Oklahoma is awash in restaurants specializing in hamburgers, and for a good reason: Oklahomans eat hamburgers like we’re afraid cows are about to be outlawed. But what about those restaurants that don’t focus solely on ground beef patty sandwiches? Don’t they deserve recognition, too?
I, Too, Enjoy Hamburgers is our love letter to great burgers from restaurants that do so much more than burgers.
Several locations across Oklahoma and a few in other states
What they’re known for: Kicked-up comfort foods
What we ate: Bricktown Burger ($9.50)
Weirdly, the first dish I think about when it comes to Bricktown Brewery is one that has not been on their menu for many a year. It was cornflake-crusted fried catfish, which was a departure from the Bricktown Brewery of old. Unbeknownst to me, this was about the time the company had a management change that really refocused the restaurant on “surprising” food.
Over the years, they’ve had some pretty out-there dishes in concept (though perfectly on-point when it comes to flavor) like green chili pork tot-chos, Spam fries, and more. I respected that this concept could have just been another local Chili’s clone, but pushed the envelope and got weird with it.
But, as president Buck Warfield told me, they’re not a burger restaurant...but they sell a lot of burgers.
Yes, it’s a classic “I’m not a player, but I crush a lot” restaurant. Burgers are not the focus, but they are the top sellers. They’re so popular that Bricktown Brewery has spun off its own ghost kitchen concept, 405 Burger Kitchen, available through Postmates. Still, if there’s something you like on that menu, they can make it for you at Bricktown Brewery, too.
The list of available burgers is massive, but the one I’d like to focus on is the most straightforward. In the restaurant, it’s known as the Bricktown Burger, but if you order it from 405 Burger Kitchen, it’s called the “405 Fake Shack.” It is very much a copy of the beloved Shake Shack burger and that’s a very good thing.
First, let’s talk buns, hon. The Martin potato bun is a beautiful contradiction. It’s soft, like the inside of a fleece pocket, but sturdy...like the inside of a fleece pocket. It tastes much better than a fleece pocket, though. It’s the perfect bun for a big, juicy burger, because it compresses when you hold it, but it doesn’t tear like cheap white buns.
The burger patty is made with a copycat muscle mix to the one used at Shake Shack, but with Bricktown Brewery’s proprietary burger seasoning. I recommend asking for it medium rare, but it’s up to you. I like a pretty juicy burger. There’s American cheese melted on top, with a small pile of tomato, pickles, and leaf lettuce, then a dollop of their creamy, tangy signature burger sauce.
As a food reviewer, you know a dish is delicious when you have lots of other things to taste, but you still want to finish what’s in front of you. This is that kind of delicious. Even with several more burgers to taste, I plowed through the Bricktown Burger/Fake Shack as if it was the only thing I’d eat for days.
This really is a classic burger. Not as stripped down as the meat-cheese-pickle variety and not as overloaded as the guac-bacon-lettuce-tomato jam-cucumber-jicama slaw-alfalfa sprouts-tilapia-asiago cheese-langostino lobster burgers—it’s got enough on it that you feel satisfied without becoming overwhelmed. You can taste the meat. You can taste the cheese. The pickles play off the sauce to give it some bite while the lettuce adds a touch of crispness. This is just good stuff.