It's been six short months since Ernesto and Alfredo Pena opened their family's burger hut.
In restaurant years, five months and change is primordial. It's still at the cellular level, a tender and fragile age when the slightest predator could gobble it up. The baby-blue joint is huddled against Gus Thomasson Road on the fringe of Mesquite.
Across the street, a Little Caesars sits with an empty parking lot. You'll find Porky's in the strip mall, with a welcoming, unstressed amount of parking, flanked by a commanding Auto Zone and Dollar General. Ignore the big brand chains — Porky's is a family joint.
Miros Pena is behind the register, next to a towering burger ornament, and she greets each customer who jangles through the door brightly. Behind the register, the griddle gets scraped clean of burned bits. It's a slower afternoon, so there's nothing else hissing on the flattop. One of life's treats as a consumer of burgers is this moment: At an empty restaurant after the lunch rush, you can hear the fresh beef crackle on the griddle.
Courtesy of Dallas Observer