Address: 301 S Rock Island Ave, El Reno, OK 73036
Phone: (405) 262-4721
Known For: Fried Onion Burger
What I had: Fried Onion Cheeseburger, 1/2 Onion Rings 1/2 Fries and Chili on the side.
Rating: 8 out of 10
El Reno is known for their Fried Onion Burgers. There are several restaurants in the small town (pop. 16,000) that serve them and they all have their fans. On top of Johnnie’s there’s Jobe’s Drive-in, Sid’s & Robert’s Grill. They call it a Fried Onion Burger but really it’s just a big pile of onions cooked on the griddle that are them smashed into the burger while it cooks.
I walked in to Johnnie’s just at noon and saddled up to the bar. I’m glad I came when I did because shortly after it got packed, and I mean packed. I thought it was a bit empty when I walked in but my fears were eased quickly. The phone was ringing off the hook and the drive thru was constantly going too. You can tell the locals really love this place.
Of course I ordered their famous Fried Onion Burger. I got mine with cheese, tomato and lettuce ($.40 extra), with 1/2 onion rings 1/2 french fries and chili on the side. The burger was great. It wasn’t the best I’d ever had but it was something a little different than usual. I enjoyed watching them grill the onions right on the griddle in front of me, and smash them into the patty. The grilled (fried) onions give the burger a nice distinct flavor. The only difference next time I’d make is to get it a double, as it was not quite enough meat for me, and skip the onion rings & fries. They were okay but fried a bit much. The fries were pretty thin and real crispy. The onion rings were super crispy and super salty. The chili, however, was really good. Maybe I should have made it a chili burger.
The staff was super friendly and a very funny mix of all demographics, from the old diner waitress to the teenage fast food employee, it was fun to see them all interacting so well. The atmosphere was great and the patrons were all having a great time. I love that they had SportsCenter on the TVs. If you’d headed down I-40 make sure you stop here.
Sep 4, 2009 @ 12:26