I have a quick confession: In all my years of living in Dallas, I’ve never been to a Dallas Mavericks game. This was my first time in the arena for anything related to basketball, and it was for a cheeseburger. I’m not sure if that’s embarrassing or not, but there I was, dipping heavily seasoned french fries into Sriracha cheese sauce in the belly of the American Airlines Center.
Just before high noon at the AAC, the Dallas Mavericks’ Justin Anderson and American Airlines Center executive chef Mark Mabry announced the birth of a brand new concession food called the “Just-in-Time Burger.” The burger, which is only available this month, sits between two slices of Texas toast seasoned with Old Bay. Shredded lettuce, chopped bacon, big slices of “vine-ripened tomato” (this was specifically pointed out) and a deviled egg aioli are in there too. The french fries, also seasoned, are served with a Sriracha-spiked cheese sauce. It’s 12 bucks, and it’ll be sold at concession stands around the main concourse and Platinum Club.
It is the burger-brain child of Mabry and Anderson, who was on hand to give a live taste-testing of the burger. “The burger is phenomenal,” Anderson said after delivering a Food Network-esque review of the burger’s structure. On the placement of the thick-cut tomato on the bottom: “No one wants anything sliding out.” I hate that too! To make sure, the burger is skewered through the center by a toothpick bearing the head of a cherry tomato. You don’t want your burger exploding onto the back of someone’s head at the AAC. That’s when you get punched in the face.
Anderson was passionate about the Texas toast showered with Old Bay, referencing the way delicious, delicious crabs are prepped in Maryland. I was secretly hoping, upon hearing the description, that the deviled egg aioli would jump through the burger like the Kool-Aid man, but Old Bay dominated the flavor. Seriously: They were not kidding around with the Old Bay. It’s all over that buttered Texas toast. Together with the vine-plucked tomato, I might argue this sandwich would be a better BLT over a burger. But hey, this is my first time playing burger basketball. Anderson also encouraged folks to take a burger selfie at the game, tagging him.
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Would it be cool to suggest adding the hashtag #ILoveMyOldBay? Just me?