For Burger Week, we asked former City of ate contributor and King of the Taco Trail José Ralat-Maldanado to put down his crown and introduce Aters to Mexican-style hamburgers. For more of José's reports from Dallas' huge and growing taco scene, be sure to pay him a visit at The Taco Trail and follow him on Twitter.
You've probably heard of a taco burger, the Tex-Mexicanization of the beef patty with the addition of taco seasoning, salsa, Jack cheese -- maybe Fritos -- anything vaguely español. The remarkable thing is that Mexicans, specifically those living in the major urban center of Monterrey, have trumped the American (i.e., from a box mix or fast-food joint) taco burger. They have the hamburguesa estilo Monterrey (a Monterrey-style hamburger), a monstrosity of beef and pork from south of the border as varied as the burger or tacos are stateside.
The base is pretty much the same: a hamburger patty slapped with slices of ham and avocado. Some hamburguesas include Kraft singles. Others get gussied up with jalapeño and soy sauce. One might get bolillo (the crusty bread used for tortas). Another hamburguesa gets squeezed between two halves of a run-of-the-mill bun.
My hamburguesa is the trompoburger, a seven-dollar platter with a side of soggy, frostbitten fries served at Mi Tierrita Taquería y Pupusería, a strip-mall restaurant across the street from scary-on-the-outside, comfy-basement-hangout-on-the-inside dive bar Tradewinds Social Club.
The burger is composed of the typical beef, ham -- here, grilled -- and pasty avocado supplemented with salchicha -- sliced hot dog, a popular torta filling -- cheese, lettuce and tomato. Traditional condiments, mustard, mayonnaise and ketchup, amp-up the beast in a sesame seed bun. Then comes the topping that gives the foodstuff its heavy moniker: trompo (pastor prepared on the traditional vertical spit of the same name). Chewy, earthy with occasional citrus punches, the pork shines.
Alas, there isn't enough and I always catch myself dismantling the burger for potentially missed bits of trompo. I never uncover any. What I do find is a delectable synergy, much like the Sonoran hot dog, other border fare or the gastronomic chimera created daily in large cities. It also hits the spot after several stiff drinks at Tradewinds.
Mi Tierrita Taquería y Pupusería 2838 W. Davis St. 214-333-2300
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