About Regional Flavor
No state has more varieties of good hamburger than Oklahoma, from the onion-fried burgers that perfume the town of El Reno to the chopped-up “hot hamburger” of Bartlesville. Old Route 66 takes travelers to magnificent stockyards steaks as well as to memorable chicken-fried steaks and western barbecue parlors where beef brisket and hot links star.
Oklahoma Regional Specialties
It seems logical that the southwest's favorite comfort food, chicken-fried steak, traces its heritage back to central European immigrant cooks who found themselves without the fixin's for a fine, tender cut of veal to make wiener schnitzel. Instead, they took a hunk of cow and beat the chaw out of it, then fried it up like southern-style chicken and served it with pan-dripping peppered milk gravy and mashed potatoes. Beware, though: while chicken fried steak can be a taste of tender heaven, especially along old Route 66 in Oklahoma, the roads of the west also lead to some really hideous versions.
Not merely a hamburger with fried onions, the onion-fried burger of El Reno, Oklahoma, is a patty of meat that gets put on the grill with a heap of thinly sliced onions on top. The chef presses down, mashing the onions into the raw meat; and when the burger is flipped, he presses down again. By the time the hamburger is done, the onions and meat have become inseparable – a savory/sweet package with an especially enticing aroma. "Onion-fried burger" is not listed on the menu of restaurants that serve it. In El Reno, when you order a hamburger, you will get an onion-fried burger unless you specifically instruct the cook to leave the onions out.
Named for a Spanish dish that makes use of leftover bread (the word translates as crumbs), migas is (or, more correctly, migas are) scrambled eggs laced with strips of corn tortilla. Migas may also contain diced tomatoes and onions, crumbled chorizo sausage, and melted cheese. When a hangover remedy is sought, hot jalapeno peppers will be added; and eaters frequently spritz migas with hot sauce or spoon on spicy salsa. Side dishes include refried beans, grits, and fried potatoes.