There’s a lot to love about co-owners Craig Brundege and Brandon Horrocks’ gourmet burger joint located on McKinney’s charming downtown square. That is, except for the actual hamburger patty. Using locally raised grass-fed meat from Genesis Beef, the patties were cooked a perfect medium as promised. But, to me, the meat was too dense and bland, lacking the marbling necessary to produce a mouth-watering burger. It’s the usual argument about corn-fed versus grass-fed beef. Regardless of one’s opinion, bland beef is bland beef. And that’s a shame, because the rest of Square Burger’s fare is ambitious and delicious. Besides the hard-to-forgive listless patty, my High Society burger featured wonderful, thinly sliced prosciutto, aged balsamic vinegar, roasted red pepper relish, and fontina cheese. A rich Old Rasputin Imperial Stout barbecue sauce rescued the bacon and smoked cheddar barbecue burger. The blue cheese burger benefited from a tangy caramelized onion marmalade. With more flavorful meat, these would have been excellent burgers. Thankfully, Square Burger does more than traditional beef burgers. I loved the smoked salmon burger with its Atlantic salmon patty—ground and made fresh each morning—topped with slices of smoked wild king salmon and a yogurt dill sauce. The Colorado lamb burger was an exotic treat seasoned with garam masala and topped with tzatziki and crumbled feta. House-cut fries and tempura-battered onion rings were crispy perfection. Heck, Square Burger even serves each sandwich with a fried pickle spear. A talented kitchen that creates a knock-out cinnamon citrus fritter with orange chocolate ganache fights hard for my love. But is the rest of the menu strong enough to overcome Square Burger’s patty problem? Three words: fried pickle spears.

For more information on Square Burger, visit our restaurant guide.

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