First Look: Liberty Burger in Dallas

Onion rings at Liberty burger.

The gourmet burger trend in Dallas just keeps on rolling. Liberty Burger, a sleek new spot at Forest Ln. and Inwood Rd., is a burger joint with an eco ethos. “Without quality, there is no value” is their motto. They offer burgers made of all-natural chuck, brisket, and tenderloin meat; grass-fed bison without antibiotics, stimulants, or hormones; and an interesting veggie burger made with vegetables, chickpeas, grains, and seeds. Bread is custom, purveyors are mostly local, and the packaging is compostable. There is a huge live oak tree by the self-service menu. You have to hug it before they take your order.

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The brain behind the burgers is Mariel Street, daughter of veteran restaurateur Gene Street. Ms. Street has created an order-at-the-counter-and-seat-yourself concept and added a touch of table service. If your soft drink runs dry, someone is likely to come by and refill it for you. Ditto for your wine glass. Yes, they serve beer, wine, a few spirits, and frozen margaritas.

Airy buns and thin meat patties.
Melted cheese creates soggy bun.
Sweet potato fries have a crunchy coating.
One inch of rich chocolate filling covered with almost four inches of soft meringue.

I sampled two burgers: the Chillerno($6.50), a beef burger with queso blanco, roasted poblano pepper, and barbecue sauce. The flavors were great but the queso blanco  melted to liquid and the bottom bun was soggy. There was maybe a tablespoon of sauce on it. My friend’s Wild West($7)—beef patty, cheddar, applewood-smoked bacon (somebody get a new wood for smoking bacon), pickles, onions, and barbecue sauce–was way overcooked.

The onion rings are, like someone I know, world-class and cheap: $4 for a nice platter of thick cut sweet onions in a crunchy heavily peppered batter (ask to have them cooked crisp). A side of freshly sliced sweet potato fries ($2.50) are, like another person I know, thick and salty in a good way. I found the personal meringue pie to be more meringue than chocolate filling, but lots of folks like it that way. I will go back to sample the caramel and sea salt custard shake. Or maybe the Nutella and graham cracker version.

The place was packed by 6:30PM. The crowd was a mix of families (kiddos in pjs!), older couples, twenty somethings, and nice looking geezers. I lied about the tree in the restaurant.