Thursday, December 1, 2011

Burger House Hamburgers: A Dallas Staple SInce 1951

If you mention "Burger House Hamburgers" to anybody that has lived in Dallas awhile, it's guaranteed that they will automatically know of that of which you speak. That's for a good reason too. Mainly because the Burger House in Dallas has been around since 1951. To be around that long and still thriving as a burger joint is a testament to the quality of burger they produce for all their loyal customers that keep coming back for more. You can count Livin' Tejas in that group of loyal customers because we will testify to the satisfaction of consuming many of their tasty burgers.

All this begs the question, what keeps customers ordering a Burger House Burger for over 60 years now? These questions need answers and I'm pretty sure I can offer a few up for you. First of all, we have to focus on what they are known for and what people think of when you talk about Burger House. They would tell you about the special seasoning they use on their burgers and more obviously so on their french fries. While Burger House won't give you the recipe for obvious reasons, they will tell you that it's a special salt. Special salt or not, it kind tastes of cumin, which take it from us, does greatly enhance the taste of their food and is part of the reason we love Burger House so much. We're pretty sure that we aren't the only ones that keep coming back to the addictive and distinctive taste of whatever the seasoning is that they use.

We recommend the burger first and foremost but the quality of the chicken in the chicken sandwich was way better than it should of been but that image is a great injustice to how good those fries taste!
While we'd love to tell you that it's all in the seasoning that they use, that wouldn't be completely fair to Burger House's delicious food. Everything we've tried there, has left us completely satisfied and is way beyond what you'd expect from a fast food kind of experience. While we wouldn't exactly consider Burger House fast food because it deserves a lot more recognition that, someone that is new to Dallas and doesn't know what Burger House is, might lump it into that category.

That aside, Burger House's hamburgers are very juicy and it tastes like a real treat, when we are able to go there and eagerly bite into their burgers. Which we might add, is not often enough. We'd come back not only for their juicy mouth watering burgers but for their fries and onion rings.

If you've been reading Livin' Tejas, you'd quickly realize that we are onion ring junkies. Some people love their fries and we don't take anything away from that but we like to order onion rings before the fries. Here at Burger House, an exception to that rule does take place. Why? As we mentioned earlier, while it's not all in the seasoning, we have to admit, that it is for their fries. When you order them they'll automatically know why because before you get to taste them, the smell of the special seasoning will overpower you into a deep trance. This is not a bad deep trance... just go with it; rather it's a delicious food one where your taste buds start salivating. While this is a little bit of exaggeration, it is partially true. You'll know it's Burger House by the smell should be a slogan of theirs. We digress, the smell is one thing but the taste of their special seasoning has to be tasted to be believed because it is very unique and addictive. Ok, their onion rings are good too (as they have very awesome breaded texture) but by all means try their fries first even if you aren't a fry fan like us, and there's no doubt you'll order them with every visit.

Burger House Hamburgers has been around for awhile so it's no wonder they have several locations in the Dallas area. There is nothing wrong with that, as it cuts down on our drive for sure. While it isn't neccessary, you'll want to try their original location in the famous Highland Park area of Dallas that has been opened since 1951. Do this at some point because it's a great nostalgic experience of a time long past. We say that because the location is small, wood abounds, and last but not least, it's very old looking with picnic tables. This location is very appropriate especially if you're showing someone around Dallas for the first time. If you can't make it to this location, by all means any location will do, just go there and be overpowered by the greatness this Dallas staple.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

OldWest Cafe in Denton, TX: Living Good Country Style

It might not look like much from the outside but the food at OldWest Cafe in Denton, TX just outside of the DFW Metroplex is simply down home country good. As a bonus, OldWest Cafe is known for really packing on the portion size in serving country style breakfast and lunch until 2pm. This is plenty of time to fill up for the start of the day but still gives you the rest of the day to burn it off.... or sleep it off for that matter. We're guessing, it'll be the couch because we've have been that route on more than one occasion. Yes, we really love those kinds of places so it was only a matter of time before we ended up at OldWest Cafe.

We also figured we could stretch our dollar a long way in the value side of things which we consider a part of the Livin' Tejas philosophy. That leaves more money to "Live Texas" and find the next great Texas destination. With that being said, Livin' Tejas is not all about portion size and how much food you get for your dollar. If we wanted that, we'd of stopped in at the Golden Corral down the street, but it's our take that the food has to be good and delicious too or it's all for nothing. Was it all for nothing at OldWest Cafe that obviously and proudly proclaims good food on their sign? Livin' Tejas had no qualms about finding out...

It's impossible to go wrong with the Almond Crisp, well maybe for your waist line but this blog isn't about that

We started with a daring plate, affectionately (not really but it sounds good) as the Almond Crisp. How can you resist ordering a plate that features french toast coated in almond syrup with whipped cream and bananas to top it off? We couldn't. If that wasn't enough, the Almond Crip breakfast plate which almost could be called dessert included two eggs of your choice and your choice of two bacon, sausage or grilled ham. Even with all that packed into one breakfast plate, we polished it off and we can safely say there has probably been plenty of customers that have done just that and left happy.

For our second swing, we went with the Bronco Buster. Any plate with the word "Buster" could mean we'd be bustin' at the seams afterwards but Live Goode definitely has a healthy appetite so we could handle it. The Bronco Buster (the two plates at the right of the of the picture) which was my responsibility and consisted of two very large buttermilk pancakes, two scrambled eggs, two sausages, and a biscuit was not as daring as the Almond Crisp. Although I was satisfied after finishing this plate, I sadly regretted that we didn't test something more tempting that really stuck out on the menu called the U.S. Marshall. Believe or not this U.S. Marshall almost sounds like the most daring thing on the menu which we didn't think could be possible after conquering the Almond Crisp. Alas, we will have go back and get the scoop for you so look for an update at the bottom of this post very soon. We really can't resist going back and trying it for too much longer. For now though, we can do our best describe it. Ready? It boasts of Texas toast topped with hash browns, and we're assuming by the menu description, that piled onto that is three eggs of your choice with three pieces of either bacon, sausage, or grilled ham topped off by sausage gravy.

We appreciated not only the goodness of this great country style eatery but also the decor that went hand and hand with the experience that OldWest Cafe offers. 

It's hard to sum up a place that is very generous with their portions, but that would be all in vain if the food didn't leave you miserably happy. Miserable in the sense that your full but also happy because it  had the quality of food that you'd expect from a place that has country and good written all over it. The menu at OldWest Cafe is extraordinary in that there is so much variety there, that we literally spent almost 20 minutes agonizing over what to get. You see, we almost got so wrapped up in telling you how big the portion size is and how satisfying those portions were, that we almost forgot to mention how extensive OldWest Cafe's menu is. Extensive being so many choices on the breakfast menu which include, omelets, breakfast burritos (tip for you... which we've heard through the Grapevine are a hit and huge if you're up for the task), breakfast sandwiches, and chicken fried steak with eggs. Live Goode considers that a cornucopia in itself but that is not even half of the breakfast menu. Appealing as that may be, the breakfast and lunch items have appealing names such as the Bull Rider, Lucky Ace, the Gambler, the Alamo, Panhandler, and the Rough Rider so there is no way anybody couldn't leave feeling like they were cheated except maybe by the Gambler. Nothing wrong with that plate, it sounds good as it's a sour dough breakfast sandwich so you know we're just poking at the name. Speaking of poke, poke out of OldWest Cafe slowly is what you'll do, all the way to your car and that comfy couch waiting for your attention. With a lot of bang for your wallet in the quality, variety, and portion size department it's easy to fall in love with a place like this. To be swept away by all it's country charms please visit OldWest Cafe                                                                                                                                                                               

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Scotty P's Hamburgers in Dallas, TX Equals Attention To Detail

The bang for your buck feature is at play here as all this awesome American grub came in at just under $19.
Livin' Tejas has a theory when it comes to knowing whether a restaurant is going to be a winner or a loser and we like to think it comes down to attention to detail. We found such a place that proves our theory correct and what a delicious find it is. Yes, it's name is Scotty P's Hamburgers and they truly live up to expectations and not to mention their catchy little motto that says, "That's One Historic Burger." We found ourselves whole heartily agreeing with that motto in every bite we took.

When a burger looks like that you know it's gonna be good, it was.
Case numero uno with the attention to detail that was exhibited at this burger eatery started with the bun. Case in point, a ton of hamburger joints that we've been to overlook the importance of having a tasty bun. Have no fear though because Scotty P's has this covered and then some. Then some was the fact that not only was the bun very tasty but it was toasted to a buttery perfection. How do they do it? We don't know because this was one of the best buns we've ever consumed. Ok, come to think of it, we did wait awhile for our food, maybe they were back there baking them fresh. We really don't know but they sure tasted like it. This should tell you that, I can be a little impatient when it comes to waiting on food at a restaurant probably like most of you if you can admit to letting your hunger get the best of you. What really counts as my wife likes to tell me when I complain as I did here, as that probably means they are really cooking your food and that it's going to be good. How right she was as it was totally worth the agonizing wait.

Also, come to think of it this place was PACKED and got even more so as we lucked out and get there in the nick of time before an even bigger rush came whooshing through the restaurant and I kid you not, took every available seat! I was thankful that, my party got a booth and was not the table next to me, where we heard a customer ask another if they could share their long table. Yeah, hate me, but I like my space and privacy when I'm chowing down on my grub. It's a very intimate moment when your a foodie like me so let no women, man, or child interrupt that. I digress, but you know when a place gets as packed as this restaurant was, you know it's probably word of mouth and that it's a good sign that it's gonna be good!

A couple of winning bites into my Scotty P's experience and I was in burger heaven.
Case numero dos, for greatness and attention to detail which leads to perfection, the quality of the ingredients and in this case, (forgive me for over using case but I have to make my case) the quality of the beef. Damn, Dang it, every word that comes to mind but not in a bad way, Scotty P's gives their choice of beef the attention it deserves. The ground chuck that I chucked into my mouth was so unimaginably tasty, it had me wanting to bum rush the counter and ask them where they got it. Alas, I didn't but I should of.

What kind of burger did I get you might ask? You gotta give me mucho props for this and I'll tell you because you'll never guess on you own. The name for this creation was called the Borchardt Cheeseburger. I told you that you'd never guess. Yes, funny name but serious burger, to kind of borrow a famous fast food phrase but if the burger fits then it works. This Borchardt did work in ever sense of the word, with not with an ordinary ol' slice of American cheese but with grated cheese, fresh tomato and shredded lettuce.

You've seen this before but you got to have these to believe it.
Case numero tres, deeeee-licious sides. Scotty P's put the P in scrumPtious and sealed the deal with none other than my favorite kind of onion ring known as onion strings. It would of been one thing if these were average onion stings but that wasn't the case. These were fried to onion string perfection and had that tasty crunch where you can't stop eating them because they fall into the addictive category.

These are not even the onion rings that Scotty P's is known for. Believe or not they offer two different kind onion rings, the other affectionately known as Scotty P's O'mazing Onion Rings which as the menu states are handmade every morning. That right there makes me want to try them but it will have to wait until next trip as I couldn't pass up the onion strings because like I said in past posts, you don't find them everywhere you go.

How were the fries you might ask? You might know from reading this blog that I'm not a french fan fanatic because I like my onion rings too much but I know a good fry when I taste one. The fries at Scotty P's were no exception. Just like the onion strings, they were fried to perfection and had a very addictive quality to them. Seems to be a trend at Scotty P's.

The atmosphere at Scotty P's (at least at the Frisco, TX location) is nothing fancy, which is just fine for a burger joint. Ask any Texan, and they'll probably tell you that it's not about that when it comes their burgers, they just want a mighty tasty one. I think we've made the case that Scotty P's has that and more. However, while Scotty P's is not big on atmosphere, it does have a very easy going casualness that I look for. What I mean, is it's an order at the counter, sit where you want, and pick up you food when it's called system which is very convenient and relaxed.

We now can close this case of Scotty P's Hamburgers but it trust me, it will be reopened time and time again in the future when I return to this winning hamburger joint. To dive into your own case of Scotty P's please check out their website: Scotty P's Hamburgers for the 7 locations that have spread hamburger greatness across the Dallas metroplex.

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Goode Co. Seafood in Houston: "Goode" Seafood Is The Keyword Here

Nothing like eating "Goode" Seafood in a train car. 
If you're a lover of seafood and you grew up eating it as I did, then you know that it's hard getting enough good seafood. Goode Co. Seafood in Houston, TX happens to be one of my favorites seafood joints that I have fond childhood memories of. No wonder I like seafood so much, I was born and raised eating some of the best which can be found in Houston since it's only 45 short minutes from the Texas Gulf Coast. That makes it very fresh therefore good by inheritance but not a guarantee as I've been to some lousy seafood restaurants in the Houston/Galveston area which I won't mention here.

Like most times eating out, to make sure I get the most out of my visit, if one is available, I go for the platter. My reasoning is, if you're going to eat good food, and in this case seafood you might as well go all out and sample not only the fish but all the usual awesome seafood suspects. This platter just happens to include just that with shrimp, oysters, stuffed shrimp, stuffed crab, and catfish. Did it meet expectations in the quality department? You don't even have to ask, the freshness combined with the way Goode Co. Seafood fries and lightly batters their catch, is a winning a combo.

This Mexican Seafood Cocktail at Goode Co. is a starter that is hard to pass up.
There's no doubt that Goode Co. Seafood is a guarantee for seafood satisfaction. Not only is the seafood some of the best in Houston but the atmosphere is very casual and unique because it's in a train car building. I probably need to clear that up so that there won't be any confusion. This is not a building that is fashioned to look like a train car, it is a real train car. They may of added some building elements to it but I'm telling you, you'll be surprised when you see it for the first time. 

As the first seafood restaurant they opened in Houston in 1986, that makes this particular location on Westpark Drive a standout from the other seafood locations they've since opened. That's another winning combo...good food plus awesomely good atmosphere. To check out this Westpark location, along with the other Goode Co. family of restaurants, visit:  Goode Co. Seafood

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Chip's Old Fashioned Hamburger in Dallas Has It Right

Some eateries just know how to do food right. When it comes to American food, Chip's Old Fashioned Hamburger in Dallas has it right and then some. On first look, you might pass up the old building that sits on a old street called Lover's Lane in Dallas. Mainly because its overshadowed by the Dallas Tollway's looming overpass. To do this, if your in the mood for American food in the way of hamburgers, french fries and the best shoe-string onion rings this Texas boy has had in a long time, would be a food crime. Of course, if you know where to look and did your homework, (I'll help with that) you'd know that Chip's has been a Dallas favorite since 1981. That's how I found my way to Chip's  for the first time, on one very hot summer afternoon in late June a year ago. As summer is on our doorstep once again and American food is appropriate especially during the summer, I'd be doing no wrong by making it an excuse to Chip's. 

To be totally honest, I was not convinced that I'd like this place as much as I did, when I walked in the door. It's like a place you might think needs updating but hey you know that people always say don't judge a book by its cover. I'm really glad that I've learned that worldly piece of advice or I would of missed out some extraordinary old fashioned American food.

To start with it's an order at the counter system which is always more than ok with me because in this economy it's always nice to save a little money on not having to give a tip. On having saved that bit of money by paying at the counter, I proceeded to take my seat at one of many picnic patterned vinyl covered tables of my choice...hey they fit this place perfectly. Then after a brief wait, I received the goods back at the counter when they called my name.

The big piece of fried chicken in this sandwich was better than most places can do.
The goods in this case was not a hamburger as you might presume since it's a hamburger joint in not this time, I was in the mood for a American food favorite of mine, a good old fried chicken sandwich. The rest is history, because one bite had me saying nothing because it was so good. The reason, well simply, it was wonderfully fried, big and juicy piece of chicken in between two very tasty poppy seed buns, with all the trimmings of mayo, lettuce, and tomato. Needless to say, it put a lot of chicken sandwiches that have met my stomach to shame! I would certainly rank it up their in the best 5 chicken sandwiches that I've had the pleasure of tasting in my life. That's saying a lot because I've eaten a lot of them.

These shoe-string onion rings are what dreams are made of.  Eat slowly, I know it's hard but these have to be savoured first.
Hold on, I'm not done yet because this eatery got 2 of 2 right. The second of my favorites being shoe-string onion rings! I wasn't going to pass up the opportunity to have some here because onion rings in the shoe-string kind are not always on the menu at some American food eateries. Believe it or not they can be a little hard to find especially if you're a fan and desire them over traditional onion rings. Alas, I don't think I have to tell you how I thought of Chip's onion rings because after all, I did say they got it right. However, I'd go a step further, and say I'd come back just for those! Oh yeah, that and the chicken sandwich, then maybe next time after that I'd go for the burger because the odds are they can do that right too! How can they not? At a place that impressed with this much on my first visit. Impossible! If you're in Dallas, find a way there by all means, a good start would be the website: Chip's Old Fashioned Hamburger


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