Monday, September 27, 2010

JC's Burger House

Sometimes you want to go where everybody knows your name.

So for the third Burger Club Dallas outing I headed over to JC's Burger House in Plano. JC's is a local franchised establishment, with the Plano store at 15th and Independence being the original, founded in 1999.
Well, elven years and several awards later they are still making great burgers!

I arrived a little early and was greeted by a very warm and friendly staff. The small restaurant was very clean and well kept, pretty empty for a Saturday night, but that would change soon. I got a drink and waited to place my order, I chatted with a lovely and very helpful young lady named Gabrielle, one of the host/ managers, for a few minutes about the restaurant and menu. I was pleased to hear that they grind their own meat fresh daily, and they have fresh cut fries, and blue bell ice cream shakes! After talking with some of the other patrons and telling them about Burger Club Dallas, I placed my order with Gabrielle. I ordered the half pounder with bacon and cheddar ( they also offer swiss, american, and pepper jack), a side of fires and a strawberry shake. After about fifteen minutes and a great chat with the new owner and a really nice guy, Bill Oglesby, I recieved the following burger!

Wow, so this not only smelled amazing, it looked great too! Contrary to what some people may say, presentation is important, we eat with our eyes. So, I bite into a hot fresh burger with a lightly toasted bun. The meat was cooked to order ( medium) the patty had great flavor and was very juicy, there was some crust, not quite enough for me. The Cheese was melted perfectly and the bacon was thin and crisp, no soggy pork products here. I was so busy shoving this meaty bliss into my mouth that I almost didn't take enough time to evaluate it. It was wonderful and classic, the fries were crisp and well made also. I gave this burger a 9/10, great flavor and very fresh, this place puts Moo Ya and Five Guys to shame in my opinion. The only critiques I had were, the crust on the patty, and the bun not being toasted enough to hold up to the half pounder.  They use shredded lettuce on their burgers and chopped red onion, I prefer whole leaf and whole onion, but that is not a big deal because the ingredients were so fresh!

What was really great to me as well was the staff, they knew most of the people coming in by name,  and they have so many regulars that come in. One couple I met eats there every Saturday night, and all of the scores I got back from people were high!  The Burger Club tally came out to a 9.2  for the burger and 8.5 for the establishment. If you have not tried this place get over there and meet the amazing staff, and tell them I said hi!
Great job JC's keep it up, you guys are running a close second to Twisted Root in Deep Ellum  in my book as best Burger in DFW so far!

Bonus Pic of my super thick and delicious shake!

Monday, September 13, 2010

Village Burger Bar

What went wrong?

So on the second official Burger Club Dallas outing we ventured to Village Burger Bar in Allen TX, we had another group that meet at their west village location also. The Restaurant was pretty empty for a Sunday night just before a Cowboys game which had me a bit worried. It was clean and the decor was very modern and sleek, but kind of boring. I talked to the manager who seemed to care less about what we are were doing there.

(Attention restaurant owners/ managers/ staff- If someone says they are coming to rate your establishment, they may be full of crap or they could be from a major publication, either way you should put your best foot forward regardless!)

Okay, stepping down from my soap box now. Lets move on to the Burgers shall we. I ordered the build to suit Burger,medium, with cheddar, some shoe string fries, and a coke. They had a mirco brew root beer on tap (Abita, even though the website states it is Thomas Kemper) I am a huge fan of Root Beer and have sampled some 60+ different styles. So after awhile of talking burgers with some of the other members of the BCD ( see that is what makes this club fun!) I got this Burger

Looks good right? Well looks can be deceiving, other than the pickles which seemed very fresh, the other toppings did not. It could be that the lettuce looked so bad because it was on the bottom of the burger, so it was instantly wilted from the heat of the patty.  The toasted bun was nice though it did not hold up to the burger very well. Cheese was melted on the patty well. So I take a bite of the burger and find that it is very bland and not very juicy. There is not a very good sear on the patty so the crust is defiantly lacking. I am in shock, I had heard so many great things about this place, and now I find that I could have gone to Carl's Jr. for a better burger, better service and probably about the same price! I score Village a 5.5 out of  10. SEASON YOUR MEAT PEOPLE! Just some Kosher or  Sea salt and fresh cracked pepper, Lawry's, McCormicks, ANYTHING! My friends and wife gave this place about the same score, but we do not yet have the final Burger Club Dallas Tally. One of my friends could not even finish her burger and she was still hungry! Later that night we all had indigestion, and not just from the COWBOYS loss! So in the end OVERRATED, snooty and pretentious with poor quality product. Sorry Village but that is a fail in my book!


Their name is Earl’s

So on a tip from the great Rob Bane (see his amazing burger blog ) I went to Earl’s off of highway 380 just to the east of Denton. Now this is not the norm for a great burger place, it is in a gas station. I know what you are thinking and I said the same thing, a gas station burger usually equals poor fast food grade product, agreed and I don’t normally go that route when looking for a great burger, but the giant bill board I saw as I drove up saying “ Best Burger in Denton” put my mind at ease a bit. 

Their signage says they have been in business since 1980 and that kind of longevity also gives one the sense that they are in for a treat. It also means that they probably have an really well seasoned grill! So I went through the drive through for my burger, since I had sleeping kids in the van. I ordered the Earl’s single with bacon which is a half pound patty with cheese, lettuce, tomato, onion and pickle on a toasted BUN (they only have a single and a double). I also grabbed some fries ( really good fries I might add), and a root beer. After a bit I got this burger, 

Just by looking at it I could tell I was dealing with really fresh ingredients, the patty was tick and juicy looking  with what appeared to be an excellent crust. Upon my first bite I was not disappointed, great crust and really juicy despite being well done, which I usually prefer to have a bit of pink in my half pounders, more med to med well, but this was still great and well seasoned, and the bacon was crispy and went well with the meat,The bun was nice and toasted, fresh veggies were crisp.

Over all I would give Earl’s a 7.5 out of 10, a really top notch, burger, I would go there just for the fries alone though, some of the best I have ever had. Great job Earl’s next time I am on the way to Denton I will be back!