Best of Dallas has arrived, and in addition to arts, culture and music picks it's filled with more food than your stomach could ever hope hold for the rest of the year. I should know because I ate all of it.
I love each one of those picks, much like parents say they love each and every one of their children. But the thing is, we all know our parents were bullshitting us. Your older brother got better grades, was better at sports and fractionally earned more of your parent's affection.
So if you twisted my arm, and really made me pick the best of the Best of Dallas, I would unequivocally choose Boulevardier, which makes Dallas' best burger. It's just one of those food experiences I know will be with me for a long, long time and the Oak Cliff restaurant deserves the award in spades.
So how did I pick it? How do I know that Boulevardier's burger is the best in all the land? It wasn't voodoo, and I didn't have a card reader or a chakra expert assess my spiritual alignment along the way. Instead, I ate an absolute shit-ton of burgers over the past three years I've lived in Dallas. Actually, looking back on it, the amount of burgers I've consumed is thoroughly disturbing.
I've learned a thing or two on my burger adventures. One is that the satisfaction I derive from consuming a burger is usually inversely proportionate to a burger's popularity with the masses. I didn't get along much with the prom king at my high school (he was a nice guy, though) and I've had trouble attaching any superlatives to the Angry Dogs, Maple and Motors and Burger Houses of the world. Some of these popular burgers are fine enough, sure (and some of them really sucked) but there's just no way they're the best of anything other than at pulling some heartstrings. I like a burger to fuck with my heart in other ways.
Another thing I learned is that the Texas-style burgers I had a hard time loving when I first arrived in Dallas will actually grow on you after you eat enough of them. It could be something akin to Stockholm syndrome but I'm requesting yellow mustard on my burgers more than I ever expected I would, and Keller's, Lakewood Landing, the long lost Club Schmitz and other old-time favorites have left an indelible mark on my love for the art form.
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The best burger, though, has to excel at many criteria. The patty has to be thick and meaty -- this is, after all, a celebration of Texas' favorite animal: beef. It should be cooked how the customer requests it with the same accuracy that's afforded a steak and it should be charred and blackened from the lapping flames of a grill. The bun should be able to stand up to all that beef without swallowing it whole and condiments and toppings should each add something without distracting us from all that wonderful meat.
Boulevardier accomplishes all of these things and then some. The burger is big and girthy enough without being overwhelming or disproportionate, the toppings are curated perfectly and it's just so goddamned delicious it's competing with some of the most sticky Texas food memories I think will be with me forever, most of which involve brisket.
It is without a doubt Dallas' very best burger. And while it lacks the value of the more pedestrian burgers that have gained popularity around town, I don't care. I'd pay just about anything to eat it. If you want to consume a burger that eats like an event, I suggest you try it.