Harden’s

Harden’s at 432 S. Sheridan is yet another of Tulsa’s cool, old hamburger joints.

According to Harden’s Web site, John Harden started his restaurant in 1939 as Johney’s Jip Joint as a burger and chili place. Rick and Sharon West have owned Harden’s since 1988.

According to the site:

Preparation is the rule when it comes to Harden’s hamburgers. It starts with cutting the onions with a razor blade and we keep the buns a little greasy. Everything is fresh and homemade, from the cole slaw to the cobbler.

An encouraging sign (no pun intended) is near the ordering area. On a prominent red sign is this message: “We cook ’em with a light pink center (unless otherwise ordered).” That’s a restaurant that’s dedicated to not overcooking the meat.

You make the order, and the Harden’s staff gives you an oversized playing card. Ours was the six of clubs. When your order is ready, they call out the card value. It’s an unusual system, but it’s hard for customers to get confused.

While you’re waiting for your food, you can gaze at Harden’s huge collection of memorabilia, with dozens of vintage metal signs.

Harden’s also has a bunch of diecast toys behind glass, near the pickup window.

Harden’s burgers range from a quarter-pound to a BOB, or big ol’ burger, which is four quarter-pound patties, like this one below. It’s comparable in size to Hank’s Hamburgers’ Big Okie. And no, the knife and fork weren’t there for show; they were needed.

The fries are fresh-cut. Harden’s menu is found online here.

We found Harden’s burgers to be just a notch below Tulsa’s best burger places, such as Hank’s, Claud’s and perhaps Brownie’s. But T-Town is an embarrassment of riches with hamburger restaurants, so this is hardly damning Harden’s with faint praise.

Hours are 11 a.m. to 7:45 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday. Harden’s also has a location at 11501 N. Garnett in Owasso. The Harden’s in Tulsa is less than a mile south of Interstate 244 and not far from I-44, so the location is fairly convenient.

Grades:
Product: A-
Service: A
Convenience: A
Value: A-
Overall: A

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~ by Ron Warnick on February 26, 2008.

8 Responses to “Harden’s”

  1. Harden’s used to be in yet another converted Dairy Queen, on 15th east of Sheridan. I could walk there from where I worked back then. Harden’s let Weird Al film the opening scene of “UHF” there — that would have been about the time Rick bought it. It was a pretty plain place, but shortly after “UHF,” it got a major overhaul, and the memorabilia started to go on display.

    Your last photo reminds me of something else to appreciate about Harden’s: They always give you coupons for your next visit, even if you used a coupon for your order.

  2. Rock on! I just moved into this neighborhood in a sprawling ranch…decided to try this place out on my birthday with my 3 kiddos prior to heading to the flea market. It was awesome!

  3. I know I was just here, but I looked further into your list and realized you didn’t have Arnold’s. Tis right in your backyard, sista, at 51st & Union. Much like Harden’s…

  4. Arnold’s is one of our favorites. Click here to read the review. :)

  5. I definitely recommend getting the fries seasoned…spared no expense!

  6. Holy cow! That burger looks amazing! Thanks for doing this site. My wife and I are always wanting to eat at the local establishments in town. We just don’t know where to start. Thanks again!

  7. There burgers are great as well as the onion rings. My wife loved the cole slaw and even tried to coerce the recipe out of them. No dice.

  8. I totally got the wrong burger when I went! I subscribed to your feed, looking forward to reading more of your blog!

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