Our Best of Dallas® 2012 issue is rolling out on the newsstands and online today, chock-full with our recommendations for great places to eat, shop and drink. This being The Election Year That Never Ends, we've package them all up in a nifty election theme, including debates between staffers over certain picks -- discussions we're sure you'll find way, way more enlightening than other debates coming up in the weeks ahead.
Don't think so? Then read on as restaurant critic Scott Reitz and Managing Editor Patrick Williams square off on the vital question: Who has the better burger, Bolsa or Off-Site Kitchen.
See also: - All of Our 2012 Food and Drink Winners
Scott: I've leveraged my engineering background to develop a quantified means to determine the very best burger in Dallas. After examining enough burgers to raise my cholesterol 20 points in a single year I've determined that Bolsa is undoubtedly superior in terms of juiciness, size, bun freshness, price and a wildcard variable that's not so measurable: style.
At 11 bucks, Bolsa's burger packs a wallop, but it's not so big it will put you out of commission. And while fried spuds are the expected companion du jour, Bolsa pairs their meat patty up with a nice tangle of greens, dressed with restraint and accented with dried cherries and almonds. It's almost healthy for you.
Patrick: Oh, my. Where shall I begin in crushing your sad, Romney-esque, 1-percenter arguments? Engineering background? Engineers are the guys who spend their formative years living on Cheetos, Mountain Dew and cold Domino's pizza, so I'm not sure that's the background you want to leverage, foodwise. Twenty points on your cholesterol levels? Son, I'm a portly, sedentary, 50-year-old newspaper guy. My aorta is stuffed with more cholesterol than your entire bicycle-riding body. I've eaten more burgers than you have square inches of tattooed flesh on your carcass, and that's a lot. Don't even get me started on your sissified use of French or your reference to healthiness when talking about a burger. (Is "almost healthy" the same as "not quite toxic?)
Cherries and almonds? Oh gawd damn. Were they out of cre�me fraiche and white truffles the day you went?
As our beloved former President Bill Clinton (a man who knows his burgers) recently said in another context, this debate can be settled with one word: arithmetic. Off-Site Kitchen's Stock burger is $3.75. Your Euro-burger is $11. Off-Site: Fresh bun. Delicious, fresh-ground U.S. of A. cow parts. AMERICAN (God bless her) cheese. Eleven - 3.75 = enough for a six-pack of Bud. I win.
Scott: If I'm Mitt Romney then you're a radical anarchist, and if you think I'm a 1-percenter we really need to revisit payroll. Best cannot be evaluated in terms of cost alone. Bolsa's beef is ground in-house from organic cow parts, and the juice from one Bolsa patty could easily inundate three Off-Site kitchen buns. Plus, why don't you just admit what really matters? Proximity is a huge factor when you never leave your desk, and Off-Site Kitchen is dangerously close to Observer headquarters.
Patrick: Best cannot be judged by cost alone, but it's a pretty darn good place to start. Hardworking, real Texas-Americans know the value of $7.25, since that's about what most of them make per hour.
As for me not devoting time to trekking to Oak Cliff for lunch, that's 'cause some of us around here are just a leeetle too busy to take a 90-minute lunch break with all those bicycle-riding, gluten-free hippies.*
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Let's just summarize the awesome-tude of Off-Site: great-tasting burger, amazing price, doesn't require one to zip off on his Aye-talian scooter for a 90-minute lunch. And any cherries in the joint come in pies, like the Lord intended.
As for style, Off-Site's ground, all-Angus chuck roll and shoulder, in addition to being delicious and cooked to a turn, is served by friendly ladies in cut-offs and ball caps. Friendliness is very important. Yeah, friendliness.
Scott: Oh. I forgot about the ladies. Is it too late to take my pick back?
*It's worth noting that Patrick is Scott's boss.