Onion burger at the Cow Calf-Hay in Oklahoma City

The Cow Calf-Hay: one of the best burgers in Oklahoma City

by | September 21, 2010 | 32 Comments

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The Cow Calf-Hay

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3409 Wynn Drive
Edmond, OK 73013
405-509-2333
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If you’ve lived in Oklahoma City a long time like I have, you may remember a little restaurant called the “Mad Cow” located at 38th and MacArthur (where Neighbors Cafe is currently) back around the turn of the millineum. It was a quirky concept, true to the fun-loving spirit of its owners, who just so happen to own another quirky set of restaurants known as City Bites. Mad Cow served a good burger, but for whatever reason, it didn’t last long.

Well, now it’s back and the burger is much improved.

It’s not called Mad Cow anymore (a wise choice, in my humble opinion), but the City Bites group has brought back the concept in the form of The Cow Calf-Hay, which opened recently in a fairly difficult-to-find location near 33rd and Broadway in Edmond. The name isn’t the only change, though. The Cow Calf-Hay vastly improves on the burger they served a decade ago. Don’t let the goofy name of the restaurant fool you — this is one serious burger.

Let me quickly sum up the reasons this place needs to be on your radar:

  1. Fresh (never frozen) top quality angus beef hand formed into thick patties and griddle fried to a crusty exterior and juicy interior.
  2. Fresh, hand-cut, thin-style curly fries served just barely crispy on the outside but still soft on the inside.

Get their 1/2 pound classic cheeseburger or their fried onion cheeseburger (see a photo) served with bottomless (that’s right, bottomless!) fries for $7.49. A 1/4 pound version is available for $1 less. They also have hand-battered onion rings (see a photo) which can be substituted for fries for $1. They were ok, but not as good as the fries, IMO. Why pay $1 more for six rings when you can have unlimited fries?

Now, $7.49 isn’t cheap. Add a drink, tax and tip (it’s a full-service, though very casual, restaurant) and you’re looking at $12. Go without the drink and you might stay under $10. Still, for what you get and compared to most any other quality burger place in town (except for Nic’s, of course), this is a great value. And, in my opinion, this is one of the best burgers available in Oklahoma City right now.

I usually stick with the basic burger or onion burger because the patty is so good it stands on its own. But if you’re looking for variety, even over-the-top craziness,  The Cow Calf-Hay has a few other options for you. The Maui Cowi ($8.79 w/fries) adds grilled pineapple, smoked bacon and pepperjack cheese. I tried this one once and it was very good. The Holy Cow ($8.79 w/fries) adds grilled shaved ham, bacon and American cheese. The Barnyard ($7.79 w/fries) adds sauteed mushrooms, pepperjack cheese and grilled onions.

And then there’s the Mad Cow Burger ($8.79), which I remember from the original restaurant so many years ago. This is a burger patty topped with a grilled chicken breast (a chicken breast, people!) AND grilled potatoes AND smoked bacon AND both American and pepper jack cheese. I haven’t tried this one yet, but I probably will. Honestly, the price point on this one impresses me — just $1.29 to add a chicken breast, bacon, and potatoes? Still, nobody really needs all that and I’m quite sure the insane combination will dilute the impact of their very flavorful beef.

Oh, and for those of you who really who are dying to ask (and I know you are out there) yes, they will add a fried egg to any burger for 79 cents. Might as well throw that on the Mad Cow Burger as well, right?

They also serve chicken tenders (grilled or fried) in sandwich and basket form, and they have a few kids meal options, which is nice.

The decor of the place is a little cheesy. I guess that fits the name and theme well. It’s all put together well enough, but its nothing spectacular on the inside. Oh, and it can be a bit hard to find. You have to look for a tiny little street called Wynn which is just barely east of Broadway on 33rd. Head south on Wynn and look for the cows. You’ll find it.

The other complaint I’ve already heard from a lot of people concerns their hours. They are only open Monday through Friday and only for lunch. They do stay open for dinner on Fridays only. They are closed completely on the weekends. This makes it tough for a lot of people to try them out. I spoke with the manager (the son of one of the original City Bites founders) about this and he said they’re starting small to see how things go and to keep the demand ahead of the supply. This probably makes good business sense but can be a little frustrating. He didn’t seem in much of a hurry to expand their hours or their locations.

But if you want my opinion, it’s definitely worth a little schedule-shifting to get out and try the burger at The Cow Calf-Hay. I’m always excited to find a new burger made from quality meat that hasn’t been frozen, and this is definitely a good option. The price point and the unlimited fries round it out into a great value. So give it a try, and let me know what you think in the comments below.

You can view more pictures from The Cow Calf-Hay in our Facebook photo album.

The Cow on Urbanspoon

More Photos from The Cow Calf-Hay

Exterior of The Cow Calf-Hay in Edmond OklahomaBurger and Homemade Onion Rings at The Cow Calf-Hay in Edmond OklahomaOnion Burger and Fries at The Cow Calf-Hay in Edmond OklahomaWestern Burger and Fries at The Cow Calf-Hay in Edmond OklahomaReuben Burger and Fries at The Cow Calf-Hay in Edmond Oklahoma

This article was posted by Tim Wall on Tuesday, September 21st, 2010. It is filed under:

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  • Cindy says:
    September 22nd, 2010 at 12:14 am   

    It’s definitely a tasty burger. The popcorn is nice too.

    Too bad about the hours. Hope those expand soon.

  • Ryansez says:
    September 22nd, 2010 at 6:55 am   

    We ate at the Cow on Tuesday. Had the cheeseburger with fried egg. Delicious burger, definitely top 5 in OKC/Edmond, but our fries were anything but crispy. We found ourselves picking through them to find some that actually made it into the oil. Besides that, I’ll definitely find some time to go back.

  • Kacy says:
    September 22nd, 2010 at 8:43 am   

    I’m glad to hear they’re at least open for dinner on Friday. I’d like to try it but can’t make it that far for lunch.

  • Tim says:
    September 22nd, 2010 at 9:01 am   

    @Ryansez, thanks for the word on the fries. They’ve always been really well-prepared when I’ve been. Perhaps there is some inconsistency there. Thanks for sharing your experience!

  • Blake says:
    September 22nd, 2010 at 10:04 am   

    One thing…the original was at 38th and Macarther, not Rockwell. But I agree, the new burgers are mighty tasty!

  • Tim says:
    September 22nd, 2010 at 10:06 am   

    @Blake, great catch. Sorry about that. I’ve corrected it in the article.

  • Rikki Ashby says:
    September 22nd, 2010 at 11:19 am   

    After reading some reviews on your Facebook page, my boyfriend and I decided to try the Cow Calf-Hay for lunch on Monday. We split the Holy Cow (which was DELICIOUS) and an order of their crispy chicken strips (which were ok, but not a lot of flavor). I have to agree with the above comment on the fries though. While they give you a lot, ours were extremely greasy and definetely not fried long enough. We ended up barely touching the fries. I also substituted 3 onion rings for the coleslaw. Was pretty dissappointed in them as well. They looked like they were going to be delicious, but came out cold and tasting like they had been fried that morning or something. Also lacked any type of seasoning to the batter. Overall, would def recommend to anyone for the burgers but not so much for the sides or chicken! You’d fare better picking up the burgers to go and taking it home to eat with chips or your own homeade fries! Also, they had a sign with an upcoming burger that he said should be added to the menu sometime next week. Can’t remember all the details but I know it had something to do with roasted garlic! You can bet I’ll be there to try that whenver it makes the menu!

  • Chad Jaggers says:
    September 22nd, 2010 at 11:47 am   

    I was a fan of Mad Cow, so when I heard they were starting back up I was excited. One of the things I remembered about Mad Cow was the great buns. Similar to Fuddruckers, where the buns were fresh, but the meat was just okay. I was wondering if they were going to continue with that same style of burger.

    When I first saw the burger I was surprised when I saw the buns weren’t fresh. That was completely okay with me because they turned the mean quality up to 11! In full disclosure, I’ve only had the onion burger with fries the three times I have gone, so I can’t vouch for anything but that.

    I thought the burger was delicious and the tons of fries were good. I had a good mix between soft and crispy, but would like them to be a little more on the crispy side. That, however, did not deter me from asking for another helping of fries as they were great as well.

    I’m glad they are back and I will be visiting frequently.

  • Lori says:
    September 22nd, 2010 at 8:18 pm   

    HOLY COW~ that was an awesome burger. I agree that Nic’s is the best in OKC, but I like that I didn’t feel rushed, had different size options, and it was a lot closer to home. It’s now one of my favorites!!!!

  • Becky M says:
    September 24th, 2010 at 1:05 pm   

    I remember the Mad Cow so was curious about this place after reading your review. Got talked in to trying the Blue cheese burger. It was good a bit plain. That’s all it was, blue cheese, mat and a bun. I got mine to go and sat down to eat about 10 minutes (max) later. The fries were still plenty warm but I didn’t find them crispy. They were soft and had plenty of seasoning on them, didn’t need to add salt. They were fine but not what you would go back to the place for. Will return to try their classic cheeseburger.

  • Jenn Mrozinski says:
    September 25th, 2010 at 12:38 pm   

    Our food was delicious. I think because they were so busy on a Friday night, that our fries were delicious as well, hot and crispy. The Maui Cowi burger was awesome. We will definitely be back and bringing friends with us. Can’t wait to try the Blue Cheese Burger and the new Italian burger that is coming next week.

  • Paula says:
    September 25th, 2010 at 8:02 pm   

    I am looking forward to finding a time, that fits their schedule, to get up there and try a Blue Cheese burger.
    Just curious – how does this compare to the burgers at S&B Burgers? Didn’t know if you had had a chance to try over there to review, but I hear good things & they have much better hours.

  • Tim says:
    September 26th, 2010 at 7:30 am   

    @Paula, lots of people love S&B Burger Joint. They have a lot of interesting burgers and sandwiches with great variety of toppings. Personally, I think the burger at The Cow Calf-Hay is better and a better value. S&B serves most of their burgers as sliders, which means they are very small and it can get pretty expensive to eat a full meal there. That said, S&B is still worth checking out and we’ll probably have a review on it before too long.

  • Paula says:
    September 26th, 2010 at 11:28 am   

    Tim, thanks so much for the opinion. I still think that we’ll end up at S&B before Calf-Hay, due to OOO, but I’ll def work harder to make plans to get up there soon.

  • Paula says:
    September 26th, 2010 at 11:29 am   

    ^(*OOO clearly meant HOO – hours of operation). :)

  • Christina says:
    September 26th, 2010 at 5:48 pm   

    I can’t wait to try this place. I’m hoping for weekend hours soon!

  • Kevin says:
    October 2nd, 2010 at 8:34 am   

    Wait a sec. It has a City Bites connection and “The decor of the place is a little cheesy”?

    Isn’t that a bit like repeating your self self?

    Wish I had read this yesterday. We were pondering trying someplace new last night, but got lazy and ended up at an old local default.

  • Michael says:
    October 8th, 2010 at 11:20 am   

    Oh wow, I can’t wait to check it out. I remember hearing about Mad Cow back in the day but never visited. Thanks for the heads up!

  • Chris says:
    October 9th, 2010 at 7:37 pm   

    It was the name that messed up the Mad Cow back in the day. They kept most of the Mad Cow decor in their super-size garage over the years in hopes they would use it again.

    So, who is managing this…maybe Beck or Michael? I can’t think of any other sons in their family old enough to work there.

  • Tim says:
    October 9th, 2010 at 7:50 pm   

    Chris, agreed on the name. Can’t remember the name of the son who’s managing, but those names you mentioned sound familiar. I met him a couple of times. Really nice and really young.

  • Tim says:
    October 10th, 2010 at 3:34 pm   

    Chris, just looked on their Facebook page and Beck Blevins is listed as the GM.

  • Chris says:
    October 11th, 2010 at 1:06 am   

    Thanks for the information, Tim. Beck IS very young, in fact he just graduated high school last spring. There are perks to being an owner’s son. :)

    I will have to check this place out soon. I’ll have high expectations since I regularly eat at Nic’s, but there’s ALWAYS room in the OKC area for another great burger. My whole family enjoyed The Mad Cow when it was around.

  • D says:
    October 12th, 2010 at 8:48 am   

    Overall the place was OK. Think my expectations were too high. The food was good, no complaints. Service was superb. Guess I was looking for a WOW factor and did not get it. Will have to try again for confirmation.

  • Paul Baird says:
    October 21st, 2010 at 1:19 pm   

    Lunch with my son today. I had a very solid onion cheeseburger and onion rings. Great flavor and ingredients on both. I like my onions a little more grilled than I got ‘em but they were still very good. I’m normally not a huge fan of the thick cut onion rings but theirs are very tasty. My son had the normal cheeseburger and fries and ate every bite and really loved their fries – the quote was “they should be in the French Fry hall of fame for best fries.” Great service. Not the best burger in town but a very solid contender in that 2nd tier.

  • Tim says:
    October 23rd, 2010 at 8:53 am   

    Was a little disappointed in the fried onion burger. Just meat bread onion and mustard on a McDonald’s size burger. Onion rings were mediocre at best. Not much for the money.

  • wimpy says:
    November 20th, 2010 at 9:02 pm   

    Tim, whats happened to you ? Maui cowi, egg on a burger? Chicken, on a hamburger………aahhhhggghhhhhh !!!!

  • Tim says:
    November 20th, 2010 at 9:53 pm   

    Tim, maybe the 1/4 lb can possibly be described as “mcdonald’s-sized” but the 1/2 lb is definitely larger than anything at McDs and it’s only $1 more than the 1/4. I always go for the half.

    Wimpy, if you don’t like all of the crazy burger concoctions, just get the regular burger or the onion burger. Both are excellent and that’s what I have had on most every visit.

  • Rese says:
    August 16th, 2011 at 3:17 pm   

    Im a kid in college going to UCO. Is this the best burger joint in Edmond?

  • Tim says:
    August 16th, 2011 at 3:30 pm   

    Rese, I definitely think it’s a contender. Give it a try and let us know what you think!

  • dom says:
    April 18th, 2012 at 3:44 am   

    Haven’t tried this place yet, but loved Mad Cow (my dad would never eat there because of the name). Just wanted to chime in to wimpy, fried eggs on burgers are awesome! I use to get that when I was stationed overseas in Spain, the grill on the flight line served those.

  • stan wells says:
    June 29th, 2012 at 12:49 pm   

    best burger i’v had in years

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