Friday, December 9, 2011

Stackhouse

Stackhouse Burgers is one of Dallas' newest burger joints and quite possibly one of the best.  Located in an newly renovated bungalow on Gaston Avenue, close to the Baylor School of Dentistry, Stackhouse knows burgers and customer service.

We arrived around 7:00 and we were some of the first customers of the evening, but by the time we left a little after 9:00, the place had filled up and there were even a couple of brave souls sitting upstairs on the patio.  At Stackhouse, you place your order at the bar, grab a number, and find a seat.  Burgers are simple here.  You order a single or a double, both of which come with lettuce, tomato, red onion, and a pickle (made in house) all on a toasted custom-made brioche bun.  (I love burgers on brioche buns!)  Then you just decide what you want to stack on your burger; mushrooms, grilled onions, chili, avocado, fried egg, and bacon are some of the choices, not to mention at least six different kinds of cheese.  I ordered a single with a slice of cheddar and a slice of swiss with a side of onion rings.  Probably the most popular burger of the night was the house special, a chorizo hamburger complete with monterrey jack cheese, a grilled poblano pepper, and fried egg.

After about a 10 minute wait, our burgers arrived and we were ALL very excited about our burgers.  Very delicious!  In fact, Anita claims that her chorizo burger was the best she's ever had and Stackhouse broke Esther's top five.  That, my friends, is very high praise.  The patty is incredibly good, full of flavor, and cooked to perfection.  Apparently one of the owners has a great connection and you won't find a patty like it anywhere else.    The veggies were fresh...yea for red onions on burgers and homemade, super thin pickles.  The only downside to my burger was that the tomato was so fresh and juicy that my bottom bun was a bit soggy.  But, I was able to plow through it.  And isn't it a sign of a great burger if there are juices running down your arms and you need multiple napkins?

Between our group of seven, we got the following sides: sweet potato fries, onion rings, and french fries.  And these were some of the best sides we've had.  The onion rings were thinly sliced and breaded.  This means you get a lot of them and better yet, you can eat a lot because there's not too much breading. The sweet potato fries were thinly cut and pretty tasty.  But the blue ribbon winner?  Fresh cut french fries that go through a lengthy process before even making it to the fryer.  And if they don't pass muster, they get thrown out and the process starts all over.

Obviously, the Burger Babes fully enjoyed our meal.  (Did I mention that Stackhouse has sweet tea and it was just about perfect?)  But in addition to our meal, we were also highly impressed with the customer service.  One of the owners, Randy Kienast, took the time to sit down and talk with us.  He was intrigued by our group (who isn't?) and wanted to know other burger places we had been and what we thought were some of the best burgers in town.    And when we told him, he wanted to know what we liked so much about those places.  He said he knew that we knew burgers when we rattled off all of our top places.  And he was incredibly open to our two suggestions (fried pickles and a sampler of sides).

Yes, Dallas has a ton of burger places, but Stackhouse definitely has one of the very best and it is well worth your time to visit.

Click here for an interview with Randy Kienast.


Thursday, November 17, 2011

Chubby's Burger Shack

The most recent Burger Babes adventure found us in Ft. Worth at Chubby's Burger Shack.  Chubby's has a small inside dining area with a larger patio and accomodates wide range of people, from families with young kids to TCU Horn Frogs, and of course us, the Burger Babes.  And, Chubby's has a wide variety of burgers as well to make all of these people happy.



Chubby Burger in front, onion rings in the middle and Green Chile Burger in the back
According to our waitress, the Bleu Cheese Burger was heavy on the bleu cheese, so I opted for a Chubby Burger with cheese.  The Chubby Burger is 1/3 lb. patty; for the more health conscious burger lovers, you can go for the Not-So-Chubby, at only 1/4 of a pound of beef.  Looking back, that might not have been a bad choice.  My burger was good, but it was a lot!  After about 15 minutes the following burgers arrived:  Cowboy Burger (Chubby Burger topped with BBQ sauce, bacon, pepperjack cheese, and an onion ring), which received rave reviews and the Green Chili Burger (Chubby burger topped with grilled green chilis and pepper jack cheese) with not so rave reviews. 


Cowboy Burger
My Chubby Burger was really good.  It had a great flavor I couldn't quite pinpoint; some kind of sweetness.  The open burger was served in a basket, allowing me to see two squares of melted American cheese.  And that cheese covered almost every inch of the patty.  At first, I was a bit disappointed that the cheese wasn't cheddar, but after taking a bite I was pleasantly surprised and reminded of how yummy melted American can be.  Condiments for your burger can be found just a few feet away at the condiment bar.  Only ketchup had a place at the table.  While not my favorite burger, it is a good burger that will fill you up and leave you feeling happy.

Now let's talk about sides.  Of course, there were the traditional fries.  Chubby's are the perfect size, a bit thicker than McDonald's, soft and wonderfully seasoned.  A sad note...no sweet potato fries.  Most burger places are offering these nowdays, so it seemed odd not to have that choice.  We also ordered onion rings, which were prepared almost like tempura.  Different, but nice.  The fried pickles were prepared in the same manner.  While good, I think I'll stick with the more traditional method of frying sides.  The downside to these tempura-like sides?  Once they get cold, they're not quite as yummy, which means we didn't finish our baskets.

Fried Pickles!


Final decision?  Chubby's has a good burger and it's the kind of place that's pretty fun to hang out at.  It has a neighborly kind of feel and it seemed like many of the customers and staff knew each other well.  If you're on that end of Camp Bowie (which is a really long street, by the way) and you are in the mood for a good burger, it's worth your time.



Strokers Ice House

Better late than never, right?

The October Burger Babes outing took us to Strokers Ice House, which is located on Harry Hines Blvd.  In addition to the Ice House that serves burgers, it's also a biker bar complete with a tattoo parlor.  Strokers is pretty well known, earning the honor of being the best bike hangout in Texas for three years in a row.  Inside you can sit at one of the few tables, or belly up to the bar.  If you're feeling lucky, there are a few pool tables just begging for a game.  But, really, you want to be outside under the spacious tent sitting at either a picnic table or standing around a spool table.  Outside is most definitely the best place to be on a gorgeous October evening, especially once the live music starts up.

There are a few choices when it comes to your burger order, but I tend to stay with the classics in a place like this.  After placing our orders inside at the bar, we ambled back outside and patiently waited for about ten minutes.  At that point we figured our burgers would be done, so we headed back to the bar to pick them up.   




The Strokers cheeseburger is pretty old school.  Nothing fancy, just a fabulously charred burger.  If you're a fan of sides, then this would not be the place for you.  Burgers come with just two sides: 1) a bag of Zax chips and 2) potato salad.  Not that the chips aren't good, but I would much rather have fries or rings.  The potato salad is good.

If you're not a biker, then Strokers might not be on your radar.  But, I will tell you, it's a fun place to hang out, listen to live music, people watch, and enjoy a beautiful Texas evening with friends.  The burger is good and the pace is anything but hurried.  In fact, if you're there for an extended amount of time, you'll probably find yourself heading back inside to load up on unshelled peanuts and popcorn, wondering where the evening has gone to.

Be sure to read The Strokers Dallas Story...it's pretty cool!

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Patty Shack

The always fabulous Groupon has led me to another burger joint, this time in Grand Prairie.  Patty Shack is on Avenue K, right off of 360.  It is a small, neighborhood hangout kind of place.  It's the kind of place where you seat yourself and the staff can be very attentive because of its small size.  Our drinks were never empty and a couple of different manager-types checked on us throughout the evening.

This wasn't an official BB outing.  More of a reconn mission with my friend Mandy.  The turn around time to get our order was the average wait time, probably about 10 mniutes.  Mandy ordered the Chowboy (BBQ sauce and cheddar, topped with relish and shack sticks) and I ordered the Shackadelic (bacon, swiss, and mushrooms).  Here's the twist with burgers at the Patty Shack.  They do the mix-in thing.  Instead of my burger being topped with Swiss cheese, bacon, and mushrooms, it is all mixed into the 1/3 lb. fresh sirloin patty.  Even though I had seen the section "Build Your Own Dang Burger," for some reason it didn't click with me, so I was a bit disappointed when my burger arrived.  It's just one of those things.  You know, you're expecting one thing, and something else comes along.  The first couple of bites were fabulous.  As the menu says, the flat top grill is definitely well-seasoned.  But, about halfway through, I was done.  Not that it wasn't a good burger, it just wasn't my kind of burger.  And there were a couple of other logistical things.  I don't understand shredded lettuce on a burger.  It falls out and makes a mess.  And, while I appreciate a hearty patty, I don't want it to be measurably larger than the bun.  That just makes for a burger that falls apart.  I'm already pretty likely to make a mess all by myself, so I don't need any help in how the burger is constructed.


Shackadelic!

We ordered sweet tater fries and seasoned curly fries.  Both were very solid and good, although not unlike the fries you would find in other places.  Now, Mandy's burger came topped with Shack Sticks, breaded jalapeno and onion slivers; she gave those two thumbs up!  Totally missed seeing the fried pickles on the menu.  That would be a definite on the next visit.

 My overall impression of the Patty Shack?  A good neighborhood burger joint with a friendly staff and a lot of choice when it comes to building your burger.  The sides are good and you will definitely leave not hungry.  With its proximity to the Ballpark and Cowboy Stadium, it would be a great before or after the game pitstop.  Not sure that I'll add it to the Burger Babes list, although I would encourage everyone to try it out if they are in the Grand Prairie/Arlington area.

Chowboy


Friday, September 9, 2011

Village Burger Bar.

This month we went to the Village Burger Bar in West Village.  We got there early enough to grab some seats at the bar.  Luckily, a table on the patio opened up right as we placed our order, so we headed outside to enjoy a gorgeous evening and some people watching with our burgers. At VB Bar, you grab your own seat and then walk up to the bar when you're ready to place your order. 

Having frequented Village Burger earlier in my youth, I knew the thing to order was the Blue Burger.  Just listen to this line up: bacon, avocado, blue cheese crumbles, baby greens & dressing.  How can that not be good fabulous?  It took about 15 minutes for our small group to receive our burgers, but a burger at VB is definitely worth the wait.
Isn't this just beautiful?  Look at the thickness of that patty!  And can you see the top bun glisten with a touch of butter?   I think avocado and bacon makes just about anything better, but it does put this burger over the top.  Super creamy avocado and numerous strips of bacon piled together for a flavorful crunch.  If you're a fan of blue cheese, you know that to order a blue cheese burger can sometimes be a dicey move.  I've had burgers where I had to scrape half of the blue cheese off and it was still too powerful.  But this Blue Burger is just right.  Crumbles sprinkled on top of the patty, right next to that bacon and avocado.  Now that's flavor!


If you know anything about the Village Burger, you know that they have some of the best fries anywhere in Dallas.  We all ordered different kinds to share, which is the Burger Babe way.  You won't go wrong with either the fries flavored with truffle oil or the sweet potato fries, seasoned with a touch of honey. The onion rings are pretty good too.  They make those super thick ones with a fantastic crunch.  I couldn't figure out the seasoning, but it did give those onion rings a bit of a bite.




The Village Burger Bar does have one of the best blue cheese burgers around and overall, it's in my top 10 burger joints.  Add that to a great patio with a laid back atmosphere where you can hang with good friends deep into the night, and you just can't go wrong.

Friday, August 12, 2011

Ketchup Bar

Ketchup Bar is located at Cole and Hall in Uptown Dallas.  I'm not really sure how long it's been there, but it has a new feel to it.  It was a big gathering tonight, so the staff had to be pretty creative on how to seat us, but we made it work.  And it all worked out for the best...we ended up in the corner by the kitchen.  A good idea since we did get a little rowdy.

Before we even thought about burgers, we decided some appetizers were necessary.  And of course, this means french fries!  At Ketchup, making your fry decision is made a little easier because you can request the fry trio.  What makes it tough is you have seven things to choose from: house fries, sweet potato fries, zucchini fries, white truffle parmesan fries, spicy buffalo fries, garlic chive fries, and onion rings. The house and sweet potato fries are good, nothing too spectacular.  The white truffle parmesan fries are different and tasty, but the winner...zucchini fries!  Very yummy and just the right amount of crisp.


As you can imagine, a place named Ketchup Bar is obviously going to be big on ketchup.  They make four flavors - chipotle, spiced, house and green tomato. The green tomato is absolutely fabulous!  I would totally buy my own bottle.





I wasn't feeling too fancy tonight, so I just ordered the ketchup burger - Tillamook Cheddar, caramelized red onions, lettuce, tomato, mustard and their signature house ketchup (also extrememly yummy!) on fresh baked brioche.  This is what arrived after about a 20  minute wait. 



It is a great burger!  The brioche bun was the perfect bread choice since the the patty is thick and juicy. The condiments were kept to a minimum. The caramelized onions are the perfectly tasty compliment to the juicy patty and the sweetness of the house ketchup.  Ketchup uses only the freshest organic ingredients and you can definitely tell.  They'll cook your burgers to order and they are full of flavor. Another popular burger is the Roadhouse (gruyรจre, cherrywood smoked bacon, onion rings, garlic mayo and tomato on fresh baked brioche).  Everyone truly enojyed their burgers this evening.  While it's not in my top 5, it is a really good burger with fantabulous sides.  If you're hanging out in the Uptown part of Dallas, it's definitely a must visit.

Normally, I would end the review right here.  But, I have to give a shout out to our waiter, "Sam" from Morocco/Mexcio City.  He absolutely earned his pay tonight.  Tonight's gathering of Burger Babes was a pretty wild and crazy combination of ladies and we had fun teasing & flirting with our waiter.  But he took it all in stride and actually dished a little back to us.

Quick disclaimer:  Since Ketchup Bar is in Uptown, parking is limited.  There is valet, but it's $10.  You can probably find some parking along Cole if you don't mind a short walk.

Quick disclaimer #2:  Double check when happy hour ends.  The website said 4 to 7, but we didn't get the happy hour prices for our 6:30 beverages.


Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Rudy's Bar & Grill

Last week I headed to the Windy City of Chicago for a family reunion.  Before going, I did my homework and googled "best burgers in Chicago."  The list was pretty extensive. Since I was only going to be in Chicago for a couple of days, it was a little stressful in making the right decision.  My first choice, Kuma's Corner, was not going to work out logisitically, so my cousins and I opted for Rudy's Bar & Grill on Madison, right off of Michigan.  It was the perfect place to stop on our way back to the hotel from the Art Institute.

I choose the BBQ Burger which consisted of cheddar cheese, Sweet Baby Ray’s, bacon and an onion ring, and of course, a side of fries.  We didn't have to wait too long, although my Diet Coke was pretty much gone by the time my burger arrived.  I should explain though, that Rudy's only carries the mini bottles of Diet Coke, so it didn't take too much time to drink it.  (My least favorite thing about Chicago is the lack of Coke products to be found; it's very much a Pepsi town).
The fries were super yummy.  Perfectly seasoned, no ketchup needed.  The burger was a sight to behold.  I love it when the server asks how I want my burger cooked and it actually comes cooked that way.  Take note servers and chefs...that's always a good thing.  The thick patty was cooked medium and the slices of bacon were cooked perfectly.  Sweet Baby Ray's BBQ sauce is a perfect choice for a burger...just the right amount of sweet and tangy.  Even the onion ring and melted cheddar was the perfect addition to top off the burger.  While the burger was super tasty, it was also super messy.  If you're going to create a burger with a thick patty and a lot of sauce, you really need to serve it with a pretty substantial bun.  That was the weakness of the burger. 

Rudy's has a good burger menu with lots of options, including a build your own.  If you're hanging out at Millenium Park or the Art Institute and you get the craving for a burger, it's definitely a good stop.  I don't know that I would go again if I were to revisit Chicago.  There are a lot of other outstanding burgers in the Windy City.   Hmmm...maybe the Burger Babes need to spread their wings a bit. 

Until next time...

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Molly's Burgers

I love the Groupon and the Daily Deal!  It has given me the opportunity to try new places I might not otherwise know about.  Today I used my Daily Deal at Molly's Burgers (Little Rd. & I-20) in Arlington.  Although it was a bit of a drive for me, it was worth it. 

Molly's Burgers has quite a few choices...way more than the basics you find at places like Goff's or Club Schmitz.  I ordered the Kylee, complete with provolone, avocado, and a spicy mayo (not too spicy though).  While I originally thought making a burger decision was tough, I was overwhelmed with the choices of sides: fries, fries with rosemary & thyme, fried pickles, fried zucchini, or inion rings.  What's a girl to do?  The person who took my order recommended the onion rings so I went with those.  After placing my order with the very friendly employee, I filled my cup with Diet Coke and grabbed a table.  I made sure to get a complimentary serving of homemade pinto beans in the huge pot under the tv.  I thought it was kind of strange, but kind of cute, and the beans were actually quite yummy.  While I waited for my lunch, I perused the Trivial Pursuit cards that were at my table.  To me,that is even better than playing Words with Friends while I wait.
 
After about 5 minutes, this is what arrived!


The burger was beautifully put together.  Those are fried onions you see sprinkled on the top of the cheese.  The avocado added a perfect creaminess to the burger and was a perfect match for the spicy mayo that they use.  I will admit, the patty was pretty thin and I was a bit disappointed in that.  And there really wasn't anything special about the flavor of the patty itself, but that was easy to ignore with the combination of all of the condiments.

The onion rings were too done and too crispy for me.  Despite the recommendation from the girl behind the counter, they weren't all that fabulous and I will get a different side next time.  I'm thinking fried pickles!
If you have small kids, this is absolutely a great place to take them.  There are a couple of kid-sized tables in the restaurant and there is a shelf filled with games and puzzles for entertainment.

I was too full to try one of their shakes or pies, but I did grab a yummy red velvet cake ball for the ride home.

If you are in the South Arlington/Mansfield area and you want a good burger and a friendly, family-oriented place to hang out, then you should definitely put Molly's on your list.

Friday, July 8, 2011

Goff's Hamburgers

Goff's Hamburgers has been a Dallas institution for charcoal broiled hamburgers since 1950.  There are two locations, one in University Park, and the one we went to at Preston & Forest.  Since the one we went to looked fairly modern, I'm assuming the University Park location is the original.  I will admit, we do start our Burger Babe events early, usually around 6:30.  This gives us plenty of time to hang out to enjoy our burger and each other's company.  This was the first time, though, that we walked into a place and we were the only ones there.  A couple of other groups did walk in shortly after we did, but we were all wondering if this was a sign of things to come. 

After snagging our table dead center, we each placed our order at the counter.  We probably waited 10 to 15 minutes before receiving our food.  Most us ordered the #14, the old fashioned with mustard, pickles, and onions, with the addition of cheese.  I also added the hickory sauce, which was definitely a good addition.  Here's what our burgers looked like...

The patty was tasty and cooked just right.  The buns had a bit of crunch to them...they spent just enough time on the grill to get the right amount of crisp.  Yea!!!  As previously mentioned, the hickory sauce was a great addition to the burger - it had a yummy, tangy flavor.  Unfortunately, for this group, cheese is a big part of our burgers and Goff's likes to put grated, unmelted cheese on their burgers.  Not really a big fan of that.  Otherwise, it is a good, flavorful traditional burger - nothing fancy about it.  If you work in the area and you wanted a good burger (minus the cheese) for lunch, this would be the place to go.  Not so much for a girls' night out.  For those of you who want a beer with your burger, Goff's is not the place for you - sodas and shakes only.

Oops! Almost forgot about the sides.  The onion rings are fabulous!  Definitely order those when you go.  The fries are good, although I had to salt mine for a bit more flavor.

Would I head over to North Dallas just to get a burger at Goff's?  Probably not.  But, if I'm in the area and I was craving a charcoal broiled hamburger, I just might pop in...especially since Stein's Bakery is in the same shopping center.  Now that's a reason to venture out on LBJ.

Until next time...

Friday, June 10, 2011

The Porch

After a couple of lackluster outings, the Burger Babes hit solid gold at The Porch in Dallas. The Porch is on Henderson, which is a great neighborhood with amazing restaurants and retail. If you aren't lucky enough to find street parking, you'll need to valet. The atmosphere both inside and out the restaurant is fun - a great place to spend time with friends.



There are really only a couple of burgers to choose from at The Porch. Most of the group ordered the cheeseburger (you choose: Cheddar, Gruyere or Blue Cheese). Amy, on the other hand, went for the Stodg Burger, a cheeseburger with bacon and a fried egg. Both burgers came with your choice of fries.

After about a 15 minute wait, we received our orders and it was a thing of beauty.





The Porch absolutely knows how to make a burger. Not only did our server ask how we wanted our burgers cooked, but our burgers were actually cooked to order. They were thick and juicy with tons of flavor; the Brioche Bun was a perfect complement to the patty covered in cheddar. The condiments were classic and fresh, but you'll need to request the pickles. They won't come otherwise and you definitely don't want to miss out on these. Crunchy and flavored with horseradish, they are the perfect crisp for your burger.

You'll have a choice of fries to choose from - I recommend the sea salted fries. Good enough to forget about using ketchup.

The Burger Babes don't normally do desserts, but today was an exception. We ordered a Gooey Butter Cake and Salted Caramel & Chocolate Bread Pudding to share and it was a good decision. Both were so sinfully fabulous, but if you have to choose, go for the Gooey Butter Cake.


Overall, The Porch was a huge hit. It's a comfortable, fun place with wonderful food and excellent service. For many of the Burger Babes, the cheeseburger at The Porch broke their personal top 5. I just have to wonder can I have more than 5 in my top 5?

Friday, May 13, 2011

Fred's Texas Cafe

The Burger Babes headed over to Fred's Texas Cafe this month. Fred's has been around since 1978, although the area it is in has been revitalized recently and it's a pretty active place in Fort Worth. Be warned, if you're using google maps to get there, you might get a little lost.



I want to start out be saying that for me, if a burger gets a shout out in Texas Monthly AND is featured on Diners, Drive-ins, and Dives, then it's a no-brainer. Plus, I had visited Fred's last year and had a really great experience. Tonight, however, was a disappointment.


I ordered the Fredburger with cheese and fries. I didn't really time it and I was super hungry, but it seemed like it took forever for us to get out meal. Luckily, we had plenty of entertainment and lots of great conversation. I could be wrong, but about 30 minutes after placing the order, this is what I received:



The fries were good, but needed some salt. The burger, was, just a burger. Mine didn't have a whole lot of flavor, and it was done more than I liked. In fact, learning from last month's experience, I made sure to ask for a little bit of pink. I got no pink. Everyone was in agreement...not enough flavor, and too done (Insert frowny face). Becky ordered their signature burger, the Diablo. It's what they're known for. The menu description say chipotles; what they really meant was chipotle sauce, and yes, there is a difference. While it was definitely spicy, Becky was disappointed. She was ready for those chiptole peppers.

Overall, Fred's Texas Cafe has a great patio with live music, which is absolutely wonderful when you want to have a casual evening with friends on a beautiful spring night. And while I have had a really good burger there before, it's definitely not in my top 5. Maybe hovering at the top 10 mark.


Two not-so-good months in a row. In June, we're headed to The Porch on Henderson. Hopefully, it will knock our socks off. In the meantime, I might need an unofficial BB outing...





Thursday, April 14, 2011

Kenny's Burger Joint

Last August, the Burger Babes paid Kenny's Burger Joint a visit and it landed in the top 5 for many of us. So, when I found myself in the area the other day, I thought it would be great to revisit Kenny's for lunch. And it was a fantastic choice.


Because it was the beginning of the lunch hour, I was seated and served quickly. Kenny's does have some really unique twists on some typical burgers. The first time I went, I ordered a brie cheese and mushroom burger - yum-o! This time around I opted for the egg and bernaise sauce burger.


Served on cibatta bread with a slice of bacon, this was absolutely scrumptious and of course, way too rich. While the bernaise sauce was good, I think the burger would be just as fabulous without it. And Kenny's absolutely knows how to cook a burger. Stoneleigh P, take note. Just look at that bad boy!



You do have to order your sides separately, but you have lots of choices. This time I went for the regular fries, nothing fancy, just their special seasoning (a.k.a. chicken boullion). Wonderfully crispy!

Thumbs up, Kenny...another winner in my book!

Stoneleigh P

If you know the Stoneleigh P, you know that it's lacking two key elements of a good burger joint...french fries and ketchup. You read correctly, no fries, no ketchup. Fries are replaced by super crispy chips, okay that's doable. And apparently if you have connections, you can get some ketchup. Despite these two drawbacks, the Burger Babes paid this Uptown establishment a visit last week. After all, if your burger is good, the sides and condiments shouldn't really matter. Notice the emphasis on if...

Before we talk burger, let's talk atmosphere. The Stoneleigh P is actually an old pharmacy with a lot of the original fixtures still inside. Very cool! And there is a great patio at the corner of Maple and Wolf. If you don't remember last Friday, I will remind you that it was a perfect patio day, especially after a long week. The ten of us comandeered a large section of tables and made ourselves quite at home.


The Stoneleigh P has a small selection of burgers. The traditional burger is not so traditional; it is served on pumpernickel bread. Those who tried it were surprised by the great flavor the bread gave the overall burger. But the signature burger is the 'Shrop - cheddar and blue cheese melted together with a bed of spinach. Both burgers are served with a garlic mayo, which was definitely the bright spot of the burger. I had the 'Shrop, which also came with an onion, bacon, spice compote. Good idea, but it wasn't very noticeable. The consensus of the group was that while all the burgers had great potential, the patty itself was overcooked. And when the patty is overcooked, nothing else matters. When we told our waiter, he informed us that yes, the cooks do tend to overcook the burgers sometimes, especially the 'Shrop. Really? Do you think you could have told us this when you took our order? Or asked us how we wanted our burgers cooked? Thank goodness for that garlic mayo, that definitely helped out in the taste category.



So, unfortunately, I think it's safe to say the Stoneleigh P will not break the top 5 of most of the Burger Babes. Now if you're looking for some yummy cheesy black bean nachos, that's another story...

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Spanky's

Spanky's is a long-held tradition in Lubbock, Texas. It is on University, right across from Texas Tech University and it's been a college favorite since 1982.


The burger itself is not really anything special to write about. I ordered a cheeseburger. It's pretty basic with not a whole lot of flavor. Really, there's not too much to say.



Really, people come to Spank'y because of the fried cheese, something they have taken to a whole new level.No, your eyes do not deceive you. That is fried cheese. And yes, it is fabulous, fresh and hot, but it's also pretty good after it's cooled down to room temperature. My friend Elaine says they're really good the next day, after heating them up in the oven. Spanky's had a whole host of other fried sides - pickles, mushrooms, and zucchini. I hope to tackle at least one of those the next time I end up in Lubbock.

As far as burgers go, Spanky's is definitely low on the list. But if you're looking for a fun patio in a college town with some great fried goodies, this is the place to be.

Casino El Camino


One of my favorite shows and go-to resources for interesting places to eat is Diners, Drive-ins, and Dives. Guy Fieri always finds the most interesting places so when I travel, the Triple D app is one of the first places I look. Last week I found myself in one of my favorite cities, Austin, Texas, and lucky for me, Guy had found a burger joint for me.


Casino El Camino is on E. 6th Street. It is most definitely a 6th Street kind of place - dark and quirky filled with lots of character and characters.





After grabbing a table and placing my drink order, I walked up to the order window and ordered a KC burger - BBQ sauce, grilled onions, and cheddar cheese. In most bars, some kind of sporting event would be on the TV. Not this place. While I waited for my burger, I had the pleasure of watching one of my favorite movies, The Thin Man, while listening to an eclectic mix on the jukebox.


After about 10 minutes, my name was called. The burger is huge! It's 3/4 of a pound of locally raised Angus beef. And it was cooked absolutely perfectly. You know a burger that size with those fixins is going to be a mess and it was. But it was a very tasty mess. Because the handmade patty was so big, the chef was smart enough to put it on a big bun, This definitely helped, but unfortunately it made for a very bready burger. And yet, the combination of the meat and that bun really made the burger. As I progressed through the burger, I had to resort to just eating the patty - still good, but I realized it was missing a layer of flavor without the bun. I will mention that I had fries, but that's really all I need to say.



Overall, Casino El Camino is an interesting place to visit with some good burgers. If you're on 6th Street and you're craving a burger, it's definitely a good place to stop.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Lee Harvey's & Hullabaloo Diner

The Burger Babes had a little twist in the month of March. We revisited one of our favorites, Lee Harvey's, to celebrate a birthday. While it's not my number one burger, it is definitely one of my favorites. I think it's the pickles that really get me. And Lee Harvey's is a great place to celebrate a birthday, especially on a beautiful spring evening.



Since you've heard about Lee Harvey's in a previous post, I'll go a little rogue and tell you about a burger I had last week, as I made my way home from Houston. Outside of College Station, on FM 2154, is a little place known as Hullabaloo Diner. While it's only been in Texas about 5 years, it's been in operation as a diner for the past 60 years. I ordered the Hullableu Bacon Cheese Burger and it was fabulous! I was a bit nervous when it arrived - it looked huge! But the meat was perfectly cooked and the kaiser roll it came on was ideal for such a hearty burger. It was packed with A LOT of bleu cheese (it's not for the faint of heart) and the most amazing bacon I've ever had. Perfectly prepared and full of flavor. The burger came with some pretty tasty fries as well. And I love a restaurant that serves sweet tea...and it was just the right amount of sweet.




The burger definitely filled me up which was good, but it made me a bit sad since I didn't have any room for their homemade pie. So I got a slice of coconut cream pie to go. Good choice - a great pie (not as good as mom's, of course).

Not only was the food well worth the stop, but the service was wonderful and super friendly! It must be that Aggie Spirit.
If you're ever on Highway 6, near College Station, I would definitely recommend making a pit stop for their burger, or anything with that bacon.

Friday, February 11, 2011

Burger Girl






I thought it was high time the Burger Babes headed to the Burger Girl on McKinney Ave. in Dallas. It's a small neighborhood burger joint that's been open about a year.

We were greeted immediately upon entering and told to just pick a spot. Well, it only holds about 25 people and I think about 20 spots were already taken by the DPD Gang Unit, so we just bellied up to the bar for the evening. And that definitely had its advantages. While waiting for our small group to arrive, Esther and I decided to try out the fried pickles. And that was a good choice - not heavily breaded, ranch for dipping, and definitely plenty for sharing.

The burger was really good - very fresh and cooked just right. I ordered The Hangover, which is a burger with a fried egg on top of the patty. I've only recently discovered this phenomenom and I must admit, I rather like it. The patty didn't have a whole lot of seasoning to it, but there is a special sauce (kind of horseradishy) that adds just the right amount of flavor. And an interesting cheese twist? They use white cheddar on the burgers. It's a good-sized burger so I was afraid it might start to fall apart. But my fears were unfounded. It held together to the very end.
I tried the sweet potato fries; naked, not breaded, and those were absolutely fabulous. You can also choose from regular fries or loaded fries (cheese, sour cream, and bacon). Really, you can't go wrong with any of them. And yes, I did have a sample of all three.
Something that makes Burger Girl stand apart from other burger places is their wide selection of adult shakes. And while none of us ordered one, we were sitting at the bar and the manager was very friendly and intrigued by the Burger Babes. And sometimes that manager would just give us the extra little bit leftover from an an order being filled. All I'm saying is you might want to try the coconut or oatmeal shake if you're in the neighborhood.
And the service was just great. Even though they were short staffed, they were attentive and friendly. Overall, Burger Girl has definitely earned a place on my list of burger joints to revisit. So if you're in the Uptown area or Frisco, check it out.






Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Five Guys

The Burger Babes kicked off 2011 with a visit to Five Guys. Hmmm...where to start? I know some people will really disagree with me, but it's not all that and a bag of chips. While I do like mustard and ketchup on my burger, I don't like so much that it oozes out and makes such a big mess. The patty (or patties) itself is a nicely cooked and tasty, but the overabundance of condiments kind of ruined it for me. I've had their fries before and liked them, but the night we went they weren't very flavorful.

And the atmosphere really isn't right for a BB outing. We didn't even all get to sit together. Poo! That's half the fun.

No where to go but up!

It only took me a year or so to actually writing about Burger Babes. Hopefully, it won't take quite that long for me to get my act together with our official scoring rubric.

2010 - Part 2

July - The Grape (Dallas)
August - Kenny's (Frisco)
September - Chip's (Dallas)
October - Club Schmitz (Dallas)
November - Love Shack So. 7 (Ft. Worth)
December - Yourway (Dallas)

Another list of winners. My favorite? Tough call.

You can only get a burger at The Grape at Sunday brunch, but it is well worth it. It really is a stupendous burger. If you're thinking about it, be sure to make reservations. Sunday brunch at The Grape is a popular outing. Definitely one of my faves!

Kenny's is in a class by itself. The burger is great and the service was wonderful. In fact, the Burger Babes made such an impression that the manager took our picture to hang behind the bar. It was small and crowded on the Friday night we went, but the wait was totally worth it. Hmmm...I'm starting to crave a Kenny's Burger; might be time to pay them aother visit.

Both Chip's and Club Schmitz are Dallas classics. You really can't be a fan of burgers and not visit these two places. There's nothing fancy about their burgers - just a good, solid burger when you need one.

Love Shack So.7 was our first venture into Ft. Worth and it was definitely a good choice. I wish I could remember the name of the burger I got. All i remember is that it had a fried quail egg on top of the very juicy patty. If you go, order it! I insist! Inside dining space is limited, but they have an awesome patio, so you may want to go when the weather is nice.

We ended the year at Yourway. It's kind of like a Which Wich for burgers. You fill out a form noting what kind of bread, cheese, and toppings you want. They also have infused toppings - chopped mushrooms, jalapenos, tomatoes, onions, bell peppers, or crushed red peppers mixed into the angus patty. Overall, a good burger with really great sides.

Next up...January 2011!

Monday, January 17, 2011

2010 - Part 1











January - Maple & Motor (Dallas)
February - Snuffer's (Dallas)
March - Smashburger (Addison)
April - Purple Cow (Dallas)
May - Lee Harvey's (Dallas)
June - Scotty P's (Dallas)

Hmmm...how to pick a favorite out of this list? I don't think it's really possible. Snuffer's is, of course, a Dallas tradition. In addition to a great burger, Snuffer's is famous for it's ooey gooey cheesy cheddar fries. Although, it might not be fair to pass judgement on our visit to Snuffer's. This BB outing coincided with the Great Blizzard of 2010. That week we received at least 8 inches of snow and only three of us braved the elements to try this burger.

I think Purple Cow and Scotty P's would be at the bottom of this list. Not that they are bad burgers, but they weren't anything special to write home about.

The remaining three places, Lee Harvey's, Smashburger, and Maple & Motor, have become three of my all time favorites.

Be sure to actually order a Smashburger...it's the best way to go. The Smash sauce totally makes the burger. But beware, it can be messy. Stock up on napkins before you start eating. And you can't go wrong with any of their sides, although I must say I am partial to the fried veggies. And the sweet potato fries. And the onion rings...

I can't really explain the Maple and Motor burger. It's a bit messy as well, but it is a burger done well. I think it might be the pickle relish that makes this burger so special. M&M is small and it's at the intersection of well, Maple and Motor, in Dallas. And a bonus for me, it's on the way home from TSRHC, so occasionally, after spending some time at the hospital, I call in my order and pick it up on the way home. It's all about efficiency, people.

It is quite possible that Lee Harvey's is my favorite from this list. Super yummy burgers with homemade pickles that would give my Grandma a run for her money. And the atmosphere is fantabulously casual! It's mostly outdoor dining with live music. The inside dining is small, but it has a jukebox with some eclectic music choices. So when the weather is beautiful, Lee Harvey's is the place to go for some girl time and a great burger.

2009
















2009 -

November - Jake's (Dallas)
December - Twisted Root (Dallas)

Between these two Dallas restaurants, Twisted Root was by far everyone's favorite. Although Jake's had some great sides, including sweet potato fries and fried pickle chips, the Twisted Root definitely had the better burger. Don't get me wrong, Jake's is a good burger, but there was an overabundance of poppy seeds on the buns and the thin patties left us wanting more. In fact, I'm pretty sure some of us left thinking "more meat."

Finally!

A few years ago, a friend from my book club formed BNB (Burgers and Bitchin'). We met once a month at a different burger joint somewhere in Dallas. Our goal was simple - eat a great burger while enjoying some quality girl time. Unfortunately, after about a year and a half, the group fell apart. No particualr reason, it just kind of happened. But the idea of a burger club never left me. I still had the list of places to get a burger in DFW (there were about 50 places listed) so I reviewed the list, making some additions and deletions. Then, I started thinking about my girlfriends. Who would be interested in helping me find the best burger DFW had to offer? So now I had my list of burger joints and my list of burger-loving girlfriends...it was time to send out my first evite. And thus, the Burger Babes of DFW was born. We've been active since November 2009. I know, it's January 2011, and I'm just now blogging about it? I do tend to procrastinate sometimes. I promise I'll briefly catch you up on our 1st year and then be much mroe diligent about updating each month.