Plano- It’s time for the Texas Bucket List Bite of the Week, and this week we’re in Plano for a burger that’s definitely not plain-o. In fact, we’re getting’ two of ’em.
This week, we’re at the Ye Old Butcher Shop.
“I come in here in ag co-op. You know, where you work half a day and go to school half a day,” Jeff Sparks said.
Jeff is a renaissance man when it comes to meat.
“Whenever I started cutting meat I wanted to be a butcher. It’s a lot of fun,” Jeff said.
Former owner, Mr. Bob Giddiens, sold the store to Jeff in 1986. Five years later, Jeff had an epiphany while packing meat.
“We always wanted to start smoking meat and making hamburgers, making sausage,” Jeff said. “We started making our own sausage. People liked it.”
Their biggest draw, however, is their burgers.
“During lunch time we do sell a lot of burgers,” Jeff said.
It wasn’t long until Jeff enlisted the help of his boy, Joshua. Together, this father and son duo have teamed up to make massive hamburgers the people of Plano had never priorly tasted.
“Somebody told me you want a good burger,” Greg Carlson said. “Ye Old Butcher Shop. They didn’t lie to me. “
We headed to the back with Joshua, but as we got ready to bring home the bacon, we couldn’t help but overhear Jeff taking orders.
“When I order burgers I have to stop him in the middle,” Harold Davis said. “He does the lettuce, tomato, pickle thing so fast I just have to say, “No, no, no. I’ll get it my way.”
The Ye Ole Butcher Shop is known for two burgers: The Buffalo Burger and the Wild Hog.
“Today’s Wild Hog burger day,” Jeff said. “It’s a ground pork patty. Its got a little slice of that black forest ham on it. Its got a couple slices of bacon on it. It’s a really good burger.”
As for the Buffalo Burger, it’s a staple of the restaurant and has been around since 1993.
“The Dallas Cowboys were playing the Buffalo Bills, so we started making Buffalo Burgers,” Jeff said. “The Super Bowl. We were eating’ buffalo. “
Joshua Sparks doesn’t waste any time throwing both burgers on the grill.
“We’re gonna start with the buffalo and the pig, and I’m gonna work right to left on the grill cause that’s how I was always taught,” Joshua said. “The buffalo, they’re almost half a pound. We gotta butter the buns, of course, these are brochette buns that come from a company down in Dallas that we get our buns from.”
Once the meat is cooked, ham and bacon hit the wild hog and both are topped with cheese, onions, one tomato, lettuce and pickles.
“Oh man, there it is,” Joshua said. “That’s the beauty. The wild hog and the buffalo. Quick, easy and simple.”
The Buffalo Burger helped put the Ye Ole Butcher Shop on the map.
“Buffalo’s low in fat,” Jeff said. “It’s low in cholesterol. It’s got a really good, rich flavor. It’s really sweet. Once you taste it, it’s kinda hard going back to eating’ beef. It’s just really good stuff.”
Next, we tried The Wild Hog burger. The wild boar is a very light meat with great flavoring mixed with the garlic and pepper. Put on that incredible bacon and ham, and you have got a pig explosion.
“Hog, it’s a magical animal,” Greg said. “You’re getting ham. You’re getting pork chops. You’re getting pulled-pork and ribs, and you put it all on one sandwich. How can you go wrong with that? I strongly recommend it. Just come after we’ve already had our lunch.”
This old meat market is more than just a place to get your grub on. It’s a connection to the community thanks to the bond between a father and son who continue the tradition together.
“To know that the next generation is preparing to take over this is awesome because that means you’re gonna have quality going forward like we have today,” Greg said.
So whether you feel like getting buff with a Buffalo Burger or wild with a Wild Hog Burger, either one is a great pick. This makes the Ye Old Butcher Shop in Plano, Texas well worth a stop on the Texas Bucket List.
“I get to learn how to process meat,” Joshua said. “I love working with my dad. He’s got a lot of knowledge. He’s a very smart man. Only somebody I could hope to be.”