Burger Battle Round 3: Johnny B’s vs. Dutch’s

Posted 7:57pm on Wednesday, Jul. 31, 2013

Mustard region results below. Click Ketchup, Bacon and Pickle for those Round 3 results in the judges’ bracket.

Voting in our Readers’ Bracket is now open.

Johnny B’s vs. Dutch’s

(4) Johnny B’s, 2704 E. Southlake Blvd., Southlake vs. (2) Dutch’s, 3009 S. University Drive, Fort Worth

At first bite, Johnny B’s and Dutch’s might not seem to have much in common. One’s a Southlake flat-patty master. The other specializes in Fort Worth gourmet gut-busters.

But look beneath the buns — sweet sourdough at both places — and you’ll find delicious similarities. Johnny B’s and Dutch’s are proudly independent burger-and-shake shops that have distinguished themselves among a murderers’ row of chains and burger titans. Both are true to their schools, too. Johnny B’s bleeds Southlake Carroll green; Dutch’s honors legendary TCU coach Dutch Meyer. And, lucky for us, both were in top form when we judged this epic Mustard Region final.

At Johnny B’s, the meat on our bacon double cheeseburger was seared beautifully, glistening like a swimsuit model. The American cheese was so artfully melted you’d swear Michelangelo was back there flipping burgers. Tightly constructed with white paper partially wrapped around the delicious sweet bun, Johnny B’s burger delivered a symphony of flavors with each bite — salt from the meat and cheese, smoke from the bacon and jalapeños, and a cool breeze from the ripe tomato and smear of Thousand Island dressing. A flat-patty burger cannot be executed much better than this.

But at Dutch’s, they do burgers big, rich and luscious. Our half-pound hickory BBQ & bacon burger was steak-quality, and cooked with just the right amount of pink inside. Honestly, if we had just eaten the beef and the pillowy bun we’d have gone home happy. But a sweet hickory sauce crashed the party, drowning the savory flavors of beef, bacon and jalapeños and overwhelming an otherwise terrific burger. A partially melted piece of American cheese was our only other quibble, but when compared to the melted masterpiece at Johnny B’s it was an unforgivable sin.

We also tried chili cheeseburgers at both spots and found similar results: the beef on Dutch’s was impeccable, but the complete bite was less memorable than Johnny B’s Dragon Burger, with its three patties, tangy chili that complimented the beef, and a triple-shot of that heavenly cheese.

Winner: Johnny B’s

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