Sunday, June 27, 2010
Hamburgers run through the garden, served in a yellow paper wrapper and sealed with a toothpick.
Soft drinks served in frosty mugs. Crispy, piping-hot onion rings.
The best chocolate malt in town, served with a dollop of whipped cream.
What I'm talking about here is, of course, Arnold's Old-Fashioned Hamburgers.
Like Arnold's, which is located just west of the West 51st Street and Union intersection, I'm from the west side. Having graduated from a high school in west Tulsa, I spent plenty of time at this burger bar. It was a classic post-band practice destination, and we even snuck away from campus a time or two to Arnold's for lunch.
Part of the fun of raising a child in the same city in which you grew up is sharing your memories with him, re-experiencing with him your old stomping grounds. A few weeks ago I loaded up my little guy and trucked it across town so that he could experience those same burgers, onion rings, chocolate malts, neon signs and 1950s-reminiscent glass blocks by the counter that serve as the background of many a high school memory for me.
Upon arriving my son and I went through the lunch line, ordered a couple of burgers and an order of Arnold's famous onion rings, grabbed our drinks and our number and took the last available booth in the dining room.
Lunch time at Arnold's is a busy place. Those west siders, they know a good burger when they taste it, and they're not afraid to drive back again and again for a tried-and-true delicious meal.
Here's my son telling me all about the finer points of this Arnold's burger.
"Burger - cheeseburger! Mommy, burger pretty tasty. Mmm, Mommy? Burger good!"
Well said, kiddo.
"Hey, son? You want my extra onions?"
Yeah, I didn't think so. Which was good, because then I got to keep them all to myself.
He did, however, enjoy these:
He likes his with ketchup, but I'm partial to ranch dressing myself.
As lunch time sometimes does, it runs into what's supposed to be nap time for this little guy. If we're out and about, very bad things start to happen - things involving whining, grabbing, throwing and general misbehaving.
So, Mom had to have her Arnold's chocolate malt from the drive-thru. While it wasn't served in its customary frosty glass, it was much, much better than going totally without.
Which one can never do when visiting Arnold's. It'd be like visiting Paris without going to the Eiffel Tower, or visiting Ireland without kissing the Blarney stone. It just wouldn't be fittin' - the visit wouldn't be complete.
Since it's at 51st and Union, Arnold's isn't conveniently located just for westsiders, but it's also just off I-44, putting it just minutes from, well, just about anywhere. Even coming from across town, once we hit the highway, we were there within 10 minutes.
Which is about as long as I'm willing to wait once I get an Arnold's burger on my mind.
Arnold's Old-Fashioned Hamburgers
Where: 1722 W. 51st Street
When: Monday-Saturday, 11am-9pm (closed Sunday)
Call: (918) 445-4633
Posted by Tasha at 10:16 AM