A few weeks ago, we broke down Dallas' 10 best burgers. The first few were easy to rattle off because, after last year, we're actually made of burger meat now. Going forward, you will address us as "Burgers King." Several of the burgers are iconic classics, others are new entries from thoughtful chefs. The other night, when glaciers of rain cut through the Dallas skyline, I stopped by Brian Luscher's new fire station, Red Hots, for what should be --- as soon as damn possible -- the 11th entry to the best burger list.
Red Hots hasn't been open long, but there's a feeling in the air when you walk in. The feeling is something like: I Could Pick Something from the Menu Blindfolded and Be Happy. The source of the glowing feeling probably emanates from the menu, which includes a chorus line of hot dogs, pork stuffs, a gyro, Italian beef, and the "Uncle Herky" burger. Also, you can add giardina for a dollar. Also, you can "make it a basket" for about three bucks more (comes with fries and creamy napa slaw), which also might be the source of the hot awesome glow from the place.
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First, let's be clear: the Uncle Herky burger must have been borne of some majestic and dark evil. Something Tolkien-esque. Very good double Local Yocal waygu patties are loaded up with American cheese -- it came melted to the paper in a desperate attempt to get me to eat paper -- mayo, and grilled-down onions. All is placed in a bun that's soft enough to be buttered sky. A shower of sesame seeds on the bun, and a few horseradish-spiked pickles provide extra notes. I added peppered bacon. With the bacon, the burger came to 9.50.
The burger came fast, hiding away in some crinkly paper to stay hot. And it's clear after one bite: "Uncle Herky" is special in Deep Ellum. It's an immediate icon with American cheese. Everything's been carefully crafted to sledgehammer you with the great, singular qualities of a burger: Seasoned, good beef, hot and melted cheese, decadent mayo, and a tangle of buttery onions. The double patties were a size in between paper thin and thick, juicy, and treated deftly (pink ran through both patties).
This is a fantasy burger, and it's blazing evil. A few bites in, I was certain I needed to keep this burger secret and safe and take it on a two-year trip to drop it into the fiery mouth of a volcano. No else can know what this burger can do. In fact, can you just not tell anyone? Let's keep this one off of national lists, so no one knows how good it is. Whatever you do, do not tell Guy Fieri. Let's keep this a Dallas secret, somehow.
On the way out of Red Hots, I cast a burger spell over the front door: All who are burger friends should enter.