A self-proclaimed carnivore gives his take on what eating big in Texas is all about.
Charley’s Old Fashioned Hamburgers
The 1950s never left this small burger hut in west Fort Worth. Paint chips flake off the sign and some benches outside make this place the perfect spot for greasy burgers and sweet tea on a Friday afternoon. The specialty item on the menu is aptly named the Greatburger. Two patties of beef, countless slices of Canadian bacon, a slathering of mayonnaise and American cheese comprise the 800 Calories of mouth-watering wonder.
More than 60 years have passed since its inception and Kincaid’s continues to be a hamburger connoisseur’s dream. Kincaid’s is placed with the likes of Perry’s, the world-renowned San Francisco eatery, and in Texas it is known as one of the best. As for the decor, red checkerboard tablecloths and newspaper cutouts from the past 50 years adorn the walls keeping the grocery-turned-restaurant in the sock-hop era. Organic beef burgers can even keep those environmentally friendly carnivores satisfied.
The diner attitude is evident in the restaurant, but character lacks here. Perhaps since it is the new kid on the block, building a reputation may take time. The spacious interior is perfect for watching a title game however, for a lunch break with nostalgia, the restaurant falls short of excellence. Pappas does keep up with modern trends and offers a few vegetarian selections, but for someone who wants a mountain of cattle on white bread, this restaurant will suffice. The burgers are similar to Fuddrucker’s both in price and quality, but the shakes are phenomenal. It is not everyday somebody can have a drink that is richer than the Sultan of Brunei.
Cowboys and yuppies overlap in the Fort Worth Stockyards where Tim Love blends gourmet and homecooking. This two-story restaurant specializes in burgers and hotdogs. A dead giveaway of a speciality item on a menu comes from a distinct name. The Love Shack has the Dirty Bird. Three animals go into the construction of this culinary masterpiece. Bacon and ground beef give the typical flavor, but the award winning chef’s touch comes from a fried quail egg on top. Sometimes an entire hunting party needs to go out to gather a meal, but the flavor is worth the trip into the woods.
Fred’s Texas Cafe
If taxidermy is a cottage industry in Texas, then Fred’s exemplifies how to use every part of the animal for eating and decorating. Antlers, longhorns and skulls adorn the walls and the atmosphere is reminiscent of a backroads country diner. For fine dining, the options are meat, meat and potatoes with a side of meat. Bacon and mushroom burgers grilled fresh are worth the wait when a schooner of beer accompanies the meal.
Tommy’s Hamburger Grill
It went from the shores of Lake Worth to the heart of the city, but this establishment has created a Texas-style surf and turf menu. The go-to items on the table for Tommy’s are catfish and cheeseburgers. The patties are typically a half-pound and there is a designated menu section for those who wish to eat lighter, but if you go big in Texas, this restaurant will gladly fit this cliche. Each slab of meat is dripping with flavor and instead of smashing the meat on the grill the ground beef keeps its thick shape and a delectable flavor. And what side could be better than homemade potato chips to cap off the dining experience?