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As a native Texan, it is my duty to seek out burger places around the Lone Star State and let my fellow burger-loving friends know of my findings. That's what this site it all about.

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Friday, September 9, 2011

Paula's by the Lake - Graham, TX

I saw an advertisement for Paula's By The Lake, a new place occupying the space where The Steele Grill was on Lake Graham. Since I am always in the mood to try some place new, I figured I would drop by on my way home one evening.

It was past 7:30 when I arrived and there was only one other person in the place. Normally, that might be a bad sign, but being the trooper I am, I went inside.

The location is nicely decorated and clean looking. They took out the glass counter and salad prep area along the wall and added extra tables. It looks like they have a private area available for dining as well.

The menu, it appears, changes daily. I happened to visit on the 'homestyle' day, so chicken fried steak, chicken fried chicken and catfish were on the menu.

I noticed a chalkboard with two or three burger choices written down, so I inquired about them. I settled for the Claude Burger, named after the owner of the space, a half pound single-patty cheese burger with grilled jalapenos and bacon. I ordered a side of onion rings as well.

The cook went to work on the burger, I could hear the sizzle of the grill as he started cooking the patty. He brought out the burger and rings in a few minutes and I surveyed my meal.

The rings were cooked perfect. They were hand-dipped with a thick, crunchy batter. The burger was a medium-thick, hand-formed patty with a nice crunchy char where it made contact with the grill. It was cooked just right, enough of a sear on it to seal in the juices. I love charred mammal flesh.

I started with the rings first before moving to the burger. The jalapenos were grilled, swimming in mustard, and formed a nice layer on the bottom of the burger between the patty and the bun. The cheese melted into the patty, just the way I like it.

Overall the meal was great. The bun could have been a little more substantial, it started to fall apart before I was done, probably because it was one of the thinner buns you sometimes see.
I look forward to my next stop. I told them I would be in enough that they would name a burger after me.

If you are in the area, you should stop by. They are located at 1733 FM 3003, just this side of the Double Docks on Lake Graham.
As for the Texas Burger Stop's rating, here goes:
  • Patty Size and Style: medium thick and hand formed
  • Cooking style: Cooked perfectly on a flat top
  • Char: good char across the patty
  • Bun: fresh tasting, little too thin, came apart before the burger was finished
  • Vegetables: good veggies
  • Napkins needs: I found I needed a couple
  • Special attributes: Lake Graham
  • Ownership: locally owned

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