There are noticeable stages to burger disappointment. The first consists of the childlike giddiness that occurs in the moments before ordering a double cheeseburger. Like those of a kid putting a quarter into an old arcade game, hands preemptively tighten into a burger-holding grip (to simulate, form the letter “C” with both of hands facing each other). The last stage is the instant whispered regret when signing the check. Why do bad burgers happen to good people?
A couple of years ago, I went through all of these stages of burger sads thanks to the double burger at Mesero Miguel (what it was named at the time) on Henderson. Two patties, dry as a desert mirage, were stacked on top of each other and cooked well done. The burger was cut in half before being delivered. Insta-burger regret occurred. It’s got to be one of Earth’s great food letdowns.
Now, I’m at Mr. Mesero on McKinney, Mico Rodriguez's sister restaurant to Mesero, and feeling the endorphins flood in — those are endorphins, right? Are my pupils supposed to dilate? I'm feeling warmth all over, and it wasn't from the Terminator 2 level nuke-heat in Dallas. The Rose Burger connects.
Two slices of American, not yet melted, are parked between well salted patties. Crunchy iceberg lettuce, fresh as the rain forest, tops the beef in neat stacks. There’s sliced-thin tomato (my tomato at Mesero Miguel was unmanageably big at the time) and equally thin pickle.
The burger patties are seasoned enough to be addictive, like good potato chips.
No fuss surrounds the burger; it’s free of perfunctory aiolis. A single ketchup cup comes with it, but save it for the fries. The bun is soft, a thin ring of char running around it that provides a delicate crunch. There’s a confident simplicity here. The cheese melts, making its way into those well-seasoned patties. Never a bad thing.
For a summer burger, Mr. Mesero is a solid choice: It’s sized in a way that won't destroy you. Don't get me wrong — all the naps are needed, but the burger won't weigh on the gut, make it feel heavy and weird like a boat anchor covered in barnacles. I enjoyed the whole thing, at a breezy table around lunchtime, dipping a few fries in ketchup and feeling the warmth wash over.
There are fewer let-owns as sharp as a bad burger. Mr. Mesero's version soothes all wounds.
Mr. Mesero, 4444 McKinney Ave.
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