Gilley’s Texas Cafe Burgers

At his restaurant in Branson, Missouri, Mickey Gilley serves an authentic Texas hamburger with all the traditional garnishes. When it comes to cheeseburgers, Gilley likes Colby cheese. Some Texans also like the tang of pepper Jack. But American cheese singles are best at holding jalapeno slices in place if you are making a jalapeno cheeseburger. Serve with ice-cold beer.

NotesThe USDA recommends that ground meat should be cooked well done (160°F) for safety’s sake.

Cooking Methodgrilling



Total Timeunder 30 minutes

Kid FriendlyYes

OccasionFamily Get-together

Recipe Coursemain course

Equipmentgriddle, grill

Mealdinner, lunch

Taste and Texturesavory, tangy

Type of Dishhamburger


  • 1 pound ground beef
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 2 sourdough hamburger buns or kaiser rolls
  • 2 pats of butter
  • 1 tablespoon creole or Dijon mustard
  • 1 tablespoon mayonnaise
  • 6 dill pickle chips
  • 2 thin slices from a large sweet Texas 1015 onion or other sweet onion
  • 2 thick slices from a large ripe tomato
  • 2 iceberg lettuce leaves


  1. Season the beef with salt and pepper, sprinkle with the garlic powder, and knead to mix.

  2. When the spices are evenly mixed in, divide the meat into two equal portions and form into patties.

  3. Cook the meat patties over medium heat on a griddle or gas grill or in a frying pan, turning several times.

  4. Resist the temptation to press down on the patty with the spatula—this squeezes out all the juices and results in a dry hamburger.

  5. When the burgers are halfway done, split the buns and butter both sides. Lay the buns on the griddle or grill, and toast them until they are nicely browned along the edges. Then place the buns on top of the burgers to steam.

  6. Half-pound burgers should be cooked to medium (140°F) after 12 to 15 minutes. Check the level of doneness with a meat thermometer.

  7. When the patties are done to your liking, spread half a tablespoon of mustard on each bottom bun and half a tablespoon of mayonnaise on each top bun. Place three pickle chips and an onion slice on each bottom bun and add the burger patties. Then put the tomato and the lettuce on top of the patties and finish with the crown halves of the buns. Serve immediately.


  9. Cheeseburgers: Place American, pepper Jack, or Colby cheese slices on top of the patties after you turn them for the last time, and cook until the cheese melts. Proceed as above.

  10. Bacon Burger with Cheese: Follow the directions for a cheeseburger, then place two strips of bacon, fried crisp and cut in half, on top of the tomato.

  11. Jalapeno Cheeseburgers: Place pickled jalapeno slices and American cheese slices on top of the patties after you turn them for the last time, and cook until the cheese melts. Proceed as above.


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