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John Tesar, Brian Luscher, and More Dallas Chefs on Their Favorite Burgers

Where the city's best chefs go for a burger fix.

Luscher's Burger

The burger at recently opened Luscher's is mighty popular with local chefs already. [Photo: Whitney Filloon/EDFW]

If you're looking around for dining recommendations, you generally can't go wrong in asking a chef. After a long day of working in the kitchen, the magic of a greasy, juicy, delicious burger certainly isn't lost on them.

In Dallas, there are approximately one zillion burger joints to choose from, which is why we consulted some of Dallas' best chefs to see where their favorites are. If you've not yet made it to any of these institutions, there's no better endorsement than from a bunch of guys (and gals) who spend the vast majority of their waking hours thinking about food.

Chad Houser, Cafe Momentum

When he's not busy inspiring the next generation of culinary masterminds, Houser heads to Jack Perkins' much-beloved burger establishment Maple & Motor. When he gets up to the cash register, Houser orders it up pink in the middle and topped with grilled jalapenos and cheese.

Oliver Sitrin, Blind Butcher

He might be known for grinding up housemade sausages and making stellar charcuterie, but Sitrin is certainly a burger fan. When he's got the jones, Sitrin heads to sister restaurant Goodfriend for a straight-up cheeseburger. For a fancier burger, Sitrin hits up his next-door neighbor Remedy. "It's the bomb," he says.

Remedy Burger

The burger at Remedy. [Photo: Kevin Marple]

Jeff Bekavac, Neighborhood Services

When he's not chowing down on burgers at his own restaurant, Bekavac has a few favorites: "Right now, It's the Uncle Herky burger at Luscher's, Danyele McPherson's burger at Remedy, and of course, Maple and Motor," he says. Still, Bekavac is known to head over to sister restaurant Off-Site Kitchen with bossman Nick Badovinus to chow down on an old-school burger at least a few times a week.

Danyele McPherson, Remedy

An incredible burger maker herself, Danyele McPherson learned from the best during her tenure at The Grape. Always a supporter of her old boss, she heads to Luscher's for an Uncle Herky burger, complete with all that gooey cheese. When she's not feeling beef, she heads to Neighborhood Services for their non-beef options, and chows down on the salmon burger at The Porch.

John Tesar, Knife

Tesar isn't ashamed to admit that he enjoys the occasional Ozersky burger from his own steakhouse, Knife. When he's not filming for TV, cooking at Oak, and running Knife, though, Tesar heads to The Common Table for a cheeseburger. Most of the time, though, he says he's finishing off his son Ryder's leftover Sonic cheeseburgers.

Misti Norris, Small Brewpub

When she's not working with chicken feet and pig trotters at her own establishment, Norris heads to Maple & Motor, where she orders a cheeseburger cooked pink, (roughly medium, for those who aren't familar with owner Jack Perkins' ordering style). To accompany her burger, Norris orders loaded tots and a Lone Star, like a true Texan.

Maple & Motor Burger

A bacon and egg burger at Maple & Motor. [Photo: Lori Bandi/EDFW]

Brian Luscher, The Grape & Luscher's

His own burgers are a favorite of diners and chefs alike, but Luscher is pretty unequivocal about his favorite burger in town: "Dairy-ette, hands down," he says. When he's at this old-school East Dallas diner, Luscher indulges in a double bacon cheeseburger, onion rings, and fries that he's purloined from his daughter. He also firmly believes that no meal at Dairy-ette would be complete without one of those large frosted mugs of root beer.

Brian Zenner, BHRD Group

Zenner's favorite at the moment is the burger at Luscher's, which he declares "bad ass." Noting his bias, he's also digging on chef Rudy Mendoza's burger and fries at The Mitchell, BHRD Group's fancy downtown cocktail den. Ultimately, though, Zenner's burger happy place is at Off-Site Kitchen, where he orders the straight-up Stock Cheese and a PBR. Zenner says he prefers to leave the decisions up to the chef in charge: "I order the burger however they make it — I don't believe in substitutions."

Zach Brown, Goodfriend

Perhaps not unexpectedly, Brown says he loves eating his own ‘shroom burger at Goodfriend. When he makes it out to indulge a burger craving, Brown keeps it easy and simple with a cheeseburger — cooked medium — at Deep Ellum stalwart Angry Dog.

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