Bread, toppings, dressing, meat, cheese – the debate over what makes a finger-licking burger has continued to be a discussion in Dallas among foodies and bloggers for the past few years. And restauranteurs have given us, what seems like, dozens of options to add fuel to the Best Burger in Dallas fire.

Well, here’s another log for the pit.

East Dallas foodies and burger enthusiasts can rejoice for the newest addition to Casa Linda, Dugg Burger, a joint who’s unique offering is not the meat, gourmet cheeses, special sauces or a variety of toppings, but a simpler approach – they’ve “dugg” a well out of the top to provide more space for all the toppings. It’s the simple things that make the biggest difference.

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Patrons can order items a la carte, or you can choose a combo complete with a fries and a drink ($10) or beer ($13). And the menu is pretty simple too. Beyond their choice of cheese – American, Cheddar and Pepper Jack – customers don’t have a lot of options to sort through. Once you walk into the door, a Dugg employee has placed a 1/4-pound patty on the grill that will be ready for the carved out Village Baking Co. bun by the time you pay for your food.

The customized and personal part of this whole experience is the 12 toppings that are on display, the Dugg Dozen. These toppings range from the usual culprits, lettuce and tomatoes, to more “gourmet items” such as sauteed mushrooms and a special “Dugg Sauce” that reminisces of Thousand Island dressing with a kick. Every couple of days, or weeks, they rotate the “Lucky 13th” topping, which was a parmesan crisp during my visit. Each of these toppings is included in the price, so don’t be afraid to pile them up high like I did. No judgement here.

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Within minutes of sitting down, our combos were brought out to the table and the inspection began. Would my burger fall apart after the first few bites or would the cleverly-designed well do its job?

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To my surprise, the latter was the outcome. I got a little taste of all of the toppings and well-seasoned meat with each bite. And I didn’t need many napkins to wipe off the sauce that wasn’t dripping down my fingers and hands. The accompanying shoestring french fries were pretty basic, but if you dip them in the Dugg Sauce, it takes them to a whole different level.

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Perhaps the most interesting part of this whole meal was the fact that I didn’t feel stuffed and bloated like a Thanksgiving Turkey when I finished the entire combo. I was satisfied, but not uncomfortable, which was probably attributed to the fact that there wasn’t as much bread to consume and digest. I’m diggin’ the Dugg.

If for some reason, however, you’re still missing out on those carbs, the smart folks are maximizing every piece of product by taking the leftover bread and using it as the base for a delicious bread pudding. The 50-year old family recipe is served “muffin-style” with a caramel sauce. I tend to like more sauce on my puddin’, but feel free to do what you think is best. The previously mentioned satisfied feeling had vanished as soon as I devoured ate the bread pudding. Oh well.

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The only downside to their simple concept is that they don’t have many options for vegetarians besides a “cheese” sandwich which can be “beefed” up with some of those Dugg Dozen. (You guys already know, that’s a no go for me.) Also, If you’re looking for a non-beef option such as a turkey or chicken, you may want to try some of your other favorite burger joints in Dallas because Dugg doesn’t have them.

Other burger spots are located in Uptown, Downtown and other parts of central Dallas, which was why Jeff Braunstein, one of Dugg’s founders/owners, said they choose East Dallas so that they could connect with the families and organizations in the community. And after only three weeks of operation, they seemed to be doing just that. Dugg Burger is a perfect spot for families with small children or for burger lovers like me who don’t mind driving to the eastside of the city. I’m diggin’ the Dugg.

 

(Disclaimer: I was provided with a complimentary meal, and all thoughts are my own.