In the downtown area of Richardson, just off of Beltine on the little sidestreet called McKinny, is Del’s Charcoal Burgers. It initially appears to be little more than a hole in the wall burger joint, but a quick trip inside to the red-and-white checkered tables and the charcoal-fired grills in the kitchen reveals that this is no place trying to recreate nostalgia – Del’s has been serving some of the tastiest burgers in town this way for somewhere around 55 years.
And it has the four things off of the perfect burger checklist that may have been fabricated no more than thirty seconds ago by the person writing this: cheese, bacon, jalapeno and hickory barbecue sauce.
So let’s start there, with this amazing, revolutionary list. First up is cheese. For the first time since this column has existed, shredded cheese was present on the top of the burger. You would assume that this probably wouldn’t matter at all, but it’s actually pretty rad – if cheese can be rad (it can). The cheese melts so quickly that it every little bit of burger has a cheesy kick to it.
Number two on the countdown of great things that every burger needs to have is bacon. If you don’t like bacon on your burger, we would take the bet that you’re not from America. We’d also assume that you’re probably somewhat svelte and look nice in a pair of chinos. But yes, the bacon on the Texas cheeseburger was cooked well, a bit crispy, but not overcooked as to take away the flavor.
Number three on this fabricated list is jalapenos. In the opinion of everyone here at Burger Breakdown (me), jalapenos should be on every burger. Spicy equals tasty. The Texas cheeseburger has fresh jalapenos, which is roughly a trillion times better than any canned or jarred jalapenos. So with almost every bite you’re greeted with a fiery aftertaste.
And then there’s the topper, hickory BBQ sauce. It’s BBQ sauce. It’s delicious. The burger wouldn’t be the same without it. You could put it on a peanut butter cracker and you wouldn’t hear many arguments.
It’s not that Del’s serves a small hamburger – their patties weigh in at one-third of a pound – it’s simply that they know that a good burger is more than just the beef. And, as the name suggests and one look inside the kitchen confirms, all the patties at Del’s are cooked over a charcoal-fueled flame, and the patties are cooked to include a noticeable char.
A final plus to this burger is the price. You can get the Texas Cheeseburger for around the same price you can get a burger from America’s home for obesity, McDonald’s. You can’t beat that. And you probably won’t feel terrible for the rest of the day after eating the Texas Cheeseburger. Del’s does have a wide menu that goes beyond the bounds of burgers – BLTs, hot dogs and chicken sandwiches can be had, but their Texas Burger is the star of the show. For a very reasonable $7.50, it can be had with a drink and the fries.
Yes, it’s a small side-trip off the known confines of 75, but after 55 years, Del’s has this burger thing down; the nostalgia factor has merely come along with time.