Sid’s onion-fried burgers are mouth-watering, cooked so the onions mashed into the patty of meat are charred from their time on the grill, giving the sandwich a sweet and smoky zest. The town of El Reno is famous for burgers cooked this way.
Sid’s non burger eaters get two or three Coney Islands, which are prepared in a way that is also unique to El Reno: Bright red weenies come topped with chili and a great flow of wet, superfine slaw with mustard punch.
Milk shakes are so thick that they are served with a spoon as well as a straw.
Sid’s isn’t just a quick-eats joint. It is quite literally a town museum. Using eleven gallons of clear epoxy to seal some 450 images onto the top of the counter and the tops of tables, proprietor Marty Hall (son of Sid, for whom the restaurant was named and father of current proprietor Adam Hall) arranged images of El Reno history throughout the restaurant in chronological order starting at the far left of the room. Mr. Hall’s visual history long predates the onion-fried burger and includes pictures of Chief Black Kettle, killed west of town by George A. Custer’s forces in the Battle of Washita River, and Cado Jake, who ran a ferry across the South Canadian River.
Choosing Sid’s was simple. I had two dogs with me and Sid’s has outdoor seating. Couldn’t have picked a better place for my onion burger.
The staff at Sid’s is as nice as their burgers are good. When I asked if I could snap a few pictures of the inside, I was invited to come behind the counter. What a treat! I was able to watch the entire process of making an onion burger up close.
As for my onion burger, I drove several hundred miles out of the way to El Reno, Oklahoma on a trip from Los Angeles to Dallas just to try one. On my next trip to Dallas, Sid’s will be a destination stop no matter how out of the way it is. My burger was cooked perfectly, not greasy, and the onions took it over the top. I also ordered a coney dog, which was a bright red hot dog covered with a ground meat chili and coleslaw.