The New, More Expensive Commissary Burger

Categories: Eat This

Commissary Burger 2.jpg
The new Commissary Burger
When I checked in with chef David McMillan back in March, he told me some significant changes were taking place with for John Tesar's legacy CVap burgers at The Commissary. For one, they were supposed to be thinner, so the coloring would be more consistent throughout the center of the patty. He also mentioned tweaking the cooking process a little in an attempt to achieve better consistency.

I stopped in last week to check out how the new burgers are coming along.

The difference?

Not much at all.

I called McMillan to see what's up, and he admitted he's still working out his burger cooking process. "We're tasting three a day," he told me, grumbling a bit. They're still trying to optimize the burger, but for now I think it's very similar to the original Commissary burger experience. Not that that's a bad thing -- they're fucking delicious.

There is one significant change, though: price. When Tesar first opened the place, some of the more simple burgers sold for $6. The price of ground beef has been steadily rising, though, up a dollar a pound since McMillan took over the kitchen. Now the basic burgers at Commissary cost two dollars more.

Eight dollars doesn't seem like that much for a burger. I've paid $20 for a burger at Local, and many high-end taverns charge in the teens. Is the price increase really that big of a deal?

"We lost a big part of the day-time office workers," McMillan told me. "Those kinds are on budgets."

McMillan's discovery of the impact of a $2 price increase is illuminating. While journalists and advocates have been pushing Americans to choose to eat less meat for health and ethical reasons, the biggest driver for food choices is clearly economics.

Location Info

The Commissary - CLOSED

1722 Routh St., Dallas, TX

Category: Restaurant

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16 comments
mw
mw

I've made some pretty drastic price increases over the past two years. One item went up $2 over night. We may have sold more of that item after the increase. I don't think economics is still the biggest driver. Actually the NRA's list of top ten "drivers" had value down a couple spots from a year or two ago. There are other factors at work here that can make a change like that seem less dramatic. At least in my experience, which is admittedly limited.

Carpe Diem
Carpe Diem

McMillan didn't raise those prices.  Tesar did.  I've been going there since it's opened. Beef prices have been going up though. Anyone that thinks they can get a gourmet burger for under $10 in this town Commissary, Stackhouse, Chophouse, Porch, Neighborhood Services, etc. is crazy....

Josh's broken records
Josh's broken records

If "Chef" needs inspiration on the burger front..he should jump in his Prius and drive on over to Arlington..pop in and have a Chophouse burger.  Best burger in DFW!

twinwillow
twinwillow

If I'm going to devour a Cheeseburgeris Gigantis, I'll do it at Off-Site Kitchen. Delicious and, a hell of a lot cheaper!

Aaron Porkstick Miller
Aaron Porkstick Miller

Foo Foo garbage.  Straight up, unadulterated garbage only imagined in North Dallas or freaking Los Angeles.  a.k.a as throwing money away.

Burgers are the bench and baseline for a 'chef'.  GTFouuutta here and got to Ye Butcher Shoppe in Plano.  Many an illegal 'chef' can knock it out of the park for less.  This is madness...and it's not grass fed nor organic.  My grandmother would slap the shit out of McMillan for lack of basic execution.

HOTCHAGIRL
HOTCHAGIRL

I will gladly fork over $14 for The Farmer Burger. I dream about that duck egg dripping down my chin. Yumazing.

Im_Ed_Carter
Im_Ed_Carter

Anyone who pays more than $5-6 for a burger is a douche-nozzle.....

In world championship cow tipping... 

Scruffygeist
Scruffygeist

Well isn't that just a nice $1.50 per burger increased profit margin on the ground beef rise, assuming 8 oz burgers and no changes in bun/toppings...

Jon from TJs
Jon from TJs

if the other hamburger places' prices aren't going up, they might not be using fresh beef because prices are skyrocketing.  But a big supply of frozen beef in your freezer doesn't change price.

Darren Schmits
Darren Schmits

Scott, I think you are taking it a step too far in your last paragraph.  Because the price on the Commissary burger went up $2, I don't think people are eating less meat.  They are just eating their hamburger elsewhere, for less $$.

Scott Reitz
Scott Reitz

 I don't think so. McMillan indicated there are lots of ingredient price pressures that are effecting his bottom line. Beef prices are a small component of the cost of that burger.

Scott Reitz
Scott Reitz

People are eating less meat in general in America. Consumption has been declining since 2007 and is forecast to fall even further this year.  Beef has been impacted most, but poultry and pork sales are dropping as well. The Commissary burger is a small data point in a much larger trend.

R.S.
R.S.

Beef has been "affected" not "effected" in this case. 

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