Everything is bigger in Texas. That's even true for burgers, both in size and taste. From an eatery that serves fancy sandwiches you might want to eat with a fork to one known for sloppy two-fisters in wax paper, we found two spots you'll want to bite into.
This is where residents of Big D go to score their "designer burgers." That's because this of-the-moment joint, owned by restaurant entrepreneur Phil Romano, sits smack-dab in the middle of swanky Highland Park Village. It's cool to chow down on a greasy burger while watching shoppers stroll from Chanel to Dior.
The menu and interior of this spot feel basic, but the opulent environment makes for fun people-watching. The latest trend-followers order the half-pound Kobe Beef burger ($9.25), cheeseburger ($9.50), or bacon cheeseburger ($9.75) off the pricey section of the menu. For something less extravagant, try the basic half-pound beef burger at $5.95 or a cheeseburger at $6.25 (they're just as good). Little ones go crazy for the homemade chocolate, vanilla, and strawberry milk shakes ($3.50), not to mention the hot dogs. Speaking of that, watch out for soccer teams and carpools on Saturday afternoons and early evenings.
If you were sent to live on a deserted island, you'd want it to be this one. A person could happily live off these hamburgers forever.
Owners Ruben Sepulveda and Jaime Torres once worked at an Italian restaurant (Ruben was a waiter and Jaime a busboy). Tired of sweating for others, they pooled their dough and opened Burger Island.
The atmosphere in this Garland shopping strip impresses about as much as the green turf carpeting and mismatched plastic furniture in the diner. But we say who cares what a place looks like when the food is this outstanding?
Choose a half-pound hamburger, and load it with your choice of toppings. The Pizza Cheeseburger ($3.75) comes with grilled onions, provolone cheese, and marinara sauce. The Jungle Burger ($4.95)--one of the most expensive menu items--is served with sautéed onions, mushrooms, jalapeños, bell peppers, American and provolone cheeses, mayo, mustard, ketchup, hickory barbecue sauce, lettuce, tomato, pickles, and bacon.
To top it off, the hand-cut French fries taste so delicious they'll make you sing. A huge basket, more than enough for sharing, costs $1.75. Another favorite side item to try: Texas Toothpicks, slivers of fried jalapeño and onion that you can dip in Ranch dressing.
As if this all weren't enough, with an order of $10 or more, Burger Island delivers for free. They probably won't trek to a faraway island though.
Who's Who Burgers: 69 Highland Park Village, Dallas, TX 7205; (214) 522-1980. Burger Island: 1250 C Northwest Highway, Garland, TX 75041; (972) 686-8440.
This article is from the May 2004 issue of Southern Living. Because prices, dates, and other specifics are subject to change, please check all information to make sure it's still current before making your travel plans.