Food & Drink

Luscher’s ‘Uncle Herky’ is sheer burger bliss

The "Uncle Herky" Burger at Luscher's Red Hots in Dallas on Friday, May 22, 2015
The "Uncle Herky" Burger at Luscher's Red Hots in Dallas on Friday, May 22, 2015 Special to the Star-Telegram

Located mere steps from Pecan Lodge, Dallas’ venerable temple of barbecue, Luscher’s Red Hots is primarily (and rightly) known for chef Brian Luscher’s knockout Post Oak Red Hots.

The delicious hot dogs, evoking Chicago-style dogs tucked into poppy-seed buns and piled high with fresh toppings, are well worth making the trek to Deep Ellum, but this week, we have come to praise a different corner of the menu. As I noted in my review of Luscher’s Red Hots last year, the “Uncle Herky” burger is — ahem — “burger nirvana, in a city with no shortage of phenomenal burgers.”

What was true then is true now: Uncle Herky remains one of the best burgers available in North Texas, a veritable edible thrill ride.

The burger: The Uncle Herky burger ($9; adding a couple strips of peppered bacon runs $1.50) offers a lot of bang for your buck: a thin pair of Local Yocal Wagyu beef patties, creamy American cheese, “prepared” mustard, fresh mayo, grilled onions and horseradish pickles on a seeded bun. It’s everything that’s necessary, nothing that isn’t, and there isn’t an extraneous ingredient to be found.

The patties: The Wagyu patties were perfectly cooked, with just a whisper of pink through the middle, and wonderfully juicy. Most impressively, the flavor of the meat was not overpowered by the other toppings featured on the Uncle Herky. (That’s a lot trickier to pull off than it would seem.)

The bun: The seeded, lightly toasted bun held together from first bite to last, maintaining its integrity despite the juiciness of the patties and the myriad toppings.

The toppings: The American cheese melted perfectly, working together with the mustard and mayo (the Uncle Herky might be the only time I can think of that it’s acceptable to include mayo on a burger), grilled onions, house-made horseradish pickles and peppered bacon. It was tangy, creamy, meaty and zesty — a perfectly composed symphony of flavors in every bite.

The sides: The Uncle Herky can absolutely be consumed on its own, but your pleasure will multiply if you pony up $2 for Luscher’s fries, which are dusted with salt and seasoning, with the right ratio of crispy to fluffy. (There are also a couple varieties of cheese fries, as well as sweet potato fries and onion rings, if you’re so inclined.)

The verdict: Not to sound like a broken record, but the Uncle Herky burger is one of the best you can find in North Texas. Yes, it’s a bold claim, but your first bite (and, let’s be honest, every bite thereafter) will only serve to reinforce that statement.

Luscher’s Red Hots, 2653 Commerce St., Dallas. 214-434-1006; 11 a.m.-8:30 p.m. Monday-Wednesday, 11 a.m.-10 p.m. Thursday-Saturday, 11 a.m.-8 p.m. Sunday.

Preston Jones: 817-390-7713, @prestonjones