Diners, Drive-By’s and Dives: Dave’s Burger Barn

Dave’s Burger Barn is located about 10 minutes north of campus, off the beaten path. Photo credit: Lauren Friederman

By Lauren Friederman, Reporter

Today, I drove down I-35 North, out of the Baylor Bubble, in search of a good burger. I didn’t want just any ol’ burger, though. I wanted a burger that would make my taste buds sing. I ended up at Dave’s Burger Barn, located at 600 N Patricia St.

I pulled up to Dave’s and realized just how fitting the name is. The building looked like a real farm fixture, complete with metal sides and red accents. I took a tentative step toward the door. My hunger and craving for a beef patty propelled me forward, so I opened the door and stepped inside.

dbb2 FTW.jpeg
The small shop has expanded with a food truck which is planted regularly in downtown Waco for special events like Baylor football games and seasonal festivals. Photo credit: Lauren Friederman

The concrete floor, metal walls and ceiling helped complete the barn atmosphere of Dave’s. The smell of fried food hit me and I felt my mouth begin to water. The menu was simple — no frills or complications. From fried steak and hot dogs to chili dogs and onion rings, this place is a smörgåsbord of fried delights. I, however, was in the market for a burger.

“Would you like fries with that?” the man behind the counter asked me, interrupting my train of thought. Is this even a valid question? Of course I want fries with that. What is a burger without fries? I handed him my credit card, he handed me a number and the wait was on.

dbb FTW.jpeg
Photo credit: Lauren Friederman

I took my number to a table near the wall and sat down. As my eyes examined the interior of the restaurant, they rested on a sign near where I was sitting.

The phrase “Zipper Ripper Challenge” was displayed proudly alongside hundreds of pictures of those attempting the beastly feat.

Participants in this eating challenge have a measly 12 minutes to eat a burger with five patties, five slices of cheese and five pieces of bacon, as well as a pound of fries and a drink. My stomach churned thinking about that volume of food entering my stomach.

The bulletin board holding all the pictures was divided into two sections: the wall of fame and the wall of shame. The shame portion was about two times as large as the fame section — a clear picture of just how nearly unattainable the challenge is. As I stared at the faces of the poor souls that tried and failed to eat their weight in fried goodness, my thoughts were interrupted as the cheeseburger basket I ordered was set down in front of me.

I unwrapped it and took a bite. It was one of the best burgers I’ve had, hands down. Next, I tried the fries. The crispiness of the thick-cut spuds accompanied the juicy burger perfectly. I devoured the burger in minutes and munched on the fries, trying to make the meal last as long as possible.

When all was said and done, I had a full stomach and a feeling of contentment. Driving 10 minutes off the beaten path was absolutely worth it for a Dave’s Burger Barn burger. If you’re ever in the mood for a savory fried meal, the Barn is the place to go.