Village Burger Bar
5700 Legacy Dr., Plano
We love our chains, don't we? Not the fast food giants, but those with a more original feel--Taco Diner, Houston's, Mi Cocina and Village Burger Bar amongst them.
What drives this popularity is a certain level of consistency. People know--hopefully--such places aren't the best. But at least they know what's coming. So when it comes right down to it, there's nothing much wrong with the burgers at Village Burger Bar. They cook the patty to a point well within the medium range, as promised. The toppings are straightforward American favorites, such as Swiss cheese. And they offer happy hour beer specials.
On the other hand, I can think of few reasons to recommend the place--unless you happen to be in Legacy, West Village or Watters Creek.
Why not? Take the Swiss burger: a fine patty is undermined by gooey mushrooms and cheese noticeably lacking in bite. The bun provides little substantive support, with a slick coating over a pointless, airy mass.
But that's a critic's assessment. If sitting down for a quick lunch or after work meal, there's nothing off-putting about their sandwiches. You just won't remember much about them.
Of course, that might be a good thing.
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By Dallas standards, Village Burger Bar's shoestring potatoes rank pretty high. Though not crisp, they at least hold their shape without sagging. And the kitchen shows remarkable reserve in seasoning. Sweet potato fries, on the other hand, receive the tricked up 'flour dusting' treatment.
If there's a big plus, it's service. Well, maybe service is the wrong word. When you approach the counter, you're greeted with a smile. When they bring the burger to your table, it's also with a bright flash.
In other words, they make you feel welcome.
On the downside? In the previous iteration of this space--The Counter--the menu listed 'burger bowls'--a bun-free patty surrounded by whatever toppings a guest could desire or dream up. Now there's just the "specialties": Swiss, chedder, blue, turkey...