Thursday, May 16, 2013

A burger and a beer at Haystack Burgers & Barley

Image credit:  Haystack Burgers & Barley

It seems I'm under the influence of American Craft Beer Week, since for some reason I've been craving a burger and a locally crafted beer.  We'll call it my version of the all-American meal.  Based on some recent openings and beer/burger partnerships, options for such a combination are growing more by the day.  This time, though, I decided on a place which just celebrated its official grand opening this past Tuesday in Richardson.

Haystack Burgers & Barley has settled into a spot on the southwest corner of U.S. 75 and Beltline, just a few doors down from what will be another craft beer destination, the Alamo Drafthouse Cinema.  While the proximity is purposeful, partner Kevin Galvan explains he and his co-owners wanted to get roots in the ground well before Alamo's opening, in order to establish themselves as a quality dining (and drinking) alternative for the movie-going crowd.

As far as ambiance goes (if you're into that sort of thing), the digs are simple, modern and utilitarian.  In other words, they get the job done.  To be honest, though, once your man-sized meat patty arrives I doubt you're going to be too worried about what's hanging on the walls.  Seriously, you're going to have some work to do, and spending time gazing at the decor isn't going to help you finish the coming burger any faster.  You've got a table, a chair, and a napkin.  Trust me, you're good to go.

By now you've probably gathered that burgers are the big draw (literally).  I opted to go with something a bit more classic in the Down on the Farm Burger (cheddar cheese, lettuce, tomato, onions, pickles, mayo and mustard), which in and of itself was outstanding, but I imagine next time I'll take a stab at the Pitch Fork Chili Burger.  It's topped with a rich, porter-infused chili (hooray beer!) which, based on a sample Galvan was kind enough to provide, finishes with just the right amount of spicy kick.

Behind the bar, Haystack features only North Texas taps, with handles secured by Deep Ellum, Four Corners, Franconia, Lakewood, Peticolas and Revolver.  Rotation is strictly brewer's choice, meaning the brewery essentially owns the slot and can swap out a seasonal whenever they see fit.  As far as styles go, the selection is diverse, with no repetition among draft offerings.  A craft-dominated bottle (and can) list is also available, with Big Beer only managing two spots (at the very bottom, no less) in a group of over 25 local and national brands.

Remaining options include a variety of appetizers/sides, salads and sandwiches.  There's also a signature cocktail called the Haymaker, but for the life of me I can't remember what's in it.  Give me a break, I went for a burger and a beer.  Maybe you should too.

Haystack Burgers & Barley
100 S. Central Expressway # 17

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