Village Burger Bar opened its fourth location on Inwood in north Dallas just recently, and I stopped in yesterday for a look – and a taste. I had been to the location in West Village numerous times and always appreciated the skinny fries and what Jules Winnfiled would call a “tasty burger”. But there is so much more to Village than burgers, and it emanates from the talented hands of its chef-owner Susan Matta. While husband Mike Matta is tops when it comes to brand development, it is Susan that makes her way around the kitchens creating new ideas and flavors.
The Matta duo opened their first location in West Village back in 2005. Susan Matta explains, “Our business model is simple. I am the chef/co-owner and responsible for the menu development along with all recipes. I acquired my passion for food and cooking from my mother and grandmother. Mike is the co-owner/business and brand developer. In his spare time he is also a commercial pilot.” Together they make a great team that allows each of them to express their individual creativity and work to bring their customers the best product possible.
The new location comes with a few unique features, including a play area for both kids and adults alike on the covered patio that is replete with ping pong tables. The wall of nineteen taps includes many local favorite beers, and other interesting selections from around the state. You will also notice a much larger dining room than the other locations. The Inwood Village Burger Bar is also considered a R&D platform, and this is where you will find interesting specials that might possibly make their way onto the permanent menus for all locations.
I started my luncheon by ordering the Village Dip. With the first bite of the volcanic hot and bubbling dish I was hooked. This stuff is like crack, and I thought to ask Susan what was in the dip. She wasn’t budging. It is a family secret, and her lips were sealed. The dip makes a fantastic cheesy condiment for the burgers and for kicking up the fries. This stuff is mandatory for each visit.
Also pretty special are the variety of fries. Again, made skinny with a delightful crispness, you may order the standard potato or the a very good version of the sweet potato. I am not typically a fan of the fried sweet potato as they lose their crispness quickly, and there is nothing delicious about a soggy fry. But these are different. You may also order the sweet potato with a drizzle of honey for that added yum factor. Also on this realm are the house-made onion rings. There is no substitute for a fantastic onion ring. I like mine with mustard, but there are several dipping options including a slightly spicy creamy sriracha, jalapeno mayo and an artichoke lemon aioli.
There are a group of salads on the menu that should not be overlooked as well, including the very popular Baby Blue which is overloaded with oranges, strawberries, blue cheese and sweet and spicy pecan halves. The Cobb looked wonderful.
All this would be nonsense if Village din’t make a spiffy burger, and they actually do. We included Village on our top burger list earlier this year for a very good reason, they are well constructed an taste phenomenal. The beef is made from a combination of tenderloin, chuck, and brisket that is never frozen and hand formed. The interesting blend is flavorful and meaty. Order your burgers however you wish with a large variety of add-ons, or you can choose from one of the many cheffed-up burgers on the menu. There are also several turkey burger options which are equally as tasty, and a veggie friendly Goat Cheese and Portabello. They even have a gluten-free bun option.
Don’t miss the desserts. Yesterday Matta had a fantastic caramel apple pie in the wait, but you can always go with the warm cookie ice cream sandwich option. For just a few dollars, the sandwich is addictive.
I am still craving that Village Dip.