In the Oklahoma City metro there are some restaurants that are locally owned and have been part of the scene for many years. Interurban is a perfect example, they have been here since 1976 and still serve up good food.
I have had the opportunity to visit a couple of locations recently and both times the food has been excellent. Both visits I had the chicken fried steak. A nice size steak, breaded with cream gravy poured over it. The steak itself is fork tender and the breading was fried to a crisp brown. The mashed potatoes had a slight hint of garlic, which was different and the okra was also fried to a golden perfection. We started with the cracker-breaded mozzarella sticks, which were deep fried perfectly- crisp on the outside and melty inside. Big K had the flamethrower burger which he said was flavorful but not overly spicy.
I have had many other menu items over the past 40+ years that I have been going to Interurban. My first burger from there was not long after it opened at their original location in downtown Norman. I was maybe 5 or 6 and my grandfather picked up some burgers for dinner. I had only really eaten McDonald’s burgers or homemade ones to that point and can honestly say that burger was the best thing my young mouth had ever eaten. I think that I have spent the rest of my life trying to recreate that experience when I eat out. Now they are called Interurban because they got their start in the building that had been an interurban station built in 1917 for the trolley lines that went from Oklahoma City to Norman. After 1947 when the interurban lines shut down it was converted to a bus station. The restaurant was opened in 1976 and later moved to a location closer to I-35 in the 1990’s.
I give them 5 strips of bacon because they have been able to have good food for over 40 years.
Locations: 1150 Ed Noble Dr., Norman; 11316 W Reno, Yukon; 1301 E Danforth Rd., Edmond; 300 E Grand Ave., Chickasha; 322 Holiday Dr., Ardmore; 717 S. Houston Ave., Tulsa.
Johnnie’s Charcoal Broiler, a straight up burger place that has been in business for almost 50 years. It is my favorite backup for when no one can decide what to eat for dinner. I’ve been going to Johnnie’s for well over 25 years now, been to many of the different locations. What I like most is the consistency in the food, you know that bacon cheeseburger will be the same when and where ever you are in the metro.
My go to location is on NW Expressway, of course. Originally built in the early 1980’s as a Mexican restaurant, Johnnie’s moved into that location in 1992. It was closed in 2018 for a complete rebuild. It was a tough few months for me to not have it so close, but they reopened last year with a brand new place but with the same great food.
My favorite burger is the bacon cheeseburger. You can tell the difference when hamburger is cooked over a flame, just gives off a taste that you can’t get from a skillet. So the flame brings out the flavors of the meat, so you have a juicy and smoky taste that excites your taste buds. They cook the bacon to perfection, not too crisp or limp. The burger is then set off with shredded cheddar cheese, that you can also have melted onto the burger if you choose. A touch of real mayo and the burger is one of the best in town. We always order a plate of large onion rings and a large plate of cheese fries for everyone at the table to share. The onion rings are hand breaded with a light batter that is crispy. Just a touch of salt and these are the best in town. The cheese fries are just regular fresh cut French fries smothered in melted American cheese. They are just wonderful with all of that cheesy goodness.
They do serve more than burgers, there are frankfurters, salads, sandwiches, and platters with chicken fried steak or chicken fried chicken. But to be honest the burgers are so good, I never try the other items. There are also homemade pies as well, I’m always too stuffed to try them. The service is always good and the food served quick. I will give them 5 strips of bacon.
Locations: 6629 NW Expressway, Oklahoma City; 2652 W. Britton Rd., Oklahoma City; 421 W I-240 Service Rd., Oklahoma City; 13900 N. May Ave., Oklahoma City; 33 E 33rd St., Edmond; 1700 Shedeck Pkwy, Yukon; 2305 S Telephone Rd., Moore.