I Don't Know What's Happening at So & So's, but the Burger Is Amazing

It comes with bacon shallot aioli, which is the best three words
It comes with bacon shallot aioli, which is the best three words
Nick Rallo

A few feet behind the bar at So and So's is a deer wearing a bright red t-shirt. Playing cards are stuck to the wall like they were sprayed on, and nearby a S&S logo has a single, sheathed knife below it. Also behind the bar: A tiny giraffe is sitting on keys of a piano that looks like it was found in Titanic wreckage. Like the Gap-clothed deer, the giraffe looks deep in thought sitting on the rotten keys.

I have no idea what the hell is going on at So & So's, but it is good. Cocktails, like a Pimm's Cup, are on draft. Chicken and dumplings come with Parmesan gnocchi, there's a boat load of pizzas (including a breakfast pizza with sausage gravy?!?), and a painting on the Easterly wall of two Colonial-style boats chasing each other in shafts of sunlight. It's like someone plucked bits of restaurants around the globe, shook them up in a wooden barrel and dumped them into Uptown.

Medium rare is rare
Medium rare is rare
Nick Rallo

The Lady Friend and I ordered a Caesar salad, chicken and dumplings, and a burger. The Caesar came like a steakhouse salad, with bouqets of Romaine, crisp baguette and awesome piles of Parmesan Reggiano with black pepper. Our staff critic has been eating here lately and will have a full review next week, but for me a lot of this was punch-own-face satisfying.

The reason for my visit -- that burger -- was immediately special. It comes on a Challah bun with a slathering of bacon shallot aioli, which are the best three words I've written in a while. I asked for medium rare and it was the most spot-on medium rare I've gotten since the burger at Knife that ruined previous burgers. A rush of juices flooded the wooden cutting board, right up to the pickle. You can see the glorious meat swimming pool in the photo. I wanted to wrap my arms around the deer and engage it in a Jane Austen-esque dance as a teary-eyed thank you.

Excuse me, sir! Excuse me! Can I get the fried okra please? Si--why isn't he answering?
Excuse me, sir! Excuse me! Can I get the fried okra please? Si--why isn't he answering?
Nick Rallo

When ordering medium rare, it's always a gamble. I love a medium rare to have a gradient from blackened to deeply red center, and So & So's center was blackened on the outside and red enough in the middle to entice vampires. Three very happy things hit you with the first bite: 1) salty crunch 2) smoke 3) juice. The challah bun added a soft richness to a burger loaded with texture (I disagree with Leslie Brenner's burger one-liner in her review). Add the smoky bacon aioli, and it's one of the best burgers in Uptown right now.

I honestly have no idea what's happening at So & So's. It's the restaurant version of the Island of Dr. Moreau. One of things on the menu is a Chili De Arbol Pickle, which has the description "Movie Theater Style a Kick." There's also hamachi crudo. I think there's a stuffed mongoose below the deer. I don't care. It's all madness, but in the best possible way.

So & So's is at 3309 McKinney Ave, Dallas, TX 75204.

Stoic deer is pleased you ordered the burger
Stoic deer is pleased you ordered the burger
Nick Rallo

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