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Could the burger at Beck’s Prime, the place with the drive-through steaks, be the best burger in Dallas?

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Burgers are not meant to be eaten by the dark-suited men you find in the shadowy corners of steakhouses or in the orchestra section of the theater. They are meant to be eaten by people like you and me and your kids, your kids’ school teacher, her best friend, the guy who cooks the burgers and the girl who rips your heart out. You know, the rest of us (excepting, of course, the vegans).

Mike Knapp plays to our crowd. He knows what we like: a damn good burger that’s been grilled — not griddled — over hot coals, made from good quality beef that tastes like beef and ground a few hours earlier. The kind of burger they sell at Beck’s Prime, which just so happens to be the place that Knapp founded in 1985 in Houston. Knapp’s jumped head-first into the waters here, opening three Beck’s Prime restaurants in the last few months. The newest of the company’s fifteen Beck’s Primes debuted on the southern edge of Highland Park just two weeks ago.

That’s where I met Knapp a few days ago. You’ve probably heard of Beck’s Prime. It’s the place where you can also order a damn good steak — from a drive-through or walk-up window, to-go. Knapp says a about 45% of his business is to-go orders, and that includes the sixteen ounce rib-eye, the fourteen ounce strip steak and the half-pound filet, all of which come with a loaded baked potato (or fries, rice or grilled veggies) and a salad.

“People have been emailing us for a while asking us to come to Dallas,” Knapp told me over the $7.65 half-pound Certified Angus beef burger cooked to order then  gussied up with mustard, pickles, onions, lettuce and tomatoes. “I decided it was finally time.”

I left impressed with the quality and the value of the food. I liked the fast-casual style of the restaurant, which means you order at a counter and the food is delivered to you. I liked that the burgers, salads, steaks and hot dogs (split and grilled rather than steamed) are all served on china with silverware rather than in baskets with plastic utensils. Want a glass of wine? Go ahead. The wine comes in a real glass. Same with the beers. Don’t want meat? Knapp says 15% of his customers buy a salad as their entree. Is Beck’s Prime serving Dallas’ best burger? Well, it’s certainly among Dallas’ best burgers.

And that strip steak? Definitely worth $30, even if you do take it to-go.

Beck’s Prime, Oaklawn at Avondale, Preston at Forest, Greenville Avenue between SMU Blvd. and University

Haywire Plano
The Ranch Las Colinas

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