Trey’s Chow Down on our MEETS, EATS and SWEETS Tour Road Trip’in the USA for deliciousness. Today we’re inKansas City MO for some OLD SCHOOL smash burger perfection. It all began in 1937 when Town Topic Hamburgers opened for business with a very small, cozy building that’s still in use today.
In Kansas City, a little white diner named Town Topic Hamburgers opened unceremoniously on 24th and Broadway and began selling hamburgers for 5 cents each. It was opened by Claude Sparks, who at the end of his first day pocketed a whopping $21.00. It’s more than 75 years later and Town Topic is still selling hamburgers by the bagful. They still cook them the same way, with grilled onions and a steamed bun. They also have the same full breakfast line they’ve always had, and it’s all cooked fresh to order. In fact, the downtown diners haven’t changed a whole lot since the early days.
I really enjoyed this restaurant because it’s cozy, with an old school feel you notice right when you pull up. I watched folks standing around outside, waiting for chance to grab a seat and enjoy old school perfection. We were among the group, patiently waiting for our chance at one of those TOWN TOPIC SMASH BURGERS.
About eight years ago I met a chef in Dallas who I had read so much about and heard so many stories. I had been wanting to meet him for several years, but our paths had never crossed, and I’m not one to push meetings. Being in the food and restaurant business for decades, I understand all too well the complications of restaurant operations and how short on time chefs, managers, partners and owners can be every day. Time is a commodity that everyone is short on these days, especially celebrity chefs. They have a tough schedule already, and if they’re traveling between multiple restaurant concepts, events, charity functions, meetings, and TV interviews, there truly is NO TIME to spare. With that in mind, I waited until the time was right to meet him.
When I met Chef John Tesar and got to spend some time with him hosting him on my TV show, I realized how passionate he was about the restaurant business and how he personally feels about perfection and what that word truly means. In today’s times some folks mistake passion and the pursuit of perfection for something else entirely. To be honest, being deeply passionate and dedicated toward something is a trait few folks will ever understand, but Chef John Tesar knows all too well because he lives it 24/7/365.
You can never fully understand a person by what you read or hear. You really have to spend some time talking with them to understand what they’re trying to achieve, and the path they’re walking to reach their goals. It would be safe to say that John isn’t walking anywhere – he is running full speed all the time in the relentless pursuit of creating deliciousness for everyone to enjoy.
Have you ever taken a bite of something so delicious that you thought to yourself, “I have to tell someone about this!” I’m sure you have because we all feel that way sometimes. It doesn’t matter if it’s savory, sweet, or both, we just want to tell someone about how perfect a dish was. After traveling around in 2021, eating and visiting with chefs and restaurant folks, I had an idea. I wanted to spread a little deliciousness among my friends; I wanted to share with everyone the BEST DISHES I ATE in 2021.
2021 was our most successful year at locating creative chefs and delicious dishes. We traveled through 10 different states, logging our most miles ever and visiting a record number of chefs and restaurants. I wanted to highlight some of the most unique and delicious dishes you should try in 2022. These are my top restaurants with dishes, and there’s a big variety so there’s something for everyone!
I enjoyed visiting and eating with some of the best chefs and restaurant folks in the business. Each dish has been carefully chosen and is a chef-driven dish prepared by the best! They only use fresh ingredients, vegetables, and spices to create some bold, modern flavor profiles that everyone will love. Most of the eats are simple dishes that are prepared with passion, love, and creativity. Remember, a simple dish is sometimes the most difficult to facilitate because all parts must be complete perfection. I believe that in most cases simple is better because it gives each ingredient that culinary jingle to create deliciousness.
I’m honored to present this year’s BEST burger winners. Any burger on my list is here because they are fresh and delicious. Please support local and try all of these burgers. Below at the end of the blog we created a full color poster of this years winners. You may screen shot from your phone or print it off and plan your BURGER adventures of 2021. By saving our list you will have instance reference for your barbecue cravings.
WOW! What a year 2020 was for the restaurant, food, and culinary world. In my five decades in the restaurant business, I’ve seen disasters of all types and nothing comes close to the devastating effect Covid-19 had on our economy. Restaurants, chefs, pitmasters, and restauranteurs had to make big changes if they wanted to survive the pandemic. Nationwide, we lost over 251,000 restaurants forever and 2.5 million restaurant jobs at the latest estimate. The good thing is that NOW we are on the mend and the Texas economy is in full giddy-up mode! This is why it’s so important to support local restaurants to keep us in giddy-up mode.
Even though things were crazy due to Covid-19 we still worked hard reporting on food and hunting down the best burgers we could locate in North Texas. The pandemic allowed us plenty of extra time to chow down on some tasty burgers; it also allowed burger creators time to come up with some new delicious and creative burgers for all of us to enjoy. If you follow me, you know how much I enjoy a great and tastyburger. This is our seventh year for the BEST BURGERcontest in Texas and I’m excited to tell everyone about my delicious burger discoveries.
Did you know that burgers are one of the most sought-after sandwiches in the world? The burger business is crazy in the U.S.A. I don’t have the newly updated numbers of burgers sold in 2020 during the pandemic (and it would be an oddly skewed amount), so we are using the last updated numbers. A national research company states that we sell 6.48 million burgers a day, and around 75 burgers a second! What? Yes, 75 burgers a second! This roughly breaks down as 4,500 burgers every minute, 270,000 every hour, 6.48 million a day, and 2.36 billion burgers a year. A worldwide research study states we sell 50 billion a year worldwide. 50 Billion a year that to me is shocking, but I know how many folks just love a succulent, savory, and delicious burger.