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.
Kitchen No. 324
324 N. Robinson, OKC
What they’re known for: Breakfast
What we ate: Cheeseburger ($12)
If you ask me what to order at Kitchen No. 324, I will tell you the truth: Everything. While it might not have the prestige of Red Prime, the accolades of Cheever’s Cafe, or the multiple locations of Tucker’s Onion Burgers, Kitchen No. 324 is one of the shiniest jewels in the A Good Egg Dining Group’s portfolio.
My favorite menu items at Kitchen are the breakfasts—Fried Green Tomato Benedicts, Open-Faced Toasts, and Kitchen’s “Green” Eggs and Ham, all of which are available at lunch, as well. But when you’ve got a rock star like Jason Chandler in the kitchen, you just know he’s going to give something like the Cheeseburger ($12) his all.
Oh, how I love this burger, let me count the way. It starts with a pillowy soft roll that is tender and flavorful on its own, but sturdy enough to handle a lot of very juicy fillings without falling apart. That’s a tough tightrope to walk, but they nail it. There are little touches, like using butter lettuce, which adds a little body and crunch, but without any of the bitterness of iceberg lettuce.
But the main draws are a pair of grilled, fall apart tender burger patties covered in smoked cheddar cheese and Chandler’s bacon-onion jam. That last one gives each bite a subtle, vegetal sweetness and another big pop of umami that makes the next bite inevitable. Chandler even spilled the proverbial beans on Twitter with his secret bacon jam ingredients: coffee, honey, and ancho chili powder.
I really love the use of the double patty here, as well. Could you do a larger patty with the same amount of beef? Sure. But these are perfectly sized to get more of that all-important char flavor while retaining the juiciness and tenderness that can be lost with an oversized patty. This is food science at its best. This is what happens when people really think about your food instead of just making it.