First Look: Ford’s Garage Serves Up Burgers and Beer in a Retro Service-Station Themed Space

Ford’s Garage, whose website blurb claims is “your neighborhood burger and beer joint, where everyone is welcome,” started out in Fort Myers, Florida, in 2012 and arrived in Plano this June.

This is another in a long line of cutesy-themed restaurants, this one decked out to resemble a service station from the early part of the 20th century, complete with fuel pumps, air hoses and other Ford memorabilia including vintage signs, fixtures and even a Model T suspended over the bar. The theme is extended into the service settings as well: The napkins are blue shop towels and some of the serving plates resemble hubcaps. The servers even wear mechanic’s jumpsuits. Remember the old Filling Station on Lower Greenville back in the day? Like that.

“All well and good,” you say, “but how is the food?”

click to enlarge Model T (or A?) above the bar - HANK VAUGHN

Model T (or A?) above the bar

Hank Vaughn

Well, their main focus is hamburgers and craft beer. The beer selection is OK, including about 25 brews, about half of which are from craft breweries both near and far across the country.

The hamburger selection is fine but doesn’t offer anything out of the ordinary. We decided to go with one of our usual go-tos, a mushroom Swiss burger.

click to enlarge Mushroom Swiss burger - HANK VAUGHN

Mushroom Swiss burger

Hank Vaughn

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

click to enlarge Smoked brisket burnt ends melt - HANK VAUGHN

Smoked brisket burnt ends melt

Hank Vaughn

Our second sandwich was a smoked brisket burnt ends melt, which is prepared with burnt ends caramelized in a bourbon barbecue sauce with sharp cheddar and bacon jam on toast. This was also … OK. It tasted fine but did not resemble what one comes to expect from brisket burnt ends and instead was more akin to a chopped beef sandwich. Again, it wasn’t bad but also wasn’t particularly noteworthy. The tater tots that came along with it, however, were good and nicely seasoned.

click to enlarge Edsel's Hot Pretzels, Salted Soft Pretzels, Served with Ford’s Beer Cheese and Honey Mustard Dipping Sauces - HANK VAUGHN

Edsel’s Hot Pretzels, Salted Soft Pretzels, Served with Ford’s Beer Cheese and Honey Mustard Dipping Sauces

Hank Vaughn

Who doesn’t like a good hot pretzel? This was our side selection, called Edsel’s Hot Pretzels on the menu. An odd name choice considering the flop that was the Edsel, but this was actually very well made. It came as four soft and salty large fingerling-sized pretzels and two dipping sauces, one a honey mustard, the other a beer cheese.

We paid our bill and headed out, but not after first being asked to take a picture 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 décor is the highlight here.

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

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