Only at Mutt's Cantina Can You Eat a Decent Burger While Being Watched by Live Animals
Mutt's Cantina will make you feel like the very model of a major American eater. I did, anyway, at the newish dogparkstaurant in Uptown, which I visited yesterday. What's more American than eating a bacon cheeseburger while freshly live animals look on?
An evening at Mutt's, beginning to end, is soaked in the modern experience of the United States of American eating. I walked in, past a black and white pug taking a boat rope of a dump, sat down at a clean wooden bench, and listened to Led Zeppelin's "Kashmir." Fuzzy non-pooping dogs were sniffing butts and craft beers were happily walking back and forth. There was even a building being erected across the street with the hard banging of metal.
With a brand new fine water mister on me, I ordered a Bacon Mutt. The Bacon Mutt comes with American cheese, lettuce, tomato, "bow wow sauce" (the usual mayo blend), and two big ol' slices of griddled bacon. It was $6.95 (a double burger costs $7.50) and the crinkle cut fries were $3.35. It was the first time I've been delivered a burger in Dallas while a wiener dog yelped behind me, judging. I hear you, caged Daschund. I HEAR YOU! Tom Petty's "You Don't Know How It Feels" was playing at this point, so I am an American. I felt like I should have stood and ordered the burger with one foot planted on the wooden bench, in that Captain Morgan pose.
Catherine Downes Do not judge me, alive animals!
The burger was a big classic: crisp pickle and two theatrical layers of bacon. The patty was squared off, so take that Wendy's. The burger itself was seasoned nicely, with that big beef flavor and savory saltiness that makes you come back for a monster second bite. You can take or leave the Bow Wow sauce. The whole thing looks, feels and tastes somewhere between great diner burger and an In-N-Out riff. There's no pepper aioli's, pestos, jams, Parmesan crisps or infusions of bourbon. The burger actually might be better if one of the employees shot it into your car window with a t-shirt gun while you were speeding on highway 75. Or! It could drone-drop to you while watching Mad Men. Is that just my dream?
The fries were classic too, which may be a synonym for "nothing special." Everyone was nice. I ordered another burger to go, and the waiter put the whole thing in a eco-friendly, recyclable box. What a town. The whole thing did not suck. In fact, I'd argue that it's the best burger in Dallas to eat next to alive animals.