A Reader Asks the Dining Critic for Burger Advice. Poor Reader.
Every once in a while someone mistakes Scott for a food expert and risks ruining dinner by trusting him to answer to a burning question. Got a question about food or restaurants? Send it via Twitter @scottreitz, Facebook @ Cityofate or in the comments.
The Grape's massive brunch burger
Tiffany asked by email, quite succinctly, which burger is better in Dallas -- Hopdoddy or The Grape?
Her question is a tough one. It's like asking which makes for a better vacation: a trip to Tuscany or a private cabana on a beach in Belize. You can't take two vacations at once any more than you can eat a burger at two restaurant locations simultaneously, so at any given time you'll have to choose.
You might consider the type of burger experience you're in the mood for, Tiffany. Hopdoddy makes a damn fine burger with house-ground meat, a bun that's freshly baked on site and a system for cooking patties that assures they're always done just as you've ordered them. Of course you'll have to fight for parking in North Dallas, and will be ushered in and out of the restaurant like the cattle you are craving.
A basic hand-crafted burger from Hopdoddy
Meanwhile, The Grape serves what has been proclaimed as the best burger in the whole state of Texas by Texas Monthly, and the restaurant serves it with a side of class. If you're looking for good wine service and a cloth napkin (which you most definitely will need) The Grape has just the burger for you. Remember though, you'll have to come during brunch service to indulge your burger cravings here -- the object of your affection is only served on weekends.
If you were to judge these burger on their merit alone in terms of price and quality, then Hopdoddy would come out ahead. The place turns out nothing but burgers, hand-crafted top to bottom, and the repetition produces consistency that's hard to come by. At $6 for the basic model, they're cheaper than the Grape, which charges $13.