Just over a week ago, we lost Jack Keller.
Keller founded the iconic drive-in that deals in easy cheeseburger perfection. In a city with a restaurant scene that’s zipping forward like a time-lapse video, Keller’s remains true and unchanged. Simple, cheap cheeseburgers with a swipe of mustard, poppyseed bun and a disc of white onion are kings.
So this week, it only seemed appropriate to stop into Keller’s grandson’s burger joint with the kick-ass name: Burger Edge.
Burger Edge is a humble little joint fit snugly into a Campbell Road quadrant that Google Maps refers to as “Far North Dallas.” It’s OK. Bring good matches, a Hardy Boys novel and two compasses. You can make it to Far North Dallas — I promise. James Donahoe, the owner and grandson of Jack Keller, keeps it welcoming for the weary traveller. The spot features an easy-going stage for live music, a “salad bar” loaded with pickles and sauces as fixins and some good ol’ craft beer. One thing Burger Edge doesn't have: Bullshit. What’s not to love?
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I ordered a double cheeseburger featuring two joyously griddled quarter-pound patties with American cheese and a side of tater tots. They don’t add toppings to the burger unless you ask for them. Like the Keller family has always done, the patties sizzle untouched on a flat-top until they’re ready to flip. A Kaiser roll is bathed in the burger’s delicious grease, and it’s toasted on both sides and flattened out. Happiness is a toasted bun — and hot, melted cheese.
The sandwich comes in the tried and true plastic basket, a heap of grilled onions — by request — looking back at me. With the corn-dusted Kaiser, close to buttery with burger grease, Edge has immediately likable cheeseburgers. You crave these burgers after long stretches of mirage-hot concrete jungle. Burger Edge serves what I call Cast Away burgers — burgers you’d eat after being plane-wrecked on an island for four or five years.
Apologies to Mother Earth, but you’ll need all the napkins that are left on the planet. Bring extras on your journey to Far North Dallas.
Burger Edge is at 7529 Campbell Road