I can only envision how chef Brian C. Luscher sees the world. I am sure it is bacon lined, sausage filled, and burger-fied. This is a good thing. The man sticks with what he does best, and that is to bring a slice of Chicago to the good people of Dallas, Texas. He makes simply the very best hot dog in the state, and has a few updated tricks up his sleeve at his new restaurant, Luscher’s Red Hots located in Deep Ellum. The amount of media coverage has been so overwhelming that he apologized to his fans on Facebook. No apology necessary. Just keep doing what you do best, chef.
What Luscher does best is make those dogs, which are fresh, snappy and packed with flavor. Add a great bun, some Chi-Dog toppings, and everyone is at peace with the world. But that is not all Luscher does so very well. He already made what Texas Monthly pronounced as the best burger in the state at his other restaurant, The Grape. He has re-invented his version of the burger at Red Hots which includes two Wagyu patties from McKinney’s Local Yocal market, prepared mustard, grilled onions and horseradish pickles and American cheese on a bun from the local La Francaise French Bakery. Do not sneer at the American slice. It is the cheese of choice these days for its familiar melting flavor, and a proper ooze factor which makes guests gasp as they dissect the double wrapped burger. The burger’s bun is also given a grill treatment, seemingly for added flavor, but also to keep the integrity of the burger intact through the last bite.
On a recent visit I also enjoyed Luscher’s “Eye-Talian” Beef which is thin slices of shaved slow roasted Wagyu beef with garlic and spices stuffed in a French roll then dipped in jus and topped with giardiniera. This is a sandwich that is making the rounds in Dallas, and Luscher, of course, has perfected. Make this a combo for a buck more, and the man will add a sweet and hot Italian sausage to the mix. Sublime.
This brings us to the Uncle Jimmy, a sandwich which Luscher has been making at various events for some years now. I had my first Uncle Jimmy four or five years ago and exclaimed at that time he needed to create a restaurant serving just that sandwich. At the time Luscher grinned slyly and said something like “I will”. The Uncle Jimmy is a roasted pork sandwich with a sweet and hot Italian sausage that the chef makes himself. It is something that needs to be devoured to truly understand the genius behind the creation.
The star of Luscher’s show are his dogs and sausages. For a fiver you can get his house-made pork and beef smoked frank on a pain au lait poppyseed bun with piccalilli, white onions, Farmer Lemley’s tomatoes, pickled sport pepper and a line of spicy brown mustard. You may also order a bratwurst, a smoked sausage, a Polish, or the hot and sweet Italian that has been brazenly bandied about on various other creations mentioned above.
There are plenty of sides to choose from, including some awesome fries that are the hand-cut, thin and crispy variety. You can also find onion rings (why didn’t I order those, dammit), slaw, baked beans and more.
For now Luscher says that he will stay open until 8pm, but as the neighborhood expands he is willing to keep longer hours. As for me, I am counting the hours until my next Uncle Jimmy.