A turkey burger is always a high-risk gamble: The probability of a turkey patty setting your hair on fire with its greatness, at most restaurants, is about the same likelihood as SETI receiving the broadcast of a thumbs-up emoji from a distant planet. A turkey burger is the menu item that fools the hunger lobe of your brain into thinking you actually want it. Most often, a turkey burger is desert skeleton-dry or blandified with store-bought condiments. It’s almost impossible to find one that you actually crave.
Then, there’s the S&A burger from State and Allen (which delivers, by the way). On a recent afternoon, I’m on the patio Uptown, slicing my hot sandwich down the center. Tall, crispy, salty fries sit in a metal cup next to it near a halved dill pickle.
The burger is crafted with a meticulous mind. The seared-off patty is topped neatly with buttery wild mushrooms, a Gouda blanket and just enough aioli to keep your pupils dilated. A toasted brioche bun softly encapsulates the sandwich. It’s juicy. It’s one of the most no-bullshit, delicious turkey burgers in Dallas.
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What makes it so good? The patty is hand-formed, with a “pesto-like” puree of herbs like green onion and parsley and mustard, including a punchy stone-ground seasoning made with pepper and fresh garlic, executive chef Rhett Dukes says. The delicate patty is placed on a hot griddle alongside the brioche for a sear. The aioli is a fresh mayo made in-house.
“Gouda pairs perfectly with mushrooms,” Dukes says. And it’s certainly true for his version of the non-beef burger: The Gouda melts into the mushrooms and provides that earthy umami flavor.
Turkey burgers are a gamble, but you can take comfort at State and Allen: It’s a turkey sandwich for all seasons.
State & Allen, 2400 Allen St.