The Ballots Have Been Tabulated!
Yellow was a very tough division – the most competitive yet. Just by luck of the draw we’ve created a monster division. There’s a chance the top six could have made it to the finals through the Red, White or Blue divisions. They were that good. There will certainly be a wild card pick or two from Yellow.
#1 – Stackhouse Burger Bar = http://stackhouseburgers.com/
Stackhouse is another example of why Burger Hunters love our jobs. We get to try excellent out of the way places – Burger Bueno, Boulevardier and now Stackhouse. Awesome! They do everything right. Texas grown beef is great and cooked just the way we ordered. You can taste a slight hint of butter in the bun. Iceberg lettuce was crisp, the tomato firm with exceptional pickles (not those exotic ones). This is just a good ole American cheeseburger so we ordered good ole American cheese on it (cheese is an extra buck). When given a choice Will’s beginning to get American cheese now on all his burgers. It’s very melty and good and doesn’t overpower the burger itself. Fries were outstanding – very crispy and salted just right. String onion rings are well above average. Small selection of local beers on tap. Desserts looked wonderful but we were too full to try any of them. Downstairs is laid back and rustic – no frills. Be sure to check out the upstairs patio. Way cool with covered seating area and a fireplace + standing heaters for those chilly days. Killer view of downtown. Stackhouse offers a great package of burger, beer, sides and venue.
#2 – Blues Burgers = http://bluesburgers.net/
The HMF was voted one of the 50 Greatest Burgers in Texas by Texas Monthly and one of the Top 20 Best Burgers in Dallas by D Magazine. Pretty sure “H” in HMF is “Hot” – you can figure the MF out yourself. It’s premium angus beef with grilled onions & bacon and topped a holy trinity of heat – ghost pepper cheese, grilled jalapenos and spicy blues sauce. It’ll flat light you up! Deb took half the jalapenos off and still thought it was the hottest she’d ever had. Great burger but not for wimps. You can upgrade to a short rib blend for $3 but we were advised that it makes little difference on the HMF. Matt sprung for the extra $3 for the Trailer Park, their basic cheeseburger and said it was well worth it. He put Blues Burgers #1 in Yellow – high praise. Will & Deb are crispy tot lovers and these crunch in your mouth. “Full bar” with one brand for each of the liquors. Good beer selection including five local beers on draft.
#3 – Maple & Motor = http://mapleandmotor.com/
In our own little world we are well known for our extensive burger knowledge. Everywhere we go the conversation will always turn to burgers and everyone has a favorite. They’ll tell us and ask if it’s on the list. When your list has 50 places most of them are included. Maple & Motor is probably the burger joint mentioned most often. It’s also at the top or dang near the top of many of the Top Ten lists we used to compile our list. Each of the DBBH’s had been to M&M prior to our official visit and loved it. So we came in with VERY high expectations. It didn’t disappoint. They serve up an excellent 1/2 pound burger. It reminds Matt of Wingfield’s and Wingfield’s is just about his favorite burger. You can jack it up with a good variety of add-ons. M&M has a retro diner feel, complete with a juke box.
#4 – Rapscallion = http://dallasrapscallion.com/
Rapscallion has one burger and it is excellent! Will had it #2 in Yellow and will probably use his wild card pick to get it in the finals. If not for a slightly stale bun he might have had it neck and neck with Stackhouse. The patty is masterfully grilled over pecan wood giving it a unique smoky flavor. Charred on the outside and perfectly pink in the middle. Crisp bacon and fresh lettuce. It’s topped with a thin layer of pimento cheese giving it a nice kick. I don’t think any of the DBBH team would have picked pimento as one of their go to cheeses but Will & Deb have come around. Matt isn’t going to like any pimento burger so he’s got Rapscallion a very undeserving #6. If there is a sweet potato chip heaven this is it. Best ever. Great bar. Good beer selection. Rapscallion is owned by the same group as Boulevardier which came in second in the White Division. If you can make a good burger in one place you ought to be able to make a good one anywhere. Am I right?
#5 – Goodfriend Beer Garden & Burger House = http://goodfrienddallas.com/
Matt, Tricia and Deb gave Goodfriend a higher grade than Will. They talked about it giving Stackhouse a run. Will thought it wasn’t quite as good as it’s reputation. Ordered medium rare and got it medium well – not good. Lot’s of burger choices. We tried the P.L.O.T. (Pickles. Lettuce. Onion. Tomato.) and the Alamo (“Remember it”) burgers. The Alamo was starred on the menu as their most popular – Brisket, avocado, jalapenos, queso and tortilla strips. A burger worthy of its’ name. Big slices of avocado. Watch out for the fresh jalapenos. We like ’em but they aren’t grilled so light you up. Have a beer ready. You’ll probably want to knock off most of the tortillas. Not really sure what they add or why they’re on there. Waffle fries (regular and sweet potato) were very good. One of the few times any of us had crispy waffle fries. Huge selection of beers. Good feel place. Goodfriend is aptly named. You feel like it’s a bigger version of Cheers. The wrap around bar is huge and was packed the night we visited.
#6 – Kenny’s Burger Joint = http://kennysburgerjoint.com/
The Queso Burger (middle above) is about as decadent as you can possibly imagine. The menu shows a little fork & knife to the side. This is not your hand held burger. There’s a bun under there but you’re not going to pick it up. It’s a mess of queso, bacon and jalapenos. It was good but the queso overpowered everything else. We’d order it with a more manageable amount of queso next time – betting it would be much better. Tried the Gravy Fries and regretted it, particularly when pared with the queso. Thought we might explode. Matt got the Jucy Lucy (left above) – patty stuffed (not on top) with white American cheese. The burger exploded with cheese and flavor on the first bite. Ingredients are locally sourced. The 1/2 pound burgers are cooked over hickory on their wood fired grill.
#7 – Chip’s Old Fashioned Hamburgers = http://chips-hamburgers.com/
A Dallas burger institution that suffers from being in the Yellow Division. It’s been here 36 years and is about to open it’s third location in Plano. To be clear, we like Chip’s and will go back again and again. It’s obviously doing something right but the burger can’t compete at the top tier. It didn’t have the flavor of the finalists. The string onion rings are classic. The fries though are not much more than plain old fried potatoes – not much to them. Lots of reasonably priced add-ons. They added a bar at the original on Lovers at the Tollway area several years back.
#8 – Lakewood Landing = No website found
Lakewood Landing has a good burger. Not great as their sign tells you but good. This is your very basic cheeseburger. No frills – just LTOP. Your choice of cheddar, provolone, swiss or blue cheese. Bacon, jalapenos and mushrooms are extra. The bacon was exceptional – thick and crisp. The bun came out cold. We hope that was a fluke on our particular night. Patty was cooked as we ordered. The menu says the patty is “6 oz. of fresh ground lean beef”. We prefer an 80/20 for taste. Will thought the onion rings were packaged version. Deb & Tricia didn’t think so. Sign says “An Upscale Dive”. I’m not buying the upscale part. It’s a real dive. Fortunately we like dives. Great old timey bar with lots of regulars holding court. Side note not having anything to do with burgers. Cigarette machine has cigarettes at $10 a pack. Can’t really imagine someone so desparate for a smoke that they’d pay $10. You can buy the burger for less money.
#9 – Dairy-Ette = No website found
Cool place in business since 1956. We’re ranking this against the other burgers in this division. That is grossly unfair to Dairy-Ette. This is just an old fashioned, inexpensive burger. If we’re going out for a quick burger and we’re in East Dallas we’d go again but it’s a long way from a destination burger. Burger patty was OK but too thin so it’s delivered over done. Too much mustard and the bun was too large for the patty – a major no-no. The home-made root beer in a frosted mug is worth your visit alone. This is a very good value burger but cannot compete in the top tier.
#10 – Dugg Burger = http://www.duggburger.com/
There’s a place for Dugg Burger. Unfortunately it won’t be in our final Top Ten. They have a novel concept that will appeal to some – particularly families with children. Dugg Burger excavates a hollow in the bun and fills it with your choice of toppings while the burger is on the grill. Doesn’t make it taste better but it’s kind of fun. They take the hollowed out bread and use it to make bread pudding. The toppings are good and you can get any or all of them. Caramelized and fried onions, grilled jalapenos, mushrooms and bacon. The patty though is small and has little taste. Kiddos will have fun writing on the brick wall with chalk while you wait.