Dude Food: Hunky's
Dude Factor: 7, or "30th birthday" on a scale of 1 (65th birthday) to 10 (21st birthday)
The hamburger is a staple of the dude diet. This wonderfully versatile sandwich can range from a simple 99-cent meat, bun and ketchup value-menu offering to double-digit-priced gourmet burgers made from Kobe beef. Hunky's land's squarely in that sweet spot on the continuum between edible and overpriced.
Since moving to Oak Cliff, I've visited the place several times and never been disappointed. On my family's most recent visit, tables full of bearded, burly role models proved I'm far from the only dude who loves the joint.
It was my son's seventh birthday, which became something of a moral dilemma for us when we read the kids' menu: it was for six-and-under.
Seven seems about the right age to introduce dude food into the diet, but an unreasonable financial burden to place on parents. Then I remembered my dad's handy excuse: you're not actually, say, seven years old until the following day, because the birthday marked the last day of being six years old. Valuable advice, which I've used on every birthday since--except one.
So, along with his chicken strips and fries, he got a chocolate milkshake. I ordered one of the daily special, which turned out to be an avocado and Swiss burger on a whole-wheat bun with lettuce and tomato--practically health food, if you ask me. To compensate, I added a chocolate malt and fries to my order.
The burger was comfortingly simple, cooked about medium without much seasoning--very meaty. The "avocado" turned out to be guacamole rather than the slices of unprepared avocado I expected, but that was fine by me. It was a generous slathering--along with gooey melted Swiss, a juicy mess. Just as it should be. I must have gone through half a dispenser of napkins...although some of that was a cost saving measure. Cheaper than going to Albertson's.
I must admit, I was a bit embarrassed that my daughter's order--a chili dog--outclassed my son's in terms of dudeliness. It made me almost reconsider the wisdom of enrolling him in dance classes.
Perhaps it's for the best that the kids menu is no longer an option, at least at Hunky's.
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