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Eats Beat: An old-school burger in Riverside

Posted 8:41pm on Tuesday, Nov. 12, 2013

A new Riverside burger stand is also a tribute.

Greasy Bend Burgers is George Palmer’s modern-day version of a small-town Texas burger stand, like Herd’s in Jacksboro or Morris Neal’s in Cleburne.

The burgers are small, thin, simple and fresh. What’s new is the choice of a portobello patty or toppings like fresh grilled jalapeños.

Palmer grew up in Cleburne and worked at Morris Neal’s, a 1930s-vintage stand known for the smell of grilled onions wafting through the courthouse square.

“All the old-timey burger places in Fort Worth are gone,” Palmer said, describing Greasy Bend as a grill with “no TVs, no Wi-Fi — there’s nothing to do here but eat good burgers and talk to your neighbors.”

He really loves burgers and sees Greasy Bend as sort of a burger museum. He wants to line the walls with old photos of stands like the long-gone Beef Burger on East Belknap Street or Burger Bar in Cleburne.

“Bring me a picture of your favorite old burger stand,” he said. “As long as it’s not a McDonald’s or a Burger King, bring it on.”

His burgers are a throwback, too. The beef is fresh-packed in thin patties. (Order a double.)

He’s not against the new, oversize designer burgers with artisan toppings.

“I love a sugar burger at Rodeo Goat,” he said. “I love a Fred Burger. They’re a burger from the past.”

Greasy Bend is open for lunch only, weekdays and Saturdays.

The line forms at 2919 Race St.; 817-222-0184.

• The Taste of Northeast has new friends this year.

Restaurants are happy to see a new festival Thursday at Hurst Conference Center.

For one thing, the Airport Freeway is nearly drivable.

“Customers had to fight their way in to come see us, and we were fortunate they did,” said Hoffbrau Steaks owner Rainey Fogiel, one of the Taste entrants.

Red Barn Bar-B-Que pit boss Von Husbands from Colleyville will serve his new pulled pork and spicy smoked wings.

Red Barn is now open Sundays, and daily for lunch and dinner.

Those are only two of 20 restaurants at Taste, Thursday night (5:30 p.m. kickoff) at 1601 Campus Drive in Hurst.

Bud Kennedy’s column appears Wednesdays in Life & Arts and Fridays in DFW.com. 817-390-7538 Twitter: @EatsBeat. Facebook: Bud Kennedy’s Eats Beat. Get alerts at RebelMouse.com/eats.

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