Keller’s Drive-In in Dallas: the 10th-Best Hamburger in the Country
The seminal work on the subject, of course, being this article in GQ. Maybe seminal. Regardless, it’s the list I’m using to define requirements on my quest to eat all 20 of the country’s most necessary hamburgers. Been working on it for a few years and have, now, eaten two of the 20.
Slow and steady wins the race.
I’m in Dallas for a “client summit” with one of our vendors (I’m the client). Man. I hate exposition. Keller’s Drive-In. A lot of bikers — I sat on the bench with them. It’s a pure drive-in, no dining room. Just some benches for bikers. Not mountain bikers. No photos of the bikers. No real camera, everything done with cell phone. Quality: poor. Short sentences are ascendant. Fragments also.
The ambience is the good part.
The No. 5.
Per the article, I ordered the No. 5. Per online reviews of the place, I also ordered the tater tots. The tater tots were like tater tots. The burger was like a sloppy, cheese-less In-and-Out double-double with a poppy seed bun and an extra tomato slice.
The other place on the list I’ve visited is the Burger Joint at the le Parker Meridien Hotel in Manhattan. That burger was fantastic, made from some of the finest beef ever ground. The experience at lPM felt a little faux and pretentious, fantastic for the absurdity of eating a $15 burger made to look low-quality even though it was high- after standing in line for a half hour and then fighting for a place to sit down in a closet-sized hole off the lobby of a $500/night hotel with a name that even the French might find overwrought.
I think Keller’s is on the 20 Must Eat list for being typical of the exact opposite of that. The burger was good, no doubt, but the experience with the Hell’s Angels smoking and complaining about their ex-wives, the waitresses yelling heartfelt profanities at the guy who owned the bar across the parking lot, and the unapologetically Texan accents was pure and unpretentious. Which I appear to support.