Arnold’s Old-Fashioned Hamburgers
Tulsa and Oklahoma in general are lousy with terrific hamburger joints. There are probably at least a dozen old-fashioned burger restaurants that will put any fast-food chain to shame.
A west-side mainstay, Arnold’s Old-Fashioned Hamburgers, 1722 W. 51st St., is one of them. Its menu probably doesn’t list more than two dozen items. But you don’t need a varied selection when you do one thing well like Arnold’s does.
It’s a simple setup. You go to the counter, make your order, and they give you a number. If you want, you can get your soft drink in a frosted mug, which goes great with root beer right out of the fountain. You take a seat at one of the tables or booths until your hamburgers are done and the Arnold’s staff calls your number.
The hamburger comes wrapped in yellow paper with a toothpick plunged into its center. The steam from the hamburger keeps the bun moist. It’s better to eat it right away, lest it become soggy. But right off the grill, an Arnold’s hamburger is a delight.
Arnold’s decor sports a 1950s vibe, with architectural neon and glass blocks. The restaurant’s sound system reflects that era — not just with ’50s rock ‘n’ roll, but with other popular acts of the time: Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin and Ray Charles.
One thing that’s nice is the attentive staff. We clean up after ourselves. But Arnold’s employees frequently swoop in to clean tables after they’re vacated.
Arnold’s sits just a few blocks east of the Union Avenue exit of westbound Interstate 44. It’s adjacent to the 51st and Union intersection, so its location is handy for west-siders and freeway travelers alike.
Arnold’s is open 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday through Saturday. It is closed Sunday. Its phone number is (918) 445-4633.