Dude Food: Burgers of the Northland
Noah W. Bailey
JG's Old Fashioned Hamburgers
12101 Greenville Ave.
Dude Factor: 9, or James Garner , on a scale of 1 (Ike, Taylor or Zac Hanson) to 10 (Wayne Coyne)
Amigos, I have a confession to make. To me, anything north of Royal Lane might as well be Oklahoma. But since I've had some car business out that way recently, I've been able to sample some of your fine Okie cuisine.
Yesterday I took a rare trip down 635 in anticipation of eating at Burger Spot, a new joint in Lake Highlands. I'd been there once already, but I was without my highly scientific Dude Food analytics equipment, so proper measurements were not taken. Unfortunately for me, Burger Spot decided to be closed on the first Monday I've had off in ages, so I was left with burger cravings and no burger.
Luckily I had that shake-out-a-restaurant app on my iPhone, which led to me stumbling into JG's. I'm not sure how I've missed this place in its 20-plus year existence -- I'm gonna blame its unfortunate geography -- but from all the clippings on the walls I could gather that at least a few D magazine writers stopped by in the mid-90s. (Apparently this guy beat me by 24 hours or so, too.)
The topping bar that greets you at the door was a good sign -- I hate having to complicate my order by requesting the removal of vegetable matter -- and the surprisingly crowded dining room also led me to believe I was in for some good grub. I'm not sure where all these people came from, though; I swear there were a least 30 diners but only four cars in the parking lot.
I ordered at the counter and took my number to wait at a table, where I used the wait as an opportunity to admire the antique store-decor, which featured antique stoves, plenty of tin signs and the obligatory high school football posters. When my number was finally called at the counter, I found my bacon cheeseburger to be a thing of beauty, with a perfectly buttered-and-toasted bun. Instead of melting the cheese on top of my burger patty, J.G.'s just placed a slice of pepper-jack on top of a pile of bacon. My fiance's burger came in the standard cheese-on-patty configuration, so maybe I just got lucky, but damn -- I think I'll make all my bacon cheeseburgers this way from now on. With all the buttery, smoky, spicy flavors co-mingling in my mouth, I felt a little like I was eating some kind of meat gobstobber cooked up in Willy Wonka's lab.
I was the one responsible for smashing the bun. The burger was so handsome it was making me feel insecure, so I lashed out.
Noah W. Bailey
J.G.'s doesn't just mail in the fries like a lot of other burger places, either. They actually keep boxes of potatoes in the dining room so you can see the origins of these hand-cut beauties, among the best we've sampled in Big D. The next time I'm headed up to Winstar or something, you can bet your ass I'll be back.
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