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Nostalgia on a Poppy Seed Bun at Keller's Drive-In

[Photos: Garrett Hall/EDFW]

Cheffy burgers are all over this town, with their truffle aioli, heirloom tomatoes, and housemade brioche buns; sometimes, though, one craves a burger that's just a burger, ripe for pairing with an icy cold beer (and we're talking Budweiser, not a fancy craft brew). Luckily, a tasty and bargain-priced respite can always be had at the burger joint that time forgot: Keller's Drive-In on Northwest Highway, one of the few old school drive-ins still alive and kicking. GQ's Alan Richman named it one of 20 hamburgers in the country to eat before you die, and for good reason.

Since 1965, Keller's has been serving old-fashioned burgers and beer to hungry folks in their cars (or trucks, or motorcycles). Prices have certainly risen since then, but they still don't seem to have caught up with the times: A single cheeseburger will still only run you a paltry $2.35. The patties are thin and there's nothing especially exceptional about them, but the American cheese is always perfectly melted into nuclear orange goo and the shredded lettuce is always crisp and fresh. The piece de resistance, though, is those soft, squishy poppy seed buns, so thoroughly encrusted with the tiny black specimens that you'll definitely want to do a tooth check in your visor mirror before attempting to make conversation with anyone. Add a side of crispy, golden tots and a beer and you'll still come in well under ten bucks, leaving plenty of money to tip your waitress generously — and you should do just that, since she probably called you "honey" and never messes up an order.

A big draw for Keller's patrons is the scene: Roll up on a Sunday afternoon and you'll get to behold one of the finest collections of classic cars and hot rods outside of the Dallas Auto Show. Plus, where else can you legally drink beer in your car? Conveniently enough, you can also pick up a 12-pack to take home — just don't forget to bring cash money.

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