Saddled up to the bar at Dalat, I experienced a number of burger firsts.
Hot bowls of noodles shuttled out of the kitchen under a big dragon that's tattooed on the wall, and a guy at the bar sang along to A-ha's "Take on Me." I ordered the T&A Vietnamese Burger, which is probably named after the letters T-N-A in Vietnamese (Note: I was confused about this for way too long).
The burger is all pork, fried to a buttery crunch, and comes banh mi-style with crisp carrots, thinly-sliced jalapenos, cucumbers sticks, and a perfect amount of mayo. It also arrives with a side of scalliony broth, and chunky wheat chips that were seasoned like a salty bolt of lightning.
Dalat's burger illuminated a number of burger experiences that I've never had before. So, here's my list of burger firsts, courtesy of Dalat VietNAMerican Comfort Food:
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- First time I've eaten a Vietnamese burger - First time I've had a burger that came with a side of broth - Why is this the first time I've eaten a burger where the patty was as long as the banh mi bun? We need more long burgers. Shut up, Burger King. - First time I've dipped a burger in broth and then shouted "Give me all the broth" - Someone ordered a shot called the Sex on a China Beach, which is the first time I've heard that. I want one? - I smashed the wheat chips on the burger half way through. So, I guess it was the first time I've regretted not smashing wheat chips on my burger at the beginning of eating said burger. - First time eating an all pork burger that was not dry and had that great, griddled crunch. - It was not the first time the Lady Friend has said, in a weirdly surprised tone, "Man, you ate that whole thing," but it was the first time it was said about a Dalat Vietnamese Burger. - First time I've had a burger that had shaved carrots, and then wanted more shaved carrots, everywhere.
Dalat's banh mi bun is flaky, chewy and has just enough rich mayo to make the burger addictive. The jalapenos added heat that wasn't overwhelming. It's great -- maybe one of Dallas' most interesting burgers.
Dalat's burger is also eight bucks, which means you can order 18 of them for less than two hundred dollars. Which is really good! In the future, I'm going to bet 200 dollars that this burger is even better after midnight, so may want to peel yourself out of the Whataburger line (or get both?). Dalat serves their full menu until 2:00 a.m., so I'm going to guarantee it's worth it. It's a future burger first.
Dalat is at 2537 N Fitzhugh Ave, Dallas, TX 75204.