Seconds after putting in an order for a half-pound burger at Harvey B’s, the kind lady who took my order yells “half!” to the kitchen behind her. It’s all about simplicity, down to the very keywords, at Harvey B’s. The menu reads like a collection of the words you’d yell, hangrily, if you’d just gotten back to Dallas after being on Naked and Afraid. "BACON CHEESE GRILLED FRESH JALAPEÑO." On the very, very Texan right-quadrant of the menu: “Salads/Frito Pie.” There is a "Hamburger Salad," which sounds like something from which to back away slowly.
Above me are criss-crossed and multi-colored lights with a single burger ornament hanging in the center. I’m pretty sure it’s burger mistletoe. If one kisses another under burger mistletoe, does one receive blessings of great cheeseburgers for life? This could be a Christmas miracle to end Christmas miracles.
“We have pastrami!” is written on marker board near the register — definitely good to know — and an eye chart is hung up near a row of bar stools in case you get sandwich drunk. As I’m waiting for my order, which will come in a brown paper sack as the great grease bombs are meant to, a random dude at the register, looking up to the menu wall, says, “I could pretty much eat everything.” It’s as though he’s saying it to the menu, and the menu would respond in a booming voice, “Good.”
I got the half-pound, char-broiled #5 (possible Lou Bega song?) — which has bacon, melted cheese, chopped jalapeños, lettuce, white onion and pickle — for $6.65, plus the spiral cut fries. I love how Harvey B's burgers don't have proper names — you just call them what they are. One burger should just be called I'm Hungry, Give It Now.
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When I get my burger, the paper sack is heavy at the bottom, like I’m carrying a sleeping puppy. The burger itself is passable. The jalapeños zap it with tang and heat, and the sesame seed bun is nicely toasted, nearing crisp, but the meat just satisfies its simple purpose of being a burger patty. Not terrible, but not great. It's dying for a coat of salt and pepper.
The spiral cut fries, however, are superb. A huge pile comes in a loosely twisted paper sack — the heat can escape to keep them crisp — and, using Pringles as a unit of measure, they’re one Pringle thin (1PR). Eating them is an enjoyable shatter-a-thon. They're showered with as much salt and pepper as you’d hope. I struck like a snake until the bag was half empty, and I had level 10 food shame. They're some of the best chip-fries I've had in a while. I’ll be coming back for those, maybe with a bucket of chili.
If you order spiral-cut fries under the burger mistletoe, does it still count? Maybe, maybe not. I’m hoping for a little more good burger luck.
Harvey B's is at 4506 Columbia Ave, No. 100, and, worth noting, they have under-$2 soft serve — with those little sugar cones.