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Best Burger Restaurant in Plano Texas

Aug 4, 2008
In order to figure out who has the best, one must ask what it takes to make a great burger. Burgers really come in three parts a bun, patty, and toppings. As simple as that is, there are as many variations of burgers as there are people in this world. Everyone has a subjective attitude toward what is required of a good burger. In order to be able to crown a victor in the best burger category I need to set some ground rules, in order to avoid the subjectiveness of taste alone, I will describe the commonly held beliefs about what constitutes a good burger.

First off, let us talk about the bun. A burger needs a bun, sorry Atkins fans but the carbs. are required, if you wrap it in lettuce it becomes a lettuce wrap not a burger. The bun has to be fresh with added points going towards toasted buns. Feel free to get creative add poppy seeds, sesame seeds or anything else that could spice up the bread. But, a bun must not be greasy, if you cover the bun in butter you defeat its god intended purpose, to protect the hand from the grease of the patty. Nothing makes me want to pile drive a chef more than having to dry off the outside of my bun. Its bread not Lard. Also, the importance of toasting a bun can not be down played, by toasting you create a grease barrier on the business side of the bun, you keep the juices at bay, and it not only adds to the functionality of the burger but also increases the "crunch" satisfaction.

Next, the most important part of burger is the patty. Hands down, if your patty is dry and taste like cardboard nothing can save you. It doesn't always have to be made of beef, feel free to use bison, buffalo, ostridge, turkey, chicken, or even vegetables, but it does have to be flavorful and juicy. Dry patties are like fingers on a chalk board, all they do is make you want to drive a pencil through your temple, don't do it. Seasoning can be added to the meat, but understand that good meat doesn't need seasoning, when I taste seasoning, I instantly think the meat is junk because your trying to hide it. Anything more than salt and pepper is overkill; I want to taste the meat (or veggies). If you think quality meat comes frozen and pre-formed, I challenge you to go to your local butcher and get fresh ground chuck and see how it compares. If you must thaw it on the grill you might as well feed it to your dog, I am not buying.

Finally toppings, common toppings are Onions (preferably red), Pickles, lettuce, and tomatoes. Don't feel like your stuck with only those options, get creative, I love jalapenos on my burger. Extra points go to original ideas, heck, if you can make guacamole and bananas taste good, I bet it would work well on a burger (just make sure it taste good before trying to sell it to the public). Toppings need to accentuate a burger, not distract from the patty. A quick note on sauces, don't try to hide a dry patty by adding "special" sauce, if you do so, all you get is soggy cardboard. This doesn't work, Sauce like other ingredients needs to add to the experience not drown it out.

In Plano there are four major competitors trying for the hometown best burger crown, there's Country Burger, an establishment that has been in Plano for more than 30 years, Gazeebo Burgers, a newcomer to Plano however it has been in Dallas area for quite some time, Ye Olde Butcher Shop, which is a staple of downtown and has been conveniently located for three decades, and finally Amazing Jakes where the beer is cold and burgers are sure to delight. I have ranked these competitors based upon the quality of there offerings.

In fourth place is Gazeebo burgers, even with the nice condiment stand and build it yourself attitude, Gazeebo failed in the patty department. Once again, dry doesn't work, having a great selection of patty options doesn't help if they aren't any good. Gazeebo needs to get back to the basics, quit buying your patties pre-made, and go buy a grinder and a couple sides of beef. You'll thank me later.

Coming in at third is Country Burger, they don't quite have the patty problems that Gazeebo's does, however they aren't quite up to par. In addition to there mediocre burger patty, they don't really offer the selection of condiments that are necessary to compete for the affection of twenty first century burger lovers. Also, I suspect that like Gazeebo, Country Burger has fallen into the frozen processed Pattie trap. Personally, I think there needs to be laws against frozen burger patties, yeah it's better than Gazeebo but I am not entirely sure I am getting all beef.

The silver medal goes too Jake's. Jakes makes a good burger, and would be gunning for the top spot except for the fact they committed the cardinal sin of burger making, greasy bun. If I need to wrap a burger with a napkin in order to keep my hand from slipping off the bun, you're losing points. Jakes, offers a wide selection of burger, everything from the classic American Bacon Cheese Burger to more spicy concoctions making use of pico de gallo and salsa. If you're looking for a good burger, Jakes is worth the stop.

Finally the crown goes to Ye Olde Butcher Shop, honestly when it comes to quality beef, go to the butcher. Everything else is second best. The Butcher shop located in downtown on 15th combines the freshest ingredients with the best meat. Having a solid offering of Buffalo, Elk in addition to Beef, Ye Olde Butcher Shop won't disappoint. No gimmicks here, no southwest chipotle sauce cover-up just good old fashion American hamburgers cooked with the finest available meat. Don't believe me, go check it out.
About the Author
Dave Russell is a local resident of Plano and continues to look for great quality local Plano restaurants. His blog, reviews local Plano Texas Restaurants including Ye Olde Butcher Shop .
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