Tuesday, September 28, 2010

The East Texas Battle of the Burgers

Man alive! A Jucys Hamburger joint is opening up right by my house. I will now begin the process of weight gain. And so close to the holidays. Lucky me as I just bought some new jeans.

If there was ever a weakness in my diet, it's the cheeseburger. A nice grilled piece of
ground beef covered in cheese placed nice and neat on a toasted bun with mayo and mustard. Add some crispy bacon, you can't leave out the bacon, and some jalepenos and you'll be ready for your two o'clock nap in no time.

To add to the interest of my many sociological observations, Tyler has now become
the battle ground for three burger icons. And I'm going to call it like I see it so if you have a favorite, just ignore my comments all together.

It is important to give some color on each of the players before I begin as they are all great warriors in this soon to be burger battle. And to start, we'll go to Highland Park smack dab in the middle of Dallas, Texas.

Last year, a Burger House franchise was purchased and opened in Tyler. Burger House
began on Hillcrest right next to SMU and is a staple to the Highland Park community. During the Summers, it's stacked with barefoot children crowding in to get their grilled fix along with a homemade shake. The special ingredient on these burgers as well as their fries is the garlic salt. An item that took some getting used to for me when we lived in Dallas.

Now let me say this about myself as it's important to this key ingredient of garlic. I'm a country
kid and not a city kid. I was raised on burgers that were not seasoned at all. In fact, the only seasoning an old fashioned burger relied upon was the flavor from a well seasoned griddle. There's just something about that griddle that leaves an unmistakable flavor that I have never been able to forget.

When we lived in Dallas, Burger House was literally three blocks away so as soon as I would
mow the yard on Saturdays, I would hit it. Af first, it wasn't my favorite burger. It was surely not what I was used to and you might say it was an acquired taste. But once polished enough to enjoy it, it was a double double with chili that packed the digestive system which set me up to finish with the weed eating and edging.

Next on the dock is the newly opened and very popular Smash Burger that broke ground earlier
this year and will open in another location on Broadway fairly soon.

Smash Burger started in Denver, Colorado and there isn't a lot of history associated with it.
It's what they would call a concept restaurant and it focuses primarily on a more high brow gourmet burger with fresh cut items like avocado and chipotle sauces. Even the shakes are made with Hagendause which is like the Mercedes of ice cream.

It's a great burger and deserves to be appreciated as like with most great food, someone took
the time to push it to a different level. But hey, we're talking about a cheeseburger here.

Which brings us to the fat boy on the corner.

Jucys has been around since I was a kid. There was always a heated debate between Butcher Shop and Jucys when we went to Longview and if you sided with my mother, it was Jucys every time.

Jucys is comfortable. Jucys is what I grew up on with a deep seasoned griddle taste in the roof of my mouth. Their fries are fresh cut and the ice cream is Bluebell. It's nothing fancy which fits the way I prefer to eat a cheeseburger. That is not to say that I don't appreciate fine food but a cheeseburger is a cheeseburger. It's like wearing jeans most of the time. Yea, you'll put on a suit to go to church or to a meeting but as soon as it's done, you're back in the denim.

The battle of the burgers here in Tyler is just beginning and it won't be long before the cows start kicking.
But when all is said and done and the world gets back to normal, my money is on Jucys for the long haul. It's what I grew up on and most likely, it's what you grew up on.

I'm out of here. They just called my name at the window.

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