The Star-Telegram checked out every restaurant at Texas Live! Read other reviews here.
Just because a celebrity’s name is on a restaurant doesn’t mean it’s good, so I was a bit skeptical when I learned (along with a lot of other reporters at the same time) that former Dallas Cowboys quarterback and NFL Hall of Famer Troy Aikman would have a restaurant inside Texas Live!
Turns out it might be my favorite thing there.
Burgers are the highlight of the menu, ranging from a relatively traditional bacon/caramelized onion cheeseburger (that’s available at other Texas Live! restaurants) to such items as the Lamb Merguez Burger (a lamb patty with harissa yogurt, oregano-roasted tomato and garlic pickles). We went for the aforementioned bacon-cheeseburger (ordinarily $12.95, but we lucked into an $8 lunch special on it) and the Korean BBQ burger ($14.95), a beef patty with bulgogi glaze, kimchi, onion-daikon slaw, kimchi mayo and Korean barbecue sauce.
Burgers are cooked medium unless you request otherwise, and the bacon-caramelized onion one came out pretty close to a perfect medium. Bacon was generous and crispy and kinda dominated things, not that we had a big problem with that. Caramelized onions didn’t have a lot of bite but added a little extra texture. Lettuce, tomatoes and onions were served on the side — no pickles? — and stayed on the side, as the burger itself didn’t need much help.
The food did come out kinda slowly on a not-very-busy afternoon, though, and we wondered if that had to do with the Korean burger being requested medium well. The whole Korean burger had great flavor and spiciness, and the daikon slaw added an appealing crunch. Tip: You may notice that the burgers on the menu are numbered 1-9 — with no No. 8, Aikman’s QB number. But there is a No. 8, an off-the-menu special that changes regularly. Ask what the “Ocho Burger” is that day.)
Burgers come with crisp, nicely seasoned fries (they were similar at a few restaurants, which share some kitchen space). We subbed a side salad for the fries on the Korean burger, paying an extra buck for something that was virtuous but unexciting. A bread-pudding dessert ($6.95) was tasty enough, but its weak texture made it unexciting despite not being virtuous.
Two iced teas ($2.50 apiece) took the bill up to $39.10 before tip (which is about what you’d pay for a similar meal at Cheesecake Factory). Wings, bar food (including some twists, like tuna poke nachos), some non-burger sandwiches (cod banh mi looks interesting) and a couple of vegetarian items (including a burger with a house-made veggie patty) are also available. And Troy’s scored one of the nicest restaurant patios at Texas Live! Doesn’t hurt to have a Hall of Fame name slapped on the restaurant.