by Steven Doyle
The most common question I am asked is which is the best burger in Dallas. I have a love-hate relationship with this question as the answer is in constant flux. It is either the last burger I had, or the next one. But in all honesty, there are about a dozen great burgers in Dallas that I would crave. Actually, the list is broader if you account for all the great chef-driven burgers which, to me, is difficult to compare to a burger only joint. The burgermeister deserves his own list, his own hall of fame, his own glory.
To this end, I struck out recently once again to visit one of the best burgers in Dallas, Wingfield’s Breakfast and Burgers in Oak Cliff on S Beckley. The area is fairly industrial and the parking lot is tiny. Just a few parking spots are avialble, so people will park behind you maybe three deep. Somehow it all works out. There are no seats inside the building, so forget about dine-in. You will need to eat in your car (not recommended because the scent of the burger will waft for at least a week) or a nearby park, or on the hood of your car while you wait for the cars behind you to clear out.
Richard Wingfield, the proprietor, was my high school biology teacher at WT White. He also was the tennis coach and the bus driver. Industrious fellow for sure. You may still spot Wingfield manning the grill with great finesse.
There must be a science behind the great burger at Wingfield’s, because they are so particularly delicious. What begins as a giant wad of ground beef soon transforms into a massive, greasy patty packed with flavor. Ask for bacon and the man will deep fry your bacon to make a marvelous extra touch of flavor for that burger. Order a double and you in in some serious trouble and expect a dose of meat coma. Do a triple and drive straight to Parkland Hospital as you attempt to eat the burger because you will have some serious heart hiccups.
The method for ordering a burger at Wingfield’s is to mosey to the counter area in the front where, if they had seats, there would be room for three people. Today there were nine. And many more waiting for their orders in their cars outside. I paid for a burger and fries and waited in my car. It takes about 15 minutes to get your order, but you can call ahead.
When my order was called I opened the burger on the counter for all to see and was met with gasps of delight. I took a few snapshots of the burger before devouring, and a kind gentleman behind me said, “are you going to look at it or eat the son of a bitch.”
I grabbed the burger and ran to the car.
The burger weighed in at nearly two pounds with all the red onions and fresh tomato. The patty was a monster. As I bit in, I could taste that it was hand-molded and not packed tightly. It had a faint bacon taste that made me smile. The bun was over-sized, but nothing incredible. It was utilitarian. The bun held the burger like a warm handshake; firm with some authority.
Double Down for Meat Coma
Onion rings are the blessed art of a burger, but Wingfield’s also has some unusual fries. They appear to be straight from an Ore-Ida bag, but remember that bacon I mentioned above that was deep fried. Ahhh, yes. The fries taste like bacon. Genius. I told you Wingfield was a science teacher.