For Lower Greenville’s understated little bar Dallas Beer Kitchen, it’s been a state fair-ride of a year. Early into 2016, the bar shut down after construction laced its way across Greenville Avenue. Five days after shutting down forever, it reopened with different owners but still plagued by the torn-up streets directly in front of their door. In the following months, nearing the middle of 2016, they truncated the menu because food wasn’t moving. They cooked up a few five-buck burgers, including a double cheeseburger loaded with wickedly spicy chorizo and a raw jalapeño hot enough to remove body hair.
Now, the construction has finally eased and Dallas Beer Kitchen is bursting through the door like the Kool-Aid man.
They’ve got the cheeky chalkboard sign out front, happy hour and a new menu (as of late November) with more burgers and chicken-fried steak. One chicken-fried steak dish is called a Hot DBK, which I’m pretty sure is a solid '90s porn flick. The new menu also features brand new “fatboy” burgers: One is fried, which is their 68 percent beef and 32 percent fat patty encased in a crunchy chicken-fried batter.
The burger’s cooked on the flat-top, a slice of cheddar melted on, then it’s breaded twice and given a bath in the deep fryer. They spread Sriracha ranch on one side of the bun, mustard on the other.
Another burger is carpeted with a lattice-work of bacon (entitled the “I Love You Bacon Burger”) and one is covered in jalapeño gravy.
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I arrive just before 6 p.m., and I have the whole restaurant to myself, the strong smell of freshly cleaned tables in the air. The bar is certainly minimalist — group benches, a line of bar stools and a chalkboard announcing the beers on tap is all she wrote. I'm finding it impossible to ignore a sandwich “wrapped” in bacon (it’s a bacon burger present!) for $12.99. Prices have jumped since construction died.
The I Love You Bacon burger shows up with stacks of onion ring cones, which appear wondrously crispy. The bacon lays over the burger like the best carpet ever. Dallas Beer Kitchen’s really swinging for the fences. They’ve even got the plate dusted with chopped green herbs, which yells “we’re fancy!” so loud a blood vessel bursts. Unfortunately, the bacon is paper-thin and not adding the crunchy flavor I’m expecting. The burger, on the other hand, is juicy and cooked to a spot-on medium rare. Tomato and lettuce balance the bacon’s flavor. Onion rings are, as they appeared, deeply crunchy and get a 10 out of 10 on sauce dip-ability.
In construction mode, Dallas Beer Kitchen’s $5 burgers made for one of the best deals in the city. For over 10-buck burgers, finely paved streets outside and parking returned, the deal’s less impressive (their 5-buck burgers are still available on Mondays). Still, it’s hard to not to be impressed with DBK’s deep fried resolve.
Dallas Beer Kitchen, 1802 Greenville Ave.