Last week, Food & Wine magazine listed what it considers the 25 best burgers in the nation. The nation, okay? So, I'm thinking cattle-speckled Texas has got to be on their fancy list, based on the odds of landmass alone.
Plus, there are some pretty solid chefs in the southwest who know their way around beef. Say, for example, Tim Byers, who was just crowned "The People's Best New Chef" by Food & Wine. Or perhaps Tesar and his (ex) burger at The Commissary, or Nick Badovinus at either NHS Tavern or his new spot Off-Site Kitchen. Maple & Motor, Twisted Root, heck since In-N-Out made their list, I'll throw Whataburger out there too. (Our Dallas favorites are here.)
Well, there was one lone Texas burger on the list. And probably no where near where you thought it might be. Because unless you were thinking of Buffalo Gap, Texas, you were wrong.
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Perini Ranch and Steakhouse is by no means a no-name in the state's culinary scene. Each April some of the nations best chefs hit the cow-trail toward this tiny town that sits just about smack dab in the middle of the state for a wine and food festival. Stephan Pyles cooks and last year Jacques Pépin was the special guest for the event that sold out in two hours.
Owner and chef Tom Perini opened this steakhouse that serves "Southern style comfort food" in 1983, but the ranch has been in his family since 1952. The restaurant is in a converted barn with relics from the railroad and an old blacksmith shop that was on the property.
Buffalo Gap is a three and a half hour drive west of Dallas, and they even have a Sunday brunch. Reservations are highly encouraged for the spot Food & Wine deems as the only Texas burger fit for its top 25.