Memorable | One of the Best
Hamburger King | Best Oklahoma Town Cafe Hamburgers
Review by: Jane & Michael Stern
Hamburgers Reign, But There’s More
When George Macsas opened for business in 1927, his Hamburger King in Shawnee, Oklahoma, sold large hamburgers for 5 cents apiece, extra-large for 10 cents. Today’s prices are higher. But Hamburger King still offers a satisfying meal for a very agreeable price. Oklahoma town cafe hamburgers continue to star, but the menu also includes catfish dinners, Frito pie, stew, chili, and a unique item known as “redtop stew.” For that, the cooks top their stew with a layer of chili.
Anatomy of an Excellent Hamburger
The burgers are lunch counter beauties. They are significantly thicker than a slider. But they bear little resemblance to the big softball burgers you find in modern pubs at $10 or more. Hamburger King uses beef that is fatty enough to make the patties glisten. By the time you have eating most of the burger, its bun will approach disintegration. Please pass the napkins!
A Taste of History
We love the look of this old lunchroom with its tall ceiling and long rows of tables. Each table offers a direct phone line to the open kitchen. The menu refers to this futuristic convenience as the “electronic order system.” For those who harbor nostalgia for vintage cafes, the old west, cowboy music, Oklahoma history in general, or the history of Hamburger King in particular, the walls are a mesmerizing museum. The showstopper display is a blown-up photo of founder George Macsas flanked by King of Western Swing Bob Wills and movie star Jack Hoxie. Wills once wrote a jingle to celebrate his favorite eatery, its lyrics reading:
When you’re feelin’ blue, and hungry too
Here’s a tip to make you sing.
Pick up your hat, close your flat
Go down to the Hamburger King.
An Oklahoma town cafe with a Bob Wills-written jingle? Now, that’s Roadfood!
|Meals Served||Lunch, Dinner|
|Credit Cards Accepted||No|