Maria Vagoda for Food & Wine:
I’m crying in a quick-service restaurant in Oklahoma City. Chalk it up to a long day of traveling, or chalk it up to this: I’m holding the perfect beef burger with sweet, cheese-topped fried onions, smashed between fluffy buns, the tang of pickle punctuating each note of rich, as mayonnaise becomes one with the mustard becomes one with the bread.
I’m at Tucker’s Onion Burgers, a local OKC franchise with four locations that specializes in one of the state’s most beautiful delicacies: the onion burger. People eat onions, fried or otherwise, on their burgers everywhere, but this—this one is different.
“In my mind, the most important thing to know about the onion burger is that, like a lot of Oklahomans who enjoy it—it’s a humble food,” said Cameron Coit, an OK-born New Yorker who worked in restaurant kitchens for years. “It was born from the depression, so it’s simple: Onions…meat…bun. That’s all you need. I personally take mustard and a little pickle on mine, but nothing else. Anything else, and it ceases to be an onion burger.
Burgers are, by far, my favorite food and Tucker’s is easily my favorite place to go eat one. I always knew that the onion burger was something that was popularized in Oklahoma, but I never knew the history of why.
In addition to Tucker’s, she mentioned Garage Burgers and Beers and Sid’s in El Reno. I go to the Garage about as often as Tucker’s, but I have never made trek out to El Reno.
The last line of the article describes her reaction when learning about Sid’s and it sums up my feeling perfectly:
Well, it looks like I have to go back to Oklahoma to taste for myself. This is my life now. And I could not be more pleased with it.