Here in the Dallas-Fort Worth area, we are obsessed with burgers. In fact, “obsessed” is an understatement. As a metroplex, we are consumed with an unending urge for utter burger perfection.
What other city would have a burger showdown, bracket style, in a major newspaper? If you don’t know what I’m talking about, head over to dfw.com and check out the Battle of the Burgers.
This sick compulsion toward ground sirloin nirvana has chefs and restaurant chains constantly opening new temples of burgerdom, each one battling for loyal customers and jockeying for position. In the wake of this heated burger boom, the eaters of the area are left to reap the benefits. The general populace has become veritable burger snobs, poking and prying, elevating the art of beef patties to a level of connoisseurship once reserved for fine wine.
In this culture of intense competition, local celebrity chef and hometown hero Tim Love leads the pack. Chef Love opened his first game-changing Love Shack in the Stockyards under his popular White Elephant Saloon.
Already legendary for his masterful take on cowboy cuisine at nearby Lonesome Dove Bistro, Love solidified his place at the top with the visceral Love Burger. With two new locations, one in Denton and one at So7, Chef Love’s expanding empire holds a special place in my heart.
While many TCU students would consider it blasphemy to denounce Dutch’s as a second-rate contender, blaspheme I shall. It simply doesn’t get any better than Chef Love’s signature Dirty Love Burger.
The 50/50 mix of prime tenderloin and brisket yields a perfect meat patty with just the right amount of fat, always cooked to the right temperature. The Dirty Love Burger comes topped with wild boar bacon, coyly named “dirty love” sauce and…wait for it…a quail egg. All these ingredients come together in an ethereal amalgamation of near burger perfection.
Another show-stopper is a similar burger that comes with a whole Portobello mushroom in place of the quail egg. The juicy mushroom complements the patty wonderfully, but for my money, the Dirty Love Burger is the way to go. Nothing else compares.
Amazingly, the sides hold their own against the otherworldly patties. The fries are thinly cut strips of greasy heaven. They are so good that I would be remiss to try anything else (although I’m told the onion rings are a near second).
The drink selection is also notable: the cocktails are top-dollar reminders that mixed drinks need not be shunned by the more masculine. The Blueberry Gin Rickey had no trace of artificial flavoring. Instead the fresher-than-fresh muddled mint and ripe blueberries created a refreshing and potent drink perfect for summer sipping.
My favorite location is the one at So7. Located right off the Trinity, this Love Shack is hidden neatly among the ever-urbanizing Fort Worth hot spot that is West 7th Street.
Most of the location resides outside, utilizing a smartly modern fenced-in patio. The ambiance is undeniable, and the management does a great job of booking local acts to keep the atmosphere lively and the beer flowing. It’s one of my favorite places to spend a lazy Saturday evening.
Love Shack is the Mecca of burger joints, but don’t take my word for it. Adventure out of the Frog Bucks bubble, and leave Dutch’s comforting dining room for one night. Type Love Shack So7 into your iPhone, make the short drive to the Cultural District and prepare to have your senses assaulted in the most satisfying way possible.