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Served in various sizes or as sliders, Gustos’ burgers feature tender, succulent, juicy, lightly crisped meat. Photo by Cody Neathery
Gustos Burger Bar, 1229 7th Av, FW. Noon-midnight Sun, 3pm-2am Thu-Sat.

With enormous, mouthwatering smash-burgers, a friendly vibe, and cold, frosty adult beverages, Gustos Burger Bar appears poised to make a long run. And that’s saying something because it sits in the tiny bungalow on Magnolia where three different restaurants — The Radler, Magnolia Tree Tavern, and The Bearded Lady — closed over the past few years. With all due respect to the Lady, whose burgers reside in a class all their own, none of the bungalow’s former inhabitants offered Gustos’ brand of fantastic, belly-busting smash burgers.

Inside is just as delightful. A paper sign announcing “Gustos” is duct-taped on one dining room wall, lending organization to the avant-garde-style interior. In these dark and cozy environs, busts of Elvis still maintain watch from the fireplace mantle, holdovers from the previous tenant. It’s loose, warm, and fun, and I suspect more eclectic touches to come.

Like the dinnerware, the menu is paper. And simple. But let’s not kid around. You’re here for the smash burgers. Served small, medium, as a shareable large, or as sliders, the burgers feature tender, succulent, juicy, lightly crisped meat, with enough salt, pepper, and a touch of magic to stand out.

Gustos’ bacon-wrapped jalapeno poppers are a spicy punch in the mouth.
Photo by Cody Neathery
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My guest and I went with a couple sliders. With homemade salsa and grilled jalapenos plus bacon, ketchup, mayo, and zingy Best Maid pickles, the Sweet Heat briefly ignited the palate before pulling back on the reins of fire. The Gustos Burger was a messy, upscale version of a cheeseburger with melty American cheese, caramelized onions, pickles, and a dallop of Gustos Sauce, which is kind of like Thousand Island dressing, all served on a fluffy, buttery toasted bun.

If you’re allergic to meat, Gustos serves an It Is Possible burger with Impossible patties plus vegan chipotle aioli.

Is this burger bar family friendly? Why, yes. Gustos also offers Chicken Nuggs, which are more like tenders, and there’s also a chicken sandwich on the menu.

Nuggs, not drugs.
Photo by Cody Neathery

My guest and I also ordered the only starter we could find. A spicy punch in the mouth, the bacon-wrapped jalapeno poppers benefited greatly from the sizzling strips wrapping the peppers stuffed with an inviting burst of cream cheese. The salted brown-sugar/honey-butter glaze was a chef’s kiss that married the salty pork, gooey cheese, and fiery jalapeno.

You also have four types of potatoes to choose from: simple fries or tots dressed in various ways. Topped with a lava-like layer of cheese, piquant caramelized onions, and more of that zingy signature sauce, the Gustos-Style Fries were splendidly sloppy and tasty but could have used a dusting of seasoning.

While the kitchen closes at midnight, Gustos’ bar stays open ’til 2am, making it an ideal spot for some killer burgers and quality hangs.

Who’s the real Burger King?
Photo by Cody Neathery

 

Gustos Burger Bar
Gusto Burger sliders $13.99
Sweet Heat sliders $14.99
Chicken Nuggs $10
Gusto-Style Fries $7.99
Jalapeno Poppers $12

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