Born from renowned pitmaster Aaron Franklin’s barbecue prowess and Uchi founder Tyson Cole’s knowledge of Asian ingredients, Loro started in Austin in 2018. The Asian smokehouse launched its Dallas outpost last summer in Old East Dallas (and will open in the former Flying Saucer location in Addison sometime this fall). Inside its extended houselike structure on Haskell Avenue, Loro traffics in half-sheet pans filled with such goods as baby back pork ribs that have been slathered with red curry and tamarind and smoked three to four hours. But its signature burger is probably the best entry-level eat. Take it from chef de cuisine Mike Perez: “The burger is the gateway to Loro.”
- A Pretty Patty
- Now That’s a Jam
- The Secret Sauce
- Pickles & Cheese
- Pillow-Soft Bun
The meat itself consists of chuck and brisket trims. And then, says Perez, “we grill that over our pretty badass Grillworks,” imparting a nice char from the flaming-hot post oak coals. It all translates to fatty, crispy goodness.
“For the brisket-onion jam, we actually take parts of the flats of the brisket. We chop that up and cook it down with some brown rice vinegar, some sugar, and caramelized red onion,” Perez says. “I just wanna eat the jam by itself.”
“You get this sweet smokiness from the jam and a little spice from a jalapeño aioli,” Perez says. Shallot, garlic, onion, and jalapeño are puréed and cooked down first, “because we don’t want that sharp ‘Texas chili cookout contest’ flavor.”
House-pickling turned out to be too labor intensive, so now Perez gets his pickles from a guy in Austin. The cheese was decided by a blind tasting, with Perez’s favorite cheddar being roundly defeated by Muenster.
Many buns were tested in pursuit of the squishiest bread with the ability to stand up to this hefty burger. The winner was brioche, which imparts a bit of buttery sweetness to each bite. “It’s just a really super good bun,” Perez says.