Burger and fries at Irma's Burger Shack in Oklahoma City

Irma’s Burger Shack: does ‘no name’ beef really make a difference?

by | October 20, 2007 | 38 Comments

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Irmas Burger Shack in Midtown Oklahoma City

Irma’s Burger Shack is fairly well-known around the Oklahoma City metro. Their flagship restaurant near 63rd and Western is generally packed during the lunch hour as hoards of hungry people from Chesapeake Energy and elsewhere crowd in to grab a lunch. I ate at the original Irma’s restaurant once a while back and enjoyed it, but I became even more interested in Irma’s when I saw they were opening a second location at Plaza Court in midtown OKC. Since I live in a historical neighborhood near this area, I am very happy to see new restaurants moving in. So, I had to give Irma’s II a try.

First of all, I just have to say what a great location, and what a great renovation they’ve done. Credit is due to the developers of the property as well as the folks at Irma’s. If you haven’t been to this area of our great city, you really should check it out. The whole area around Plaza Court is getting built up with restaurants and the Plaza Court building itself is a real architectural treasure. Irma’s corner space, in particular, is so inviting as huge windows seem to wrap around the whole restaurant. Come on down and check out a piece of history sometime.

Ok, on to the food. I took up a special mission on this trip to Irma’s. I wanted to find out if their famed “no name” beef really made a difference. You see, at Irma’s you can get a burger made with special beef from a private herd of cattle at the No Name Ranch in Wynnewood, OK. On their website, they make a big deal about this special breed of cattle and that it is raised naturally with no pesticides or hormones or any of that stuff. Sounds great, right? Well, I wanted to find out for myself. Does “no name” beef really make a better burger?

In a word: yes.

I tried them both side by side in an effort to bring you my official verdict and, in my opinion, there is a huge difference in texture between the two. The “no name” patty was cooked all the way to well done, yet still moist and juicy, with an almost crumbly texture that sort of melts in your mouth. The regular patty, cooked similarly, was much more dry and the meat was a bit compressed. Both burgers had great flavor, but this texture really made the difference. My wife, who runs screaming at the site of any pinkness on a piece of meat, was really pleased that she could get a well done burger that still had some life to it.

It’s this type of commitment to quality that really makes Irma’s great. They’re not trying to be fancy, but whatever they do, they do it very well. The onion rings are hand-breaded. The fries are fresh cut in-house. The burgers are seared first on a griddle to lock in juices, then flame-grilled the rest of the way. Whenever possible, you can bet that Irma’s is taking the extra steps to add just that little extra touch of quality and flavor to all of the simple foods they serve.

All this extra attention to quality comes at a price, though. The basic, “no name” burger is $7 ala carte. Add cheese for $0.50 plus a side of fries for $2, a drink for $2 and you’re at $11.50 for one person, plus tax and tip. Now, I’m pretty cheap and spending upwards of $12 on a burger meal stretches me a bit, but what I really care about is value. Does the quality of the meal justify the higher price tag? In Irma’s case, I’d have to say “yes,” and judging by their history of long lunchtime waits, I’d also have to say that a lot of people agree with me. I tell you what, I’ll drink water, split some fries, leave off the cheese, and focus my funds on the “no name” beef and the all-around quality you can only get at Irma’s.

Irma's Burger Shack on UrbanspoonIrma's Burger Shack (Midtown) on Urbanspoon

More Photos from Irma’s Burger Shack

Burger and Onion Rings at Irma's Burger Shack in Oklahoma CityExterior of Irma's Burger Shack in Oklahoma CityChicken at Irma's Burger Shack in Oklahoma CityChopped Steak with Grilled Onions at Irma's Burger Shack in Oklahoma CityBurger at Irma's Burger Shack in Oklahoma CityBurger and Fries at Irma's Burger Shack in Oklahoma City

This article was posted by Tim Wall on Saturday, October 20th, 2007. It is filed under:

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  • Carol says:
    October 23rd, 2007 at 10:00 pm   

    Erma’s burgers are wonderful. As for the price of $10 for burgers, fries and a drink, well you gotta figure the order is HUGE! One order of fries alone would feed a family of four! Love Erma’s!

  • Andy1807 says:
    October 28th, 2007 at 11:56 am   

    2 things:
    1) Another difference I’ve found between the two burgers (and I don’t know why it is): Irma Burger tastes better with mustard, No Name tastes better with ketchup.
    2) Even though it’s not on the menu you can always get mac and cheese as a side if you ask.

  • Tim says:
    October 28th, 2007 at 9:29 pm   

    Good point, Carol. Andy, thanks for those tips!

  • Andrew says:
    October 29th, 2007 at 7:00 pm   

    I had no idea you could order mac and cheese off menu. This changes my life!

  • Chad says:
    January 17th, 2008 at 12:23 pm   

    I just ate there yesterday for lunch and had the No Name burger thanks to you guys. I also had some of the chipotle poppers (I think that is the name), which are stuffed peppers with smoked cheese. It was wonderful!

  • Ken says:
    February 12th, 2008 at 3:59 pm   

    Oh my god, I love the chili cheese burger! An order of fries are huge and can easily be shared between two people. The staff are great and very friendly people. My absolute favorite place to eat a burger!

  • Noelle says:
    May 23rd, 2008 at 1:05 pm   

    I recommend getting the No Name burger and adding green chiles and avocado. If I don’t want to feel too guilty, I order it with a side salad and it’s quite satisfying. Then again, if I do want to feel some guilt, I’ll order the delicious stuffed olives. I really enjoy Irma’s innovative appetizers!

  • Chelsea says:
    September 3rd, 2008 at 12:21 pm   

    Irma’s is absolutely wonderful! The Chipotle Poppers are good because they are not too spicy to share with friends who aren’t into much spice. The No Name Burger is my personal favorite. There is certainly nothing wrong with the Irma Burger, I just prefer the texture of the No Name beef.

  • Mary L. says:
    September 4th, 2008 at 9:25 am   

    Burgers are great. It’s very crowded at lunch so we go at dinner. I love the mushroom swiss burger.

  • Megan says:
    September 21st, 2008 at 9:03 pm   

    Went to Irma’s for the first time ever about a month ago. I don’t normally eat much in the way of carbs, so I’ve got to be really tempted in order to not stick to my diet. We walked in and I was prepared to try to be good, but all of my intentions flew out the window at my first sniff. I had a bacon cheese burger and the other person I was with had a No Name Burger. Both were so wonderful! Next time, though, I’m definitely having the No Name.

  • jan demery says:
    October 24th, 2008 at 3:14 pm   

    I love Irma’s. The No-Name certainly does make the difference. All the sides are excellent and served in large portions. The atmosphere and service make the entire dining experience very enjoyable.

  • Kirsten says:
    April 29th, 2009 at 2:01 pm   

    Even though I’m not really a burger person I love Irma’s! Their cole slaw is a favourite–not overly heavy on the sauce and with a nice tang to it. Plus the cabbage is always crunchy. (Soggy cabbage = bleck.)

  • Sam says:
    May 4th, 2009 at 2:17 am   

    Wow, just had Irma’s for the first time today and I must say…their No-Name burger is A-M-A-Z-I-N-G! I didn’t even realize until now that I didn’t have cheese on it, and I didn’t even need it…the medium done goodness was that good. Plus the 10% off if you order to go from 4-9pm is a good deal (this was at Irma’s original store). Next time I’ll try the coleslaw and mac n cheese.

  • Ryan says:
    June 16th, 2009 at 8:01 am   

    I guess I made a mistake by not ordering the no name burger. I had a black and blue burger and was dissatisfied with the flavorless pre-formed frozen patty that wasn’t even close to blackened. I wasn’t tempted to ever return, but maybe I’m missing out on the no-name.

  • Tim says:
    June 20th, 2009 at 1:48 pm   

    @Ryan, yeah, you really should give the no name a try. It’s very different from the regular burger, which is pretty unimpressive. Let us know if you try the no name and what you think of it.

  • Jessica says:
    July 20th, 2009 at 10:08 pm   

    I’ve never tried Irma’s either…I’ll have to put it on the list!

  • Donald says:
    July 20th, 2009 at 10:40 pm   

    Its the best burger around no doubt about it and if you’re willing to pay alittle more the no-name is the way to go, but the third pounder is also very good and a bit more reasonably priced.

  • kathi pinkston says:
    July 22nd, 2009 at 6:49 am   

    Re: 63rd Street Location
    I have never been disappointed by the quality of any item at Irma’s. I eat there often and adore the Irma’s Burger with swiss and fried onions added. The service is attentive and the cleanliness of the restaurant is spotless.

    However, all of this takes a backseat to the alertness of the manager. She recognizes you when you return. She personally checks on your service and food quality. She sincerely cares about your happiness with your dining experience. Any restaurant would succeed with her as the manager.

  • Rick Lewis says:
    August 4th, 2009 at 3:12 pm   

    I had heard Irma’s was special and the burgers were great. I thought I had read where Drive inns, diners and dives on the Food Network had recently been there. Guess not the waiter had no clue. The “No name burger” was very average and if they use to serve large orders of fries they no longer do! I would say Irma’s was ok but nothing special and not worth 10 bucks for a burger and fries. I pay that a lot these days for lunch but Irma’s reputation as a special place no longer aplies if it ever did.

  • Stacey says:
    August 19th, 2009 at 8:35 am   

    No Name Beef is the best. I really couldn’t imagine how it would be any better, but OMG, it is. I always get a no-name Theta, medium, with grilled onions and a slice of cheddar and a side of fries. It is excellent. I am pretty sure they use Head Country BBQ sauce and it is great. I usually eat it with a knife and fork to avoid getting it all over my shirt, and normally I am not too into a messy burger, but this is so good, I don’t care.

  • Kevin says:
    August 29th, 2009 at 11:12 am   

    Ain’t nuttin wrong with a messy burger, but there are scads and scads of thangs right with one.
    8^)

  • Anon Reader Dude says:
    June 27th, 2010 at 9:19 pm   

    Yep. The No Name burger with a side of onion rings is the way to go. Very tasty.

  • James says:
    August 28th, 2010 at 7:32 pm   

    Ok, Anon Reader Dude, I have to disagree, while the No Name burger is delicious with a side of rings, the way to go is the “What ya Looking@Burger”, won’t be hungry the rest of the day for sure.

  • Lin says:
    October 20th, 2010 at 10:00 pm   

    We ate there tonight and I have to say we both were disappointed. Dave ordered chicken fried steak with mac n cheese and green beans. The meat was thin and overcooked and cold as were the green beans. The mac n cheese had a good flavor but was mushy and cold in the center. I had a BLT since I do like my bacon. It would have been a very tasty sandwich if the bacon was warm – as it was it was good but not a fave. It is a burger house so we shouldn’t have expected much from what we ordered, I guess. However, when we told our waiter how disappointing the mac and cheese was the response we got was a “Huh!” and a disappearing waiter. No apologies, not an offer to let the cook know, nothing. This was at the main location. We frequent the NW 63rd location and will likely stick to that. You know, OKC has a lot of very good places to eat – we don’t have to go back to a so-so restaurant.

  • Zombii says:
    October 28th, 2010 at 3:32 pm   

    I ate at the 10th n’ Walker location a few weeks ago to satisfy a burger craving and didn’t leave disappointed. Unfortunately, my friend and I both got the No Name burger so my dumb butt couldn’t compare it to regular, but maybe next time. And there will be a next time.

    While I prefer to have some pink my burgers, I agree with you, Tim, it was still juicy and delicious for well done. Next time the insatiable burger craving strikes again and it’s not Wednesday (burger night at McNellie’s ;)) then I’m sooo at Irma’s. The only difficult time I see for the next trip would be the choice between fries or onion rings. I love onion rings, but fries are so classic…onion rings…fries…onion rings…Does Irma’s make the onion rings by hand?

  • Jennifer says:
    November 22nd, 2010 at 4:06 pm   

    Best burger in town….

  • Zombii says:
    November 30th, 2010 at 1:00 pm   

    I forgot to come back here when my experience at the original Irma’s was still fresh. I wanted to compare it to the location at 10th and Walker, so I went to both within two weeks of each other.

    The original location, while cute and quaint, just didn’t mesh well with me. It felt junky. Aside from the interior, our food arrived cold and super greasy. I don’t know when the oil was changed last, but our fries were soaked through and through with old oil and we couldn’t eat them. They were a far cry from the fries at the 10th&Walker location which have been crispy and fresh on both occasions. The onion rings at the original location were little better than the greasy fries. Even the bun seemed different.

    If I was rating Irma’s based on the original location, I’d give it a C and probably not go back. But, the 10th and Walker location saves them with good food and a burger that I pretty much need every week. Yum. The only gripe I have with the second location is the poor service we’ve received on the last visit. Our waiter never returned after bringing food and our drinks ran empty. If I’m paying for a fountain drink, can I at least have a second cup of it?

  • Sharon says:
    February 15th, 2011 at 7:50 am   

    Went Saturday around 4:30pm. Enjoyed the food hated the screaming children.

  • wimpy says:
    March 21st, 2011 at 6:54 pm   

    The No-name burger is hard to beat, but over priced in my opinion I don’t like spending that much for a burger, the third -pounder is a little better price wise.
    Overall though for less than four bucks I’ m headed for Bunnys !

  • Debbie says:
    March 25th, 2011 at 12:56 pm   

    Husband & I had lunch at the Midtown location today after he completed some testing at the Bone & Joint Hospital across the street and needed to eat quickly since he had been fasting. Neither one of us got a “No Name” burger this time – I didn’t want one that large Husband had a fried onion burger & fries and I had a Irma burger and onion rings. We were not impressed with the burgers – Husband said the burger he had at Abraham’s earlier this week was better. The onion rings were pretty good but I like VZD’s better. Unfortunately the food didn’t set well with me – my stomach started bothering me right after we left. Service was decent, we beat the lunch crowd but food wasn’t that good.

  • Stephanie says:
    April 13th, 2011 at 10:03 am   

    The onion rings are good, but I’m not a huge fan of the burgers. The buns are small, and they always seem to be a little soggy.

  • Tiger Mike says:
    May 28th, 2011 at 2:36 pm   

    I enjoyed my visit to Irma’s. Found a parking spot right away, and the pleasant staff seated us by the bar and the flat-screen, explaining items on the menu. Sure is a lot more room tham Nics! LOL My wife got the No-Name, and I “went ugly early” and ordered the “Wachoo Lookin’ At?” (the way I like to spell it). We also got the Onion Rings, which were tasty. My burger certainly was all I could handle–beef, ham, hot dog, fried egg, onions etc. between two Grilled Cheese Sandwiches. It’s like the “Leaning Tower of Cholesterol”! It’s a friendly, quirky kind of place, and I plan on returning, maybe for the Black & Blue!

  • David says:
    August 15th, 2011 at 8:43 pm   

    Our family loves Irma’s and go there probably twice a month. The “Black and Bleu and Barbeque” is just an incredible burger and makes us happy happy. The servers are all quirky and fun people, and if they have time to engage in a conversation, they have great stories. The food is consistently good and worth trying if you have not been yet!

  • Sonny says:
    October 26th, 2011 at 10:56 am   

    The food is great, very tasty and very eatable but on the little extras like a bit of salad dressing (There is not enough for the salad) they charge extra. They have cut down on the hush puppies that comes with the fish (one only) and then charge you for more. They charge extra for baked patato’s butter and sower cream. They just nickel and dime you to no end, not good business! If it weren’t for the good food, we would not return.

  • dom says:
    February 17th, 2012 at 9:10 pm   

    I went with a friend, he ordered the third pound burger, and I ordered the chicken fried steak and a salad. The service wasn’t very good, the waiter kind of acted like he was doing us a favor when we asked him for something. My friend’s burger was not the size it was supposed to be, it wasn’t that much bigger than a white castle. My chicken fried steak was about the size of a small hamburger patty, and the salad was wilted hamburger lettuce, which I didn’t touch. The food mostly tasted ok, but it was too expensive for what we got, and we were still hungry when we left. Never again.

  • Kindra says:
    November 2nd, 2012 at 8:55 am   

    At this time it sounds like Expression Engine is the best blogging platform available right now.
    (from what I’ve read) Is that what you are using on your blog?

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