Thursday, May 10, 2012
Burger review: Goff’s Hamburgers in Dallas
This burger is good. It’s just not for everyone.
Hamburger versus hot dog. It’s a dilemma almost every American has faced at a cookout. You can’t eat both; you’ll look like an unrepentant glutton. Well, there’s good news for you: Dallas burger institution Goff’s has solved this dilemma. They combined them both, and for good measure they threw some chili on top of the whole thing.
Goff’s is no secret hideout – in fact, there are two in Dallas – and is in fact one of the more legendary burger stops in Dallas. Its original location has served all sorts of SMU students and Park Cities residents since 1950. Its walls are decked with every kind of old Dallas photo you can imagine. Local heroes such as The Von Erichs and Doak Walker are also featured throughout the restaurant along with photos of '50s-era Highland Park football teams.
Originally, this was going to be a comparison between last week’s excellent burger from Off-Site Kitchen and “The Deal” burger from Goff’s. But to be honest, there are few comparisons between the two. It’s like comparing Parks and Rec to Two and a Half Men. Sure, both are television shows, and comedies at that, but a deeper look reveals that they are two completely different animals.
On one hand, the Off-Site burger/Parks is more complex, every ingredient/actor plays an important part to the burger as a whole. On the other hand, the Deal/Men is basically three ingredients/actors smashed together, hoping for a great taste/laugh. On both the burger and the show, they somewhat succeed. So basically, they take a patty, hot dog, and chili and load it on to a bun and hope for good things. And it becomes a popular success.
Anyway, before this starts sounding sounds like a rant against Ashton Kutcher’s money train, let’s get to what the Burger Breakdown is supposed to be about: an overall solid burger from a legendary Dallas establishment.
The Deal is essentially a combination of two other items on the Goff’s menu, the Hickory Smoke Sauce burger or #2, and the Frank Cheese Goffpuppy (hot dog) or #6. It’s a lot to handle. It starts with a patty cooked on a charcoal grill. Thoroughly grilled, the burger is presented with a slight char to it. It’s pretty juicy and definitely the best part of the meal. The patty is then topped with a large hot dog. The dog is cut in half and placed on the charcoal grill, insides down. The grill marks on the meat are very noticeable and give the dog a nice look. But a burger topped with a hot dog is not enough; clearly, more meat is needed. The final ingredient is chili, and there’s a lot of it. With every bite of the burger the chili is dripping out all sides. This may not be a bad thing for some people, but if people are stopping in for a quick lunch, this sloppy burger is probably not going to be the best option.
As for the other parts of the burger, well, they hardly matter. The bun is browned on a separate griddle, but its only purpose is to hold the whole thing together. It gives a valiant effort, but in the end it fails. It’s easier to eat this thing with a fork. There’s also some shredded cheddar cheese, ketchup, and chopped onions on the burger, but they’re hardly noticeable when competing with the meaty stars of the burger.
Don’t get it wrong: This burger is good. It’s just not for everyone. This is not a gourmet burger, it’s more of something a stoned SMU student might long for while playing video games in his or her dorm room. Or, perhaps, while watching Two and a Half Men.
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