by Steven Doyle
If you have lived in Dallas any length of time you may be familiar with Harvey Goff, owner of Goff’s (now Harvey’s) which is one of the legends of the Dallas burger business. He is made up of one part snark, one park burger aficionado, and another part patriot. Consider this king of burgers the original Soup Nazi that Dallas has endeared. since the 50’s.
It was 1970 when Harvey Goff took over his family burger business that had been in business since 1950. The years that followed are what legends are made of. Of course the thin pattied burger was char grilled with appropriate hash marks. This is one of the burgers of my youth, and one my departed mother enjoyed most. You might add Prince of Burgers, a drive-in on Lemmon, to this list and yet another establishment in East Dallas called the Dairy-ette. But it was Goff’s that brings the most interesting memories.
Harvey Goff was best known for his wacky behavior, possibly something that comes from years of slinging burgers. Think twice if given the option for a regular spoon, because the sanitized offering comes with a big lick from the burgermeister. Then there are stories of shotguns, refusal to serve hippies in the 70’s, drinks bagged the hard way and dumped into sacks up burgers. The legends live on and guests ate it all up along with his special hickory sauce that plastered the burgers.
In 2005 Goff franchised his name and two locations opened, one in Highland Park that burned down in 2016, and the location at Preston and LBJ which still stands. The franchisee failed to renew the deal and was eventually closed. Goff re-opened the restaurant under the name Harvey’s and has been seen working the restaurant for the past three years. The snark has slowed, and suppose Goff himself has as well. He has been spending the past years feeding troops overseas steak dinners and running the restaurant with his wife.
Harvey Burger topped with chili, cheese and hot dogs
The era is coming to a close as Harvey’s is serving its last burger and dog this Sunday, January 14, 2018. You will want to step into the past and visit, have a burger, and hopefully catch a glimpse of Goff himself. Maybe he will personally wash your spoon and you will have a story to tell your grandchildren.
We look forward to seeing you soon, Mr. Goff.