Eats Beat

A prize-winning burger is back: The return of Original Chop House Burgers

Ten years and thousands of Ten Pepper Burgers later, the world has changed for the Original Chop House Burgers.

Chef Kenny Mills’ first burger grill has a new location. Yes, it’s the same Chop House that put Arlington on the Food Network map and on Guy Fieri’s “Diners, Drive-Ins & Dives.”

The new Original Chop House, 2502 Little Road, opens in a world where nearly every burger cafe has some froufrou topping like bacon jam or habanero honey or sriracha mayo.

Can the Original Chop House Burgers still compete?

Is it still as good as when it was a two-time DFW.com Burger Battle finalist?

You’d better believe it is.

On a quick visit this week, the Ten Pepper Burger was just as fiery and flavorful as on my first trip to the old Chop House Burgers on Park Row Drive, before an ill-fated move to Pantego.

The Ten Pepper Burger ($7.95) is exactly that, It’s a cheeseburger with traces of poblanos, jalapenos, habaneros, New Mexico chiles, chiles de arbol, ancho peppers, guajillo peppers, Tabasco and red and green bell peppers. The combination is a burger with a lot of flavor and a slight burn, but nothing Arlington can’t handle.

In a world of wagyu beef and Akaushi burgers, Chop House’s burger patty still had a home-grilled flavor, probably because the location was home for a half-century to an old-time Jackson’s Grocery & Grill.

Mills’ Original Chop House Burger is not $18 or $14. It’s a bacon cheeseburger with housemade steak sauce for $7.95, with fries $10.95.

The familiar Chop House favorites from the old Park Row locations are all here: The Blacken Bleu, blackened with blue cheese dressing; the Texican, like a taco burger with jalapenos, avocado and pepper Jack; and the Carolina, a beef-pulled-pork mix with Carolina-style slaw and barbecue sauce.

The Original Chop House Burgers is not related to the Dallas-based Chop House Burger restaurants in Fort Worth or Euless. Also, it’s not related to Mercury Chop House.

The Original Chop House is open for lunch and dinner Wednesday through Saturday, lunch Sunday, with another day to be added. The Little Road address is just south of Arkansas Lane; 682-213-2253, facebook.com/chefkennymills/.

Columnist Bud Kennedy is a Fort Worth guy who covered high school football at 16 and has moved on to two Super Bowls, seven political conventions and 15 Texas Legislature sessions. Since 1985, he has also written more than 2,000 “Eats Beat” columns about Texas dining, restaurants and food.
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