Rich Vana
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BurgerFest: Chop House Burgers

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The Ten Pepper Burger at Chop House Burgers is just one of the creations Kenny Mills will be bringing to BurgerFest on September 21 in Deep Ellum. (Photo by Rich Vana)

The Ten Pepper Burger at Chop House Burgers is just one of the creations Kenny Mills will be bringing to BurgerFest on September 21 in Deep Ellum. (Photo by Rich Vana)

As Dallas’ largest celebration of grilled, beef-laden, bun-contained sandwiches looms on the horizon, we take the opportunity to introduce the vendors and the creations they’ll be offering at BurgerFest 2013. Three at a time, we’ll describe the restaurants and the burgers they’ll be bringing to the table on September 21 in Deep Ellum. From lamb sliders to beefy mushroom melts and blue cheese-bacon concoctions – not to mention paleta and ice cream vendors alike – Dallas will have the opportunity to try some of the best burgers the area has to offer, all while listening to live local music and maybe downing a local beer or two. And it won’t cost a penny to come – just bring a little scratch for the burgers, which will be sold either in quarters or in slider form to facilitate a mixed and varied sampling. To keep up to date with BurgerFest, follow us on Twitter and Facebook!BurgerFest

It is I-30 that takes us most of the way from Dallas to Arlington where we find Kenny Mills at Chop House Burgers. Mills, who opened the spot nearly three years ago. Since then, he has been making burgers worthy of national attention, making it onto Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives. Chop House Burgers is a casual, order-at-the-counter restaurant, with large-pattied burgers ground in-house with special blends of ground beef and topped with accoutrements that vary from traditional to innovative to straight-up belt busting. The Texican features jalapeño ground into the beef, while the Carolina Pork Burger mixes in smoked pulled pork. A portobello and veggie burger include options for the less carnivorous, while the Pizzoli - topped with house-made tomato basil sauce, sautéed red and green bell peppers and crispy mozzarella – presents an enticing option for those who couldn’t decide between pizza or burgers.

In fact, there are so many options that Mills has decided to bring two different burgers to BurgerFest this year – the Chop House Burger was, of course, one appropriate choice. The burger features char-grilled ground beef slow roasted brisket mixed with it, house made steak sauce, apple wood bacon and smoked cheddar cheese. But for those with a more pepper-intensive appetite, Chop House’s Ten Pepper may be their preferred method of pepper consumption: a ground beef mixture of jalapeño, habaneros, Anaheim, New Mexico, de Arbol, red and green bells, poblanos, anchos and crushed red peppers are topped with pepper jack and served with Tabasco mayo.

“It’s actually not that spicy – more flavorful than spicy,” says Mills of the  creation. “The red and green bell peppers are a lot of it, so really it’s a lot of vegetables with a nice, mellow heat to it.

The Chop House Burger, made with smoked brisket mixed with the ground chuck - is the signature offering that Mills will be bringing to BurgerFest on September 21 in Deep Ellum. (Photo by Rich Vana)

The Chop House Burger, made with smoked brisket mixed with the ground chuck – is the signature offering that Mills will be bringing to BurgerFest on September 21 in Deep Ellum. (Photo by Rich Vana)

“The other one – The Chop House Burger – is our signature. We slow cook the brisket, cool it, chop it up, mix it with some ground chuck and cook it on mesquite wood and top it with applewood bacon. You get a nice chew with the brisket ground in there and you get the flavor and smoke from the bacon and cheese. It’s not overly smoky, but it’s a nice, mellow burger. The sauce really makes it – it’s a homemade steak sauce we make here.”

And on September 21, they’ll be bringing it all to Deep Ellum. No I-30, no traffic. Just peppers, smoked brisket burgers and mesquite-grilled patties – all on Main Street and in bite-sized portions.  

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