N32° 52.1025′, W096° 52.9285′
I had never been to a drive-in throughout my time in the United States. That’s including even a Sonic. Drive-ins used to be a large part of the American culture in the early fast food days (Mcdonald’s was one!), but they had slowly died down and did not withstand the erosion of time even as more Americans are getting less incline to walk. I would had assumed that they will appreciate the walk up service to your car considering that driving your own vehicle and convenient services are still things that make the United States, American. So, upon landing in Dallas, we drove straight to the nearest and famous drive-in, Keller’s Drive in.
It would seem counter intuitive if a drive-in is situated in the bad part of town since nobody would actually stop and grab food. But, here we are, at the border of Dallas’ “Stripperville”. I was told by one of the servers that the strip club across the street was BYOB. Definitely very interesting. On a Friday night, this place is jammed pack with large trucks and everybody was drinking, but nobody was eating, which was kind of surprising but then again, this crowd doesn’t look hungry. The irony, though – to serve alcohol in a drive-in. It took awhile but we found a spot near the front of the restaurant. I asked the guy in the car next to us and was informed that the server will walk to your car, but you do have to flag them down.
Without a menu, we stared intensively at the wall of the kitchen building and barely made up an order. Our server was not impressed and left for quite sometime to get our food. I walked to the kitchen area to try to see what’s going on and was told not to shoot any pictures. To be fair, I doubt they want any views of the kitchen to leak out – seeing it will probably upset a couple of stomachs. There was only one cook preparing food, but the burger created looked clean and pure, in stark contrast to the busy and filthy place it was created in. Other than a couple of servers standing in the front counter, there aren’t really much to see inside.
Back in the car, we rolled down the window and was enjoying some loud music from one of the trucks. Suddenly, we heard a bottle smashed against a glass window and a brawl soon broke out 5 feet from our car. It seemed like a truck hit another car when backing into a spot and tried to outrun the owner only to be surrounded by an angry mop of people. It was rather tense and we heard some fire cracker shots (we thought they were gun shots for a little while). The police arrived 10 minutes later to take control of the situation and the crowd dispersed while one of the policeman pat down the driver.
Amid these excitement, our food finally arrived (Probably took 20 minutes) in a brown bag. We were no given trays that clip onto the car window, which I have seen on the internet. It was also cash only (no surprise, there was an ATM on site). To be fair, we ordered 3 burgers, an order of onion rings and drink for $13 in total. We paid the lady and left as quick as possible. As much as we enjoy to be part of a scene, this story can probably go out of hand really easily – we are in Stripperville after all. What happens in Stripperville, stays there.
By the time we had our hands on the burgers, they were a little cold. It seemed like I got the cheeseburger rather than the “no.5 special” so there is only one patty and no dressings. The bun is loaded with black sesame seed, which differs from the white sesame seed bun from Mcdonald’s. The condiments were a slice of slightly melted cheese, a slice of tomato and couple rings of raw onion. On a whole, the burger isn’t that great but you are getting more than what you paid for. It is also much better than any other fast food places, maybe except for Wendy’s (which i really like). I thought the burger needed more juice or sauce, and maybe I should had gotten the grilled onion rather than a mouthful of raw onion.
I would love to get this place another spin, and probably with less drama and better service at the other location. But with limited amount of time I have in the city, this probably is never going to happen. But hell, I did get a big welcome from the city Dallas – it was a damn fun experience.
Visited: May 29th 2015 for dinner.
Address:10554 Harry Hines Blvd, Dallas, TX 75220