First Look: Ford’s garage serves up burgers and beer in a retro gas station-themed space

Ford’s Garagewhose website blurb claims to be “your neighborhood burger and beer, where everyone is welcome,” started in Fort Myers, Fla., in 2012 and arrived in Plano in June.

This is another in a long list of cute themed restaurants, this one decorated to look like an early 20th century gas station, complete with fuel pumps, air hoses and other Ford memorabilia, including vintage signs, light fixtures and even a Model T hanging above the bar. The theme extends to the serving settings as well: the napkins are blue shop napkins and some of the serving plates look like hubcaps. The waiters even wear mechanic suits. Do you remember the old gas station in Lower Greenville back then? Like that.

“Very good”, you say, “but how is the food?”

Click to enlarge

Model T (or A?) above the bar

Hank Vaughn

Well, their main focus is burgers and craft beer. The beer selection is OK, including about 25 beers, about half of which come from craft breweries near and far across the country.

The selection of burgers is good but nothing out of the ordinary. We decided to go with one of our must-haves, a Swiss Mushroom Burger.

Click to enlarge Swiss Mushroom Burger - HANK VAUGHN

Swiss Mushroom Burger

Hank Vaughn

A brioche bun would have been preferred as a pretzel bun can often be too dense and make the burger hard to eat, but the bun turned out quite light. The burger was tasty, but pedestrian. It’s hard to make a real bad burger, and good burgers are everywhere here. This is just another option. An average option, but an option.

Click to enlarge Smoked Chest Burnt Bottom - HANK VAUGHN

The burnt ends of the smoked brisket melt

Hank Vaughn

Our second sandwich was a cast of smoked brisket burnt ends, which is made with burnt ends caramelized in bourbon barbecue sauce with sharp cheddar and bacon jam on toast. It was also… OK. It tasted good but didn’t look like what you would expect from burnt brisket and was more like a ground beef sandwich. Again, it wasn’t bad but it wasn’t particularly noteworthy either. The accompanying tater tots, however, were good and well seasoned.

Click to enlarge Edsel's Hot Pretzels, Soft Salted Pretzels, served with Ford Beer Cheese and Honey Mustard Dip - HANK VAUGHN

Edsel’s Hot Pretzels, soft salted pretzels, served with Ford Beer Cheese and Honey Mustard Dip

Hank Vaughn

Who doesn’t love a good hot pretzel? This was our side selection, called Edsel’s Hot Pretzels on the menu. A strange choice of name considering the flop it was the Edsel, but it was actually very well done. It was four large, soft, salty fry-sized pretzels and two dipping sauces, one honey mustard, the other beer.

We paid our bill and left, but not after first being asked to take a photo of two older gentlemen who wanted to pose in front of the cars and pumps at the entrance, because at the end of the day the decor is the highlight here.

3904 N. Dallas Parkway (Plano); 11am-10pm Monday to Thursday; 11:00 a.m. – 11:00 p.m. Friday – Saturday; 10:30 a.m. – 3 p.m. (brunch) 3 p.m. – 10 p.m. Sunday

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