I've been poring over local-restaurant news while trying to lay out my restaurant-review plan for the rest of the year, and the list I've compiled is strangely void of burger restaurants. I couldn't be happier.
Don't get me wrong. I love burgers. (Especially this one.) But there are only so many feelings one can have, so many words one can use to describe a charred hunk of ground beef tucked inside a white-bread bun.
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My own personal pains and cholesterol score aside, the few burger joints that are opening tell an interesting story. Look at Rodeo Goat, the rodeo-themed burger joint that opened in Fort Worth last year by the owner of the Meddlesome Moth Shannon Wynne. The first location of the Goat is doing well, but the second is dangerously close to other restaurants that serve notable burgers. Not only does Wynne's own Meddlesome Moth serve a decent burger in the same neighborhood, but the proposed site for the second Goat is a short walk away from Off-Site Kitchen, a burger spot that turns out some of the best burgers in the city.
Hopdoddy has been well received in two locations in Dallas now, but the next restaurant is expected in Addison, the burger-chain capital of the universe. Same goes for Kenny's Burger Joint, which is also opening in chain-heavy Plano. Then there's Eureka, a California-based burger chain that's dropping a location in the West Village.
Not only does this restaurant have to contend with Village Burger Bar and Sir, a recent spin on the old Ketchup Burger Bar, but it will also have to compete with a new restaurant trend that's only gaining momentum. LYFE Kitchen and Buda Juice are peddling the juicy burger's arch nemesis, healthy fresh and vibrant food. It's almost unthinkable that one trend could replace the other, but with at least a subset of Dallas diners it's absolutely happening.
Even if all of these burger restaurants make it (I can only think of one or two that have closed) the slowdown in burger-restaurant openings is palpable. Every market tops out and burgers have been enjoying growth since the economy first went sour. It's been a long run, but diners have to be hungry for something else, and some new innovative restaurateurs should poise themselves to set that next trend. For the love of pant sizes, let it not be burritos.