IDC Burger is easy to miss. Just look for the big banner strung across the Shell station on FM 1187, which you’ll probably notice only after you’ve decided that you’re lost and are no longer on 1187.
The décor consists of several dining tables, a sprawling hat rack, and seemingly endless displays of cell phone charges. Yes, you’re eating at a gas station (perhaps once again), but do not despair –– especially if you haven’t even had the chili yet.
IDC Burger is part of a larger trend. Maybe gas station owners are realizing that, hey, if their food isn’t shrink-wrapped and stamped with a 10-day shelf life before being trucked in from the northeastern United States or California, customers might sit down and stay awhile. And open their mouths (and wallets).
Just a couple of years ago, Chef Point Café seemed to be the only one of its kind not just in North Texas but the entire Southwest. Now fine-to-decent dining within sniffing distance of gasoline is no longer really out of the ordinary. Iron Skillet, Navajo Burger, Parker Station Smoke House, and Redneck Tacos are some other quality local eateries connected to gas stations.
IDC Burger’s greatest Americana offering is as ambitious as it is controversial. The Sweet Heat Burger consists of two seemingly unrelated American greats –– burgers and peaches –– and combines them into something that, truly, must be tasted to be believed. The sweetness of the preserves and the peppery juiciness of the beef really went well together. However, the “heat” part was sorely lacking. A possible recommendation: Ask your server for some extra grilled jalapeños on the side.
Every burger –– and there are nine to choose from –– comes with a side of fries, but if you can remember, cough up the extra buck to upgrade to Momma’s Chili. The fries –– hand-cut with the skin left on and heartily seasoned –– were great, but the chili was on another level entirely. The savory ground beef, melt-in-your-mouth beans, and slightly crunchy, diced red onions, all in a just-salty-enough broth and covered in melted shredded cheese, was heartwarming and mind blowing. And the one-cup serving easily qualified as a meal in itself. Purists will say, correctly, that this is not Texas chili, but whatever you want to call it, it was yummy.
With the bar set so high, perhaps it was only to be expected that the rest of the meal would be only standard instead of stellar.
You get a lot of onion rings for only $3.89, about the quality you’d get at your local sports bar or Applebee’s.
The Big Juicy cheeseburger is no big thang, and the menu’s second most curious offering, The Wham Bam Bacon Jam, does the unthinkable by managing to deliver too much bacon flavor. You’re liable to get heartburn just by looking at it. And, yes, I understand that this probably sounds like a challenge to some people, so to them I say don’t forget the Tums.
Another interesting item was really good but a tad pricey. For $6.89 for just three “white wings” –– bacon wrapped around chicken wrapped around cheese wrapped around a jalapeño slice –– you might be better off ordering a bowl of Momma’s Chili to go.
Too often in the non-gourmet burger game, not enough attention is paid to the buns. IDC cares, and it would be tragic not to dedicate an entire paragraph to the restaurant’s ever-so-slightly toasted sourdough bad boys. If they aren’t made on the premises, they must come from a bakery right around the corner. They’re that fresh. The typical IDC burger might be only half as good without them. A little sweet and oh-so hearty, the buns are dense but don’t offer too much resistance. And while IDC’s burgers are certainly juicy, they don’t transform the buns into mush. Everything is held right in place, keeping your meal about as classy as you can get inside a truck stop. IDC also offers gluten-free buns, but if you have to order them, you’re really missing out.
Before leaving IDC, you’re welcome to sign the giant chalkboard that fills an entire wall (right next to “The FW Weekly Wuz Here,” if you like). Also, IDC is BYOB.
401 S FM 1187, Aledo. 817-600-6189. 11am-8pm Mon-Sat. All major credit cards accepted.
Sweet Heat Burger $7.99
Wham Bam Bacon Jam $8.19
Momma’s Chili $4.99