First Look

Bobbers Burgers and Whips Opens inside The Exchange at AT&T Discovery District

Bobbers Burgers and Whips is at the back of The Exchange, inside what could one day be a fantastic food court.
Bobbers Burgers and Whips is at the back of The Exchange, inside what could one day be a fantastic food court. Lauren Drewes Daniels
Bobbers Burgers and Whips recently opened in downtown Dallas. (And, no, not like you’ve been bad so you're getting spanked kind of a whip. Dole Whip. Calm down.)

The entire AT&T Discovery District in downtown really can be stunning. The vibrant 104-foot media wall on the side of the building at Akard and Jackson Street can be a crash-worthy distraction driving past. The large open green spaces on the plaza are reminiscent of a European garden. The selfie opportunities are endless.

For now, and the past few months, Jaxon’s, the large indoor/outdoor bar and restaurant at the back of the space, has been bouncing right along. But adjacent to it the food hall, The Exchange, has understandably been slow to fill in over the past year.

A bar and coffee shop are at the front of The Exchange. Rise and Thyme is open for breakfast and lunch. And now there's Bobbers tucked in the back of the food hall. Otherwise, the big space is mostly empty as, presumably, other vendors, which include Revolver Taco, Monkey King Noodle Shop and The Dock, get their ducks in a row. Tellingly, there are about 10 “now hiring” posts on The Exchange’s Facebook page. Once this place gets fully stocked and staffed, it should be great.

But Bobbers Burgers and Whips opened recently, coincidently on National Burger Day.

The name "Bobber" is a reference to a motorcycle stripped down for speed. The menu here is pretty simple; burgers and hot dogs made with locally sourced meats, including Beeman Ranch wagyu and Luscher’s Red Hots. The Bobber ($5) is the most basic burger on the menu and is made with a quarter-pound of Beeman Ranch wagyu beef cooked over a grill and served with lettuce, tomato, onion and bobber sauce.

There are five other burger options and a “custom mods” menu that allows one to add all the usual accouterments, like grilled mushrooms or onions, queso, guacamole, a fried egg, chili and so on.

click to enlarge The Rebel at Bobbers comes with pimento cheese and their bobber sauce. - LAUREN DREWES DANIELS
The Rebel at Bobbers comes with pimento cheese and their bobber sauce.
Lauren Drewes Daniels
The Rebel ($10) comes with a thick layer of pimento cheese, pickle, tomato and bobber sauce. The warm pimento cheese seeps off the burger and is a lovely little mess. The fries ($3) are crispy (even after a car ride home) and come well seasoned. While I waited, a couple of orders of the loaded fries smothered in queso, bacon and pico de gallo pass over the counter that looked indulgent and fantastic.

The Red Hot Pipes menu offers a few hot dogs made with either Luscher’s Post Oak Red Hots or 44 Farms all-beef hot dogs. We tried the Route 66 Dog ($7) topped with chili, cheddar and pico de gallo. The smokey rich flavor of Lusher’s dogs is far beyond what most folks call a hot dog.

A strong player on the menu is the house-made queso which can (should) be added to just about anything. Bobbers also has a Dole Whip machine, which is a vegan pineapple soft-serve treat that was first served at Disneyland and is now having a moment.

While waiting for your food, you can (should) hop over to the bar for any number of beverages, including local craft beer. There are plenty of tables to choose from inside or outside on the patio.

No idea what the hours are; perhaps on brand with a bobber theme — the most-stripped version of itself — they have nary a bit of social or online media. But they were opened at about 6 p.m. last Friday. That's all we can confirm.

Bobbers Burgers and Whip, 211 South Akard St (Downtown, The Exchange at AT&T Discovery District)
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Lauren Drewes Daniels is the Dallas Observer's food editor. She started writing about local restaurants, chefs, beer and kouign-amanns in 2011. She's driven through two dirt devils and is certain they were both some type of cosmic force.