Now here’s what I call a good cheeseburger. It comes fairly stripped down. If you order the straight up Double Cheeseburger with Onions, which is the choice recommended by George Motz in his fantastic tome, Hamburger America, you get two patties of meat rolled together into one large patty and onions pressed into one side of the meat, grilled right into the patty. Then there’s a swipe of mustard and a couple of slices of pickle and you are good to go.
And, simple as it sounds, you are good to go. That’s because the meat itself is excellent and the taste is right up front. The patty extends quite a ways outside the bun, but who cares? The cheese is melted, gooey and fantastic. The mustard isn’t too heavy and adds a nice tang. I’ve never been the biggest pickle fan in the world, but quibble with a burger this good? I will not.
Claud’s Hamburgers is an institution in the Brookside area of Tulsa, Oklahoma and with good reason. You enter the tiny little restaurant and belly right up to the counter. I wouldn’t have even had to straighten my arm all the way to touch the owner, Robert, where he stood at the grill from where I sat. There are exactly a baker’s dozen of seats in the place and it stays consistently full, people coming in to grab every seat that someone vacates. I like a cozy place and this is definitely that. And I like being able to see the grill, see where the work is being done. No hidden magic tricks here; it’s all right there in front of you. When my burger was ready, Robert plopped it down in front of me without even turning around, backarming it behind his back. He had more meat on the grill of course. And with this meat, with these onions, grilled in like that, I couldn’t blame him for paying attention to it. It’s worth his attention and everybody else’s too.
4 ½ out of 5 stars.