Novemburger: Eleven Plates & Wine

Because 50 Burgers, 50 Days wasn’t enough, I’ll write about a new burger every day this month. And next. We’ll call that Decemburger.
Day 27: Eleven Plates & Wine
3801 N. Capital of Texas Highway (Loop 360), Suite C200 in Davenport Village. 328-0110,
Hours: 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Monday-Thursday. 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. Friday-Saturday. 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Sunday. Starting Dec. 3, Sunday hours will be 11 a.m. to 9 p.m.
By Mike Sutter | Fed Man Walking | 11.27.11
A blustery November Sunday calls for something more substantial than the usual brunch Benedict. For that, I turn to a burger with deep-fried beef and pork belly and a fried egg, the “Code Blue” at Eleven Plates & Wine. This hilltop perch opened this summer in the former Thistle space at Davenport Village, a venture from Melting Pot owners Mike and Kelly Swartz and an operating team that includes sommeliers, retailers and restaurant veterans.
The burger: Food writers love limited-time dishes. Gives us a sense of exclusivity. I picked Eleven’s Code Blue because I’ve already written about their basic burger ($10), a solid construction of good beef, a bakery roll and fresh vegetables with fries. So a followup called for something more exotic, and this Code Blue burger ($14) is a Sunday-only commodity. But the long list of blandishments doesn’t make a better burger. If the pork belly is there at all — my waiter said it’s integrated into the beef, but I have doubts — I couldn’t taste a trace of it. No smoky kick, no dose of restorative pork fat. And the beef itself was coated in a breading made acrid by either dirty oil or overfrying or a combination of both. I liked the over-easy fried egg, but the burger’s other selling point, a blue cheese dressing, was runny and bland. Eleven Plates is a nice place. I enjoy  having a glass of sangria (on the menu for $4, but they charged me $6) from a restaurant that knows wine, and an early visit left me with a good impression. But I can’t recommend this Sunday burger.
Fries or rings? The Code Blue comes with fries. For other sides, you’ll have to look to the Small Plates menu, where mac and cheese is $9 and a salad is $7, and so you’ll probably be OK with just the fries for now. They’re pencil-thin in the fast-food style, but cut long, short and in-between in that handcrafted way. If decorum demands a second option, I’d recommend a cauliflower-Roquefort soup ($8) that manages subtlety in the face of two of the most unsubtle base ingredients ever.
(Photos by Mike Sutter © Fed Man Walking)
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