When it’s my time I want to go to burger heaven….
Being a lifetime burger lover, or dare I even say connoisseur, I have seen them come and go. Over 50 years of burger worship I have had the pleasure of eating some of the best. Whether it a Whopper or Big Mac (both delicious) or climbing the burger ladder to the greatness of Manetta Tavern in New York; Louis Lunch where it all began in CT; or Plancheck in LA and hundreds in between I have loved the trip.
However as in life the Lord giveth and the Lord taketh away! And that has been true with burgers. Dallas (more importantly I) have lost several of our favorite burger joints over the years. These fantastic burgers now reside on other side of the pearly gates. And sadly Goff’s has joined the heavenly collection.
Burnt down in mid life Goff’s was one of the first burger restaurants featuring a menu built around burgers and fries. Started by the Goff family and hosted in the old days by cantankerous Harvey Goff who served a side of insults with every meal; Goff’s was a longstanding staple in Dallas. Personally I ate at Goff’s and Snuffer’s (another burger icon) weekly for more years than I can count. The Goff’s #10 Burger which was a combo of #s 1,2, and 3 featuring chili cheese barbecue and special sauces should be in the top 5 burgers ever concocted. And their fries simply were the best (okay tied with Snuffers).
Editorial comment from Will – no way Goffs fries were better than Snuffer’s
Here’s a pic of me looking sad at my last Goff’s visit before the fire. I must have had a premonition.
So I now sadly add Goff’s to this list of burgers that have left their earthly existence. Goff’s, say hi to:
1. Jahn’s- this New York neighborhood ice cream parlor served a delicious char grilled burger. I would say this was my first introduction to a truly perfect burger. It is the burger I compare all the others to. Jahn’s was open in 1897 by John Jahn. In the ’50s they had numerous locations throughout New York, New Jersey and Florida. I was weened on the one in Forest Hills, NY my original stomping grounds. Now there is one left in Jackson Height Queens. I plan on checking it out in September when I meet my 3 public school pals in our 45 year reunion. I know they say you can never go back but that won’t stop me from trying. It’s worth it.
Editorial comment from Will – why are we talking about a burger joint in NEW YORK CITY?
2. Jamie’s – around the same time Goff’s was giving Dallasites a taste of burger royalty Jamie’s was also making noise. Jaimie’s Gourmet Hamburgers was a franchise in Dallas that served big juicy hamburgers in a unique TexMex setting. We used to go to the one in Northpark regularly. Everyone got a bowl of red beans to start and when ready to order was asked to lift up the table’s Texas flag for service. The burger was flat big and delicious. Jamie’s left us in the 70’s. I am sure that Texas flag is still flying at Jamie’s heavenly location.
3. Kip’s – on Northwest Highway and Hillcrest. A teenage hangout, Kips was Dallas’ home of the Big Boy. It was our Frischs, Bobs, or Shoney’s. The Big Boy holding a big burger in front of the restaurant promised a delicious burger and they delivered. The burger, constructed similar to the delicious Big Mac, was part of many of my high school date nights. Many times the burger turned out better than the date itself.
Editorial comment from Will – Matt was a big spender on his dates. Note the burger price
4. Holiday House – after graduating from Hillcrest High School I headed down to Austin in search for both an education and a burger to hold me for the next 4 years. Holiday House did it for me. It was my Austin version of Goff’s. The burgers reminded me of Goff’s in flavor and size. A delicious burger that became my go to meal for four years. I dragged my then girlfriend and now wife of 36 years to Holiday House during our initial courtship. I believe she loved it as well although maybe she was humoring me. Anyways I believe they closed the last one in 2005.
5. Pat & Mikes – it is hard to say this was a classic as it was only around a short time. It was opened by Pat & Mike Snuffers shortly after Pat sold his Snuffer’s franchise. Snuffer’s was and is my all time favorite. The burger is delicious and the fries the best. Snuffer’s is actually well known for their cheese fries but I feel the burger is the star.
Editorial note from Will – note that here Matt admits Snuffer’s fries are the best
So why talk about Snuffers in this afterlife review of burger shops? Because Pat & Mikes was within a mile of my house. In addition Pat & Mike remembered how to make a great burger and provided a similar burger and fries to its predecessor. Steve, the general manager, was a great burger man himself and we became acquaintances over my years of patronage. When it closed I lost an easy trip to my favorite burger. Oh, well. Luckily Snuffer’s restaurant owners felt sorry for me and just opened a Snuffer’s just down the road from us. The burger gods are truly watching over me.
So in conclusion, it was so sad to watch Goff’s slowly burn to the ground. I would have gone in deep depression had I not remembered that its former owner, Harvey Goff, has opened his encore restaurant, Harvey’s in Preston Valley shopping center. Harvey’s, like Pat & Mikes provides me with an ongoing opportunity to still enjoy the #10, or whatever it is now called.