When Roadfood.com’s always-reliable “Wanderingjew” took a trip to the Plains states several years ago, he ate many fine meals in Kansas and Oklahoma. He declared the best of them to be a hamburger at Nic’s Grill: an “incredibly big, thick, juicy onion burger.” He commented, “It’s no wonder that Oklahoma is truly the burger belt of our great nation.”
The #1 featured attraction of the burger belt is the state’s specialty, an onion burger. This is not a hamburger with a slice of raw onion on it. No, indeed. Oklahoma burgers’ onions are cooked to caramelized succulence (often mashed right into the meat), pairing wonderfully with griddle-sizzled beef.
Nic’s rendition is a gorgeous mess: a raggedy half-pound mass of ground beef, fatty enough to glisten and ooze juice, its edges slightly crisped from the flattop grill, the whole thing smothered in onions, some of which are translucent and limp, others caramelized amber, a few sizzled to delectable crunchiness. The package (which should include pickle chips and may also be festooned with a couple of slabs of bright orange cheese, lettuce, and tomato) is barely contained in a bun, the top of which gets steamed soft when placed atop the cooking burger.
On the side: Curly fries.
Nic’s Grill is minuscule (under 2 dozen seats, total), and since it got featured on TV, a line starts forming well before it opens at 10:30. The inside is always crowded, but always joyous. These burgers make people happy.