Dallas Chefs and Personalities on Favorite Burgers, Then and Now, Plus What Makes A Great Burger
What a day to celebrate choice. Regardless of what some may like to believe, really the most important choice most of us will make this week (honestly, any week) is which burger to eat. So many choices.
Well, we're here to help you with the electoral map of burgers. As part of Burger Week, we sent pollsters out to harass a sampling of local chefs, restaurateurs and a few personalities and ask them about their burger of choice.
The ballot had three questions:
1. What was your favorite burger as a kid?
2. What's your favorite burger now?
3. What makes a burger great?
The following voters participated in our poll:
Chef Jason Maddy, Oak
Jon Alexis, TJ's Fresh Seafood Market owner
Chef Samir Dhurandhar, Nick & Sam's and Coal Vine's
Mark Cuban, Dallas Mavericks owner
Chef Jon Erdeljac, Jonathon's in Oak Cliff
Corby Davidson, The Ticket
Chef Jeff Harris, executive chef Bolsa and Bolsa Mercado
Sarah Green, pastry chef, Oak
Chef Matt Balke, executive sous chef, Bolsa and Bolsa Mercado
Phil Romano, restaurateur, Fuddruckers, eatZi's
Chef Jeana Johnson, ACME F&B, Good-2-Go Tacos, Goodfriend Burgers
Chef Nathan Tate, Ava and Boulevardier
What was your favorite burger as a kid?
Maddy: "As a kid we didn't do fast food; my mother is a great cook. But, I would have to say Dairy Queen because most backyard barbecues were reserved for other cuts of meat."
Alexis: "Burger House, still sentimental favorite."
Dhurandhar: (Seeing as Dhurandhar grew up in India, I asked for favorite "meal" growing up) "Favorite meal ... probably my mom's Indian cooking could never compare it to anyone's, including any of our family members' and friends'. Everything she made was worth looking forward to, thus inspired me to be a chef."
Cuban: "The burgers my dad made. I don't know what he put in them, but it was more than just hamburger meat. Loved them."
Erdeljac: "Growing up in Houston my favorite burger came from Cliff's Old Fashioned Hamburgers. It was your basic 1/2 pound patty, sesame seed bun, shredded lettuce, red onion, tomato, pickle, mayo and cheddar cheese. What made it so good was the wood grill it was cooked on. Makes my mouth water just thinking about it!"
Davidson: "Wendys, hands down. I would go there for my birthday as a kid. My preference, double with mustard and ketchup only."
Harris: "The Butcher Shop in Longview, Texas."
Green: "Chili's ground peppercorn burger with crispy onions, bacon and blue cheese."
Balke: "Neal's Cafe. It's a small town north of Uvalde that makes one of the best burgers in Texas. You have the option of buns (sourdough/yeast roll), a perfect 8-ounce patty and choice of cheese and bacon (bits or strips). Cooked on a griddle. Pure perfection."
Romano: "Growing up my mom used to make a great meatball sandwich for me at home. To me, that was considered a 'burger.'"
Johnson: "My favorite burger growing up was from a small, family-owned restaurant in my hometown of Palestine called Chip's Burger Village."
Tate: "In high school it was all about the Sonic number one cheeseburger. A pretty classic griddled burger with American cheese, mayonnaise, lettuce, tomato, onion and pickle."