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Touring Texoma: Herd's Burgers

        There are many things that stand out on a drive through Jacksboro.
        There are many things that stand out on a drive through Jacksboro.
          There's Fort Richardson, and the historic courthouse, even an Elvis gift shop.
         But, one of the most important things, for sure to a very hungry person, could actually easily be missed without directions toward a faded and time- tested sign.
      That is.. unless you followed your nose.
Danny Herd/Herd's Burgers: "It's all put together hot.  Everything seeps together, all the flavors of the vegetables, cheese and everything.  Makes for a unique flavor.  I've had a lot of good hamburgers, but I've never had any that taste like this before." 
        Danny Herd is a 4th generation owner of Herd's Burgers, who came back to the family business 4- years ago when his parents retired for the most part.
       "I grew up down here pretty much.  My grandparents were running it, and working for my mom and dad."  "This is the only way I know how to make a hamburger. It's the only way I've seen it done."
       Since 1980, Herd's Burgers has sat in the bottom floor of an old 2- story house, northwest of the courthouse.
         And this.. very seasoned griddle.. was turning out Herd's famous burgers long before that.
Claude Herd:  "That thing he's using is just an old concrete trowel rounded off on the end.. and a World War II surplus griddle.  It's just an old fashioned hamburger.  Always has been.. always will be."
  Claude Herd figures he's cooked maybe a couple of million burgers, with that recipe and method that's never changed.
          Orlene Herd knows not much else around here ever changes either.
Orlene: "You want to eat here or you want it to go?  Ok.. for here?  Ok.  Double Danny."
Claude:  "The hamburgers are the same, just like my aunt cooking them back in 1916.  That's the way they cooked them then, and that's the way we still cook them."
 Customer: "I've probably sat on these same stools, these same crates 25-  30- years ago, I don't think they've changed them."
Orlene:  "If you feel them, they feel like they've been sanded, but it's just peoples bottom wearing them smooth is what it is."
Claude:  "And, daddy built these two benches in 1946."
If you're looking for french fries to go along with that famous Herd's Burger, you're not going to find it here.  You'll find potato chips, and there's a good reason it's always been that way.  In fact, it's tradition today."
Orlene:  "If you had french fries, that would require extra effort, extra room, hiring someone else to do it.  So this is how they always did it, and we just keep it like it always was."
        ...as will future Herds, already well into training.
  Jenna Herd: "I Think it's fun to put all the vegetables and mustard and ketchup and everything on the burgers."
  Hannah Herd: "I get to take orders, and fill up the chips, and the soda pops."
  Jesse Herd:  "Just think it's a family tradition, and all these people come to eat.  I think it would be a shame to let it go, and I've got to do something eventually to make some money.  Why not do this?"
Floyd Easter/Jack County Resident: "If you go to Fort Worth or Graham, or anywhere you want to go, and you say Jacksboro, they're going to say, Herd's Burgers."
Joe Clark/Chico Resident: "It's good.  This is not a patty.  This is done up with a cement trowel I think."
Pastor Kenneth Reiter/Live Oak Baptist Church: "They're not very expensive, and they're good burgers."
Becky & Fred Hoffman/Graham Residents: "The barber recommended it, and I'd never even heard of it, so I thought, well I'll just come over here and have one.  And, everybody should try it."
         The crisp yet ever juicy Herd's Burger has been a Texoma staple for almost a century now, and it's known far and wide.
Claude:  "Bob Lilly and Ralph Neely and some of the other football players put their autograph up there, and it just spread like a virus."
         Herd's is a mouth- watering tradition.. well- known to all of these fans whose praise will continue to bring legions of new fans here for generations to come.
         There's even a little domino hall in the back of the restaurant, where all the old timers gather to play dominoes.
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