This isn’t your typical “best burger” story. I like my burger list the way I like my burgers: juicy and rare. The kinds of burgers that require a two-handed grip in order to climb to the pinnacle of burgerdom. The kinds of burgers that make you salivate your way into Pavlovian mode before they arrive. Few foods are as iconic as the hamburger, so in honor of May being National Hamburger Month, I’m going to tell you where to find the best burgers in McAllen.
Bodega Tavern & Kitchen – 2901 S. 10th Street
High-quality, meaty marvels seem to follow Chef Adam wherever he goes, and since the doors opened at Bodega Tavern & Kitchen, his Bodega Burger has been the number one entrée on the menu. It may read as if it’s built like your classic burger, but this roundhouse-kick-to-the-face assembly of flavors is anything but basic. A 10-ounce ground chuck and brisket patty anchors the hefty sandwich. Add house-cured, house-smoked, salty, crispy bacon along with jammy tomatoes and caramelized onions covered with a slice of melted Texas Jack cheese to meld it all together, and you’ve got yourself a masterful sandwich that’s sure to make your salivary glands work overtime. This punch-you-in-the-mouth sandwich is the Chuck Norris of hamburgers.
House.Wine & Bistro – 1117 U.S. 83 Business
You can’t go wrong anything on the menu at this upscale-casual bistro, but if you don’t try the Pork Burger, you’re going to have to live with that regret. If that’s a burden you’re willing to take on I’m okay with it, but the construction of this burger is like a symphony that nails every note. Its song starts with an all-natural, 7-ounce Compart Duroc pork patty and the crescendo builds from there. Its smoky-salty sound comes from the crispy, applewood bacon while the onions and green apples caramelize in perfect unison. The brie joins in nicely and the slightly-bitter arugula chimes in right on cue. Top it off with a jalapeno bun and toss in a choir of hand-cut, shoestring potatoes and you’ve got yourself a hit that would make Beethoven jealous.
The Orchard Lounge – 1101 U.S. 83 Business
The best discoveries come after pain-staking, goal-oriented, thought-provoking work, and some are just on accident. That’s kind of what happened with the Concha Burger at The Orchard Lounge. It wasn’t invented there, but when brothers, and chefs, Adrian and Bobby Cruz showed up with a bag of fresh-baked Mexican pastries they decided to try out this mythical meaty invention they had heard of. It starts with a handmade patty of ground beef and house-made Mexican chorizo that gets a hefty layer of crispy bacon to go along with a perfectly fried egg, but it’s the bun that brings it all together. Its cloud-soft concha bun soaks up the savory chorizo juice and adds the perfect amount of sweetness that lingers in your mouth after every flavor-packed bite. If this sandwich could speak it would tell you everything that’s right about a South Texas Sunday brunch burger.
Copper Moon Bar & Grill – 315 W. U.S. 83 Business
Copper Moon made its debut this month, and it’s definitely a buzz-worthy eatery. It’s the new kid on the block, but when you serve made-to-order Japanese beef burgers you will earn respect quick. I zeroed in on the list of meaty masterpieces as soon as I opened the menu and went straight for the Juicy Lucy. Wagyu beef is the star of The Juicy Lucy show, and it’s stuffed with a generous helping of cheddar cheese in its rosy-pink center. This inevitable gusher of meat juices is the cheeseburger to end all cheeseburgers, and its buttery-soft bun leaves nothing behind. The other toppings merely play cameo roles in this epic screenplay while its hand-cut fries serve as extras on the stage.
Taqueria Los Brothers – 10 N. Broadway – McAllen Food Park
McAllen’s food truck scene is booming, but if you think Taqueria Los Brothers is just another taco truck, you’re wrong. Los Brothers dishes out the best Mexican Burger north of the Rio Grande. Its beef patty blend has the perfect fat-to-lean-meat ratio dolled up with creamy slices of fresh avocados, juicy jalapeños and a fried egg in a toasted bun. It’s not a hamburguesa without a slice of ham though, and Los Brothers fries up a supreme slice of pig so delicious the only thing you can say between bites is “Orale!”
It’s your duty as an American citizen to celebrate National Hamburger Month this May. Forget about your diet for one day and give one of these meaty marvels a try. Your stomach will love you for it, but your waistline on the other hand, debatable.
Sign up for the Nine To Five Guy Newsletter below and be the first to find out about the latest blogs!