that they had been open for a little over a week but I was impressed with the efficiency of the staff and the quality of the burger. I have a feeling that this burger will be ranked highly in listings of top burgers in Dallas.

Ratings (1-25:)

Bun - 20, light and fluffy, good flavor

Meat - 21, very juicy patty, good beef flavor

Appearance - 21, glistening bun, melted cheddar completely covering patty, nice contrast between bacon, patty and grilled onions

Taste - 21, very good flavors, beef bacon cheddar melded nicely in each bite

Overall - 83

Stackhouse on Urbanspoon