Hossein “Hoss” Taher grew up in a family that owned restaurants.
But when he immigrated to the United States from Iran in the 1970s, he had his sights on American food. Specifically, he wanted to cook burgers.
“I saw that the American people liked burgers more than anything else,” Taher said. “I knew if you opened a burger place and the quality is there and the service is good, there is no doubt you’re going to succeed.”
Taher had owned a small burger restaurant called Classic Grill on Greenville Avenue and Campbell Road in the late 1990s, but when he stumbled upon Del’s Charcoal Burgers for the first time, he knew it was something different.
“I fell in love with the nostalgic part of it that makes you feel like you’ve gone back in time,” Taher said.
Del Smith opened the restaurant in 1957. Much of the original menu—including burgers, hot dogs, french fries, onion rings and homemade root beer—remains intact, with a few exceptions.
Since taking over ownership in 2003, Taher has added a vegetable burger and salmon burger. He said the most popular addition is the Texas cheeseburger, made with cheese, bacon, jalapeno, lettuce, tomato, hickory sauce and mayonnaise. It is even known internationally, Taher said.
“I have a customer from Israel that says the first thing he does when he arrives in [the Dallas-Fort Worth area] is come to Del’s for the Texas burger,” Taher said. “It’s Texan—it has to have flavor; it can’t be bland.”
Taher dreams of expanding Del’s outside of Richardson. He wants to provide other cities with the same feeling of nostalgia he gets from Del’s.
“I would like every downtown to have a Del’s,” Taher said.