Ralph’s Fish & Burger Shack

Talk about truth in advertising. Ralph’s Fish & Burger Shack, 1801 N. Lewis Ave., is indeed in a shack. But there’s nothing ramshackle about the food.

We at Indie Tulsa are always interested in no-frills restaurants. That’s because they concentrate on the food instead of the ambience. Driving on North Lewis one evening, we saw Ralph’s, with its corrugated metal siding and handpainted signs, as a promising beacon.

We became even more intrigued when we saw this review on the Cheeseburger in Paradise site for Ralph’s: “I’ve had the best burger I’ve EVER had!!!!!!!” We later found out that Ralph’s was voted “best burger” by Grand Lake Visitor Magazine for seven straight years.

On a warm November evening, we drove up to Ralph’s to see (and taste) for ourselves. One of us had a codfish sandwich; the other had the burger special, which is a hamburger, fries and drink for $3.25. You order at one window and pick up your food at another. There is no indoor seating at Ralph’s, but it has a few concrete tables under a canopy to shield you from the rain and sun.

I tried the fish sandwich and was surprised how much I liked it. It was not your typical square of fish. The breading was crispy on the outside, and the portion was good-sized.

The fries were crisp and seasoned with a pleasing salt-sugar-spice mixture.

The Ralph’s burger was freshly made, tasted great, was good-sized, and had a toasted bun — good things all. It was not the best we’ve had in Tulsa. But it’s perched in the upper echelon of great burger joints in the Oil Capital, including Arnold’s Old-Fashioned Hamburgers, Brownie’s Hamburger Stand, Weber’s Root Beer, Claud’s Hamburgers and Hank’s Hamburger’s. Considering that Tulsa does hamburgers better than any town I can think of, that’s saying something.

Ralph’s, despite its Spartan size and amenities, doesn’t skimp on its menu, which includes stuffed crab, catfish, shrimp and a slew of side orders. It even has a one-pound burger for those with big appetites.

Service was fairly prompt — less than 10 minutes from the time the order was taken to the time we got our bag of hot, freshly made food.

One of the employees said Ralph’s took over a Lot-A-Burger that had been at the site for more than 40 years. Before then, Ralph’s was at Third and Utica.

Ralph’s is open from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday through Saturday. It’s closed Sunday. The phone number is 582-5866.

Ralph’s is about two miles north of Interstate 244 east of downtown, and its flashing sign and red LED lights make it easy to spot.

Products: A
Service: A-
Value: A
Convenience: B+
Overall: A

~ by Ron Warnick on November 13, 2007.

2 Responses to “Ralph’s Fish & Burger Shack”

  1. Thanks for the heads up on this place. A great find. And the fries are excellent.

  2. Found you through a google search for OK Country donuts & had to say hello. Glad I found you – your posts are right up my alley. I’ve been to many of the places You’ve posted about but not this one. Can’t wait to go for a visit! Thanks & you have a new fan.

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