SW Aviator Magazine - August/September 1999 issue
The $100 Hamburger
Dalhart, TX
by Noah Masterson
Eat a two dollar breakfast in a former B-29 base and some might say your life is complete. That is precisely what is offered by the Dalhart Airport Café in Dalhart, Texas—where breakfast is served all day, as God intended.

Heathens like us, of course, prefer lunch when it’s lunchtime. So during our midday visit, my companion and I both ordered green chile cheeseburgers—staple food of the Southwest. The burgers are offered with chips ($3.50) or fries ($4.25). We chose fries. The chile (or, for Texans, “chili”) could have been hotter, especially for us desert dwellers, but the hand formed hamburger patties were fresh and flavorful, and we were happy. The fries were pretty good, too.

Our waitress, Jolanda, was wearing a T-shirt bearing an image of Goldberg, the popular pro wrestler, and we engaged in a rousing dialog about him, the geriatric Hulk Hogan and other body slammin’ arcana. My dining companion, who knows only slightly more about pro wrestling than I do, grew quite interested in the topic, and suggested—despite Jolanda's insistence to the contrary—that Hulk Hogan was not too old and shouldn't be forced to retire.

But by the time dessert was served, we’d cooled down enough to enjoy every bite. Three types of pie were available that day: apple, peach, and pecan. We tried apple and peach. Both were delicious, with a delightfully flaky crust and excellent consistency that only homemade from scratch pie has. Served a la mode (that’s French for “overhand,” I believe), we gobbled up our pies and vanilla ice cream in no time flat.

Other treats on the menu include a variety of the aforementioned breakfasts—eggs, potatoes, pancakes, breakfast burritos, English muffins—all ranging in price from $1.50 for a simple one egg breakfast to $4.25 for a build-your-own three egg omelet. Lunches and dinner are fairly standard, with a decent sampling of burgers and sandwiches—plus four meat entrées, served with salad, fries, gravy and Texas toast. Nothing on the menu costs more than $4.75.

Bidding farewell to Jolanda and the locals who had come for lunch, we took a moment to appreciate our surroundings. The small red, white and blue structure sits on the corner of a large airfield, surrounded by cattle and very flat farmland. The café is in an old prefabricated metal diner, but by no means does it appear run down. On the contrary, the place is spotless, while still retaining a sense of cool retro nostalgia. It’s as if you’ve been transported 40 years back in time to a spic 'n' span diner, complete with chrome and new vinyl on the furniture and malts at the soda fountain.

We paid for our fuel and added the amount of our lunch ticket on the same credit card at the FBO. This is a standard practice in Dalhart, as the café itself doesn't accept credit cards. The attendant diligently took the exact change from his money box and hand-delivered it to the waitress in the café across the ramp just as we powered up to taxi to runway 21.

A strong, steady quartering headwind awaited us as we made our departure. There are some things you can always count on in the plains of West Texas. The wind was 22 knots, and an excellent lunch for two with dessert, not including tip, was $13.05.

Click Here To Return To The Beginning Of This Article.

The material in this publication is for advisory information only and should not be relied upon for navigation, maintenance or flight techniques. SW Regional Publications and the staff neither assume any responsibilty for the accuracy of this publication's content nor any liability arising out of it. Fly safe.