Highlights from the DIFFA Dallas Burgers & Burgundy Event

Burgers and wine. Isn't that enough?

I kid. There were actually a lot of cool reasons to attend this delicious event for DIFFA Dallas held at One Arts Plaza over the weekend. It gave quite a few local chefs the opportunity to do one thing and do it really well: craft a creative signature mini burger. Or lots of them.

For most, this opportunity worked out well. For one lucky bull terrier who caught one of Charlie Palmer's pork burgers, it worked out exceedingly well.

Also: Eating and drinking for charity makes you feel good. That was Chef John Tesar's plan when he helped come up with this event more than three years ago, and I tend to think he was right.

I told myself I was there to photograph the beefy beauties. I would only sample the two burgers that sounded or looked the best. Because it's important to have goals. Naturally, I tried four.

Burger Contestant #1: So I was obviously going to try the handsome duck burger that Chef Tim Byers from SMOKE came up with. I cannot resist le quack. Too bad I was just beginning to tuck it neatly into my mouth when I noticed a celebrity: Chef Aáron Sánchez from The Food Network. After nearly choking on the thick slice of pastrami seated high on that ducky patty, I quickly cleaned up and asked for a photo op. Luckily, he obliged. For real. Check my tweets.

A bit flushed (and not from the wine), I continued my quest for the best looking bites from around the One Arts fountain. On the way I snapped a quick shot of proud Chef Tesar himself, turned down drink after drink (I only have enough hands for my camera and my food items; no space for wine, sadly), and almost made myself dizzy walking around and around indecisively looking for my next burger victim. That's when I came upon...

Burger Contestant #2: As I said, I tried a few more. First there was Tei An's obvious ode to Vegetarian Awareness Month (or VAM), the Yaki-Soba Dog. It was certainly the most creative interpretation of the burger theme. I can't say I prefer it to the incredible soba they serve inside, but it was certainly worth trying.

Burger Contestant #3: After the noodle dog, I stopped and sampled the Screen Door's BBQ burger, which featured a deliciously thick pickle and a patty that was salty -- in a really good way. Halfway through that tasty burger, I stumbled across what I can only call the salesman at the Ranch 616 table. He was hard-selling their lamb burger. Hard. He was all, "Put down that there burger and tell me ours is better." So I was all, "Okay, but I plan to finish it when I'm done trying yours." From there it got awkward because though their pitch was intriguing the lamb was lame. So I tossed Burger Contestant #4 in favor of finishing Burger Contestant #3. Call me a bitch, whatever.

In case you care, here's what he was selling me on:

If I'd brought along a couple extra stomachs, I might have been able to sample all the chefs' creations that day, but alas, I had to play favorites. And I don't regret a thing. That bull terrier on the other hand ...

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