Food for Thought: Olive Burger

Concept: olives on a burger. Pretty gross right? Wrong. Olives are rad, especially on burgers. Olive is like pickle’s hip cousin who works at a marketing agency or something. She models on the side and has a loft in the city. People put olive in martinis, so you KNOW she’s classy.

“But, Bryar,” you’re probably thinking, “you always have a backhanded compliment to give. There’s no way you’re fine with olives on a burger.”

Congratulations: You played yourself. I don’t even have a sarcastic, sassy backstory this time. I just want to tell you about a burger covered in freakin’ olives. A blessed burger.

Olive Burger is a well-known hidden gem, one of those places everybody has heard of or nobody has heard of. Those who have been only have good things to say, those who haven’t have probably never heard of it. With only two locations in Richardson and Plano, it’s exclusive to North Dallas. So it’s arguably one of few restaurants you can actually brag about being a UTD exclusive. Make sure to use that when talking to out of town friends. Use the word “exclusive” specifically — you’ll sound like you know what you’re talking about. Lord knows I don’t.

A friend and I finally stopped in after a study session a few weeks ago. The Richardson location is a tad sketchy-looking at first glance, and we had to make two or three U-turns before we actually saw it. That’s hardly a critique, however, because anyone with a brain knows that the best spots are the ones that aren’t too flashy. Tell your out of town friends that one, too. They’re going to think you run this town.

Inside, we did the thing where you stand and look confused for a minute as you try to evaluate if you order yourself or if you have a server. Thankfully, the cashier saw the pure desperation and terror in my eyes and waved me over before we made it to that standing-looking-confused-for-more-than-30-seconds-and-starting-to-panic phase. Pro tip: You order yourself. Now you can walk in like you own the joint. YOU’RE WELCOME.

The menu consists of a handful of house burgers, all customizable, as well as halal chicken and gyro. I love olives, but for whatever reason it never occurred to me that Olive Burger put olives on their burgers. I was so excited that I went way over budget and decided to indulge in some fried pickles and friend mushrooms, too, because olives are always cause for celebration.

The kitchen is open and while I didn’t sit and watch the cooks like a weirdo, I can assure you what I ate was fresh. We both had to sit and wait for our food to cool off before we could eat much of anything, which was absolute torture. Everything looked amazing.

The burger was juicy and way bigger than my usual Jr. Mac. The olives took a little getting used to, but they made a great addition to the classic cheeseburger. The mushrooms, pickles, and fries were plentiful and well-seasoned, only improved by the addition of jalapeno ketchup (which was an unexpected, but appreciated surprise). The serving sizes were big enough to leave me with a nice little snack for later that night, and it reheated well enough to warrant passive aggressive to-go box labeling. Food goes missing at my place a lot, so you always have to cover your bases when it comes to leftovers.

I ended up using the leftover burger to spice up my eggs the next morning (cause I don’t play by your daddy’s rules), and came to find that Olive Burger actually offers a breakfast menu. I’m not about to go out looking for food before noon, but I figured somebody would find that information useful.

As a final note, while I’m by no means an expert when it comes to halal food options, I took the time to do a little research. From what I’ve gathered, Olive Burger is legit. They’ve made cameos in Dallas-based halal food review sites and Google reviews have confirmed that their chicken specifically “is properly cared for, adhering to proper cleanliness, respect to the animal, and a dedication recital to the offering”. In an area with a large Muslim community, I have to tip my hat to them for making life a little bit easier for students and residents alike. Their website encourages anybody with specific questions to pop in and ask away.

Olive Burger, like many past restaurants I’ve reviewed, will remain a recurring lunch and dinner spot. And, who knows, maybe I’ll make it in for breakfast. Crazier things have happened.