Robert’s Grill: the great OKC onion burger tour, part four

by | June 3, 2009 | 19 Comments


Robert's Grill

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300 S. Bickford Ave.
El Reno, OK 73036

Robert's Grill in El Reno, OK

Memorial Day for me means the annual drive in the covered wagon to El Reno with Mom and my husband to tour the cemetery and look at all of the dead relatives (sigh).  Mom has to check the fake flowers on top of all the headstones that she places when she drives out by herself, and to see, if by chance, the ugly ones that somebody else placed are gone. “I can’t believe this desolate place is where I’m going to end up someday,” I think to myself.  But at least I’m getting a good onion burger out of the trip.

Yes, this trip to El Reno also means touring my second onion burger joint in the hometown of the original onion burger.  Robert’s Grill is small — there are 14 stools at the bar and that’s it.  If you can fit, you stand right behind the people who are sitting and breathe down their necks in hopes they’ll finish really soon.  The place is a little warm, temperature-wise, and very crowded, probably due to the fact they’ve been in business since 1926.

Edward Graham, the current owner, says they serve about 300 burgers a day.  He’s developed a scientific technique to squashing the handmade balls of hamburger into patties, globbing on the onions, then flipping everything at the right moment.  The burgers arrive in front of your face might tasty and piping hot.  Mom was glad the fries came out first and pretended she was eating some sort of elaborate appetizer as she mixed the mustard and ketchup on top. She also held court and got to know the life story of everyone within shouting distance.  She knows this drives me crazy and therefore, continues to do it at every restaurant we patronize.

Anyway, Robert’s pricing is easy to remember — $2.45 for a burger, a coney or an order of fries (which was easily shared by two people).  The burgers are a nice size — not really small like some onion burger places, but not huge and unmanageable.  The chili coneys also looked really good. I got a glimpse as the man next to me was feasting on them.

The pricing on burgers is a little cheaper than at Johnnie’s Grill, which is just down at the next corner. This, plus the fact that Robert’s burgers are a little bigger makes a pretty compelling case for Robert’s. On the flip side, Johnnie’s has more space in their dining room so it’s a good option if you’re claustrophobic or looking to breathe a little easier in your space.

Robert’s Grill is definitely a contender for your onion burger patronage. They’ve got plenty of that old Route 66 atmosphere and all the home-grown people who go along with it. Next time you’re in El Reno, I recommend you check it out and compare it with your other favorites. When you do, leave us a comment and let us know what you think. And also be sure to let me know if I haven’t hit on your favorite onion burger spot yet.

Robert's Grill on Urbanspoon

More Photos from Robert’s Grill

Exterior of Robert's Grill in El RenoConey with Chili and Slaw at Robert's Grill in El RenoOnion Burger at Robert's Grill in El Reno

This article was posted by Sarah Sutton on Wednesday, June 3rd, 2009. It is filed under:

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  • Gab says:
    June 4th, 2009 at 12:08 pm   

    I have had the pleasure of dining with Sarah and her Mom and would have to agree! It’s GREAT!

  • Sue Ellen Ferguson says:
    June 4th, 2009 at 7:35 pm   

    Roberts is a fun, small town, Route 66 experience. You never know who will be sitting on the stool next to you. That is why it is always fun to ask…”are you from these parts?” So, this is not only an interesting spot, it is full, all 14 stools, of interesting people… what fun, and the french fries are yummy too!

  • Katie says:
    June 10th, 2009 at 2:42 pm   

    Haven’t tried Roberts…maybe next time I’m headed thru El Reno! You ARE going to do Bunny’s on this round right? We LOVEEEE Bunny’s! Although we hate the way we smell when we leave Bunny’s. Is there a fried onion place that doesn’t have 12 seats but still has the best greasy food around!?

  • Katie says:
    June 10th, 2009 at 2:47 pm   

    Oh, I see now that I missed the Bunny’s write-up!

  • Kevin says:
    June 11th, 2009 at 1:34 pm   

    Onion burger, hold the onions please.
    Now that’s a great burger, plus i get to leave more for others.

    I am SUCH a great guy.

  • Randy OKC says:
    June 16th, 2009 at 5:03 pm   

    Never been to Robert’s in El Reno. Mustang, Ok has a Robert’s Grill with the exact same store-front sign. I am curious if these to are or were related.
    We had breakfast at Robert’s in Mustang a couple of times. It was pretty tasty and lot’s of food but it was far too cigarette smokey for us. It seemed like everyone that came in for breakfast had to have two or three cigs while waiting for their order to come. Nasty. And I smoke! I don’t like smelling cig smoke while I eat though.

  • chad edwards says:
    June 22nd, 2009 at 9:13 am   

    the Roberts grill in Mustang is related. I don’t think they are still both owned by Ed but they are at least in some way related still. The fact that El Reno is talked about and no mention of Sid’s Diner. It also is 1 block away but has room for about 25-30 people. Fresh cut fries, shakes, steak sandwiches and of course a wonderful burger, with or without the onions. They all have great breakfast but Robert’s is very smoky. Sid’s is smoke free. :D

  • Donald says:
    July 16th, 2009 at 11:32 pm   

    Roberts is probably my overall favorite for onion burgers, you have to figure value into the equas-sion as well as the taste and quality and Roberts certainly is one of the best.

  • Wimpy says:
    July 30th, 2009 at 12:53 pm   

    I had breakfast at Robert’s in Mustang this morning pretty good I ordered two eggs with sausage hash browns and biscuit and gravy,only came with one biscuit. Ticket came to $6.62 with coffee, should have come with bowl of gravy and two biscuits also they didn’t know what basted eggs were, over all pretty good though.

  • Andrew says:
    September 18th, 2009 at 10:37 pm   

    Terrible thin burger with no taste… Not good at all

  • Desiree says:
    February 12th, 2010 at 11:47 am   

    I have to agree with Chad, that Sid’s is also a very good onion fried burger in El Reno. Sid’s seems cleaner to me (probably due to less smoke) and the food is just as good if not better.

  • f says:
    March 16th, 2010 at 9:27 am   

    I can’t believe there is no mention of slaw!!! I know this is an Onion burger artical but really I can’t imagine an onion burger without having a chile cheese coney w/slaw on it – it’s like having bacon and eggs without the bacon. I was sad to see you didn’t write about my favorite – Sid’s in El Reno

  • Tim says:
    March 17th, 2010 at 8:33 pm   

    I have to agree with you there. I loves me some coney w/slaw.

  • Terry Hesticles says:
    May 21st, 2010 at 8:42 am   

    Man, no love for H&H Gun Range?

    Mean onion burg there.


  • Anon Reader Dude says:
    July 24th, 2010 at 3:28 pm   

    Terry, you are right on.

    The 4-U Cafe at H&H Gun Range (near I-40 & Meridian) has great hot sandwiches, and their specialty is the Onion Burger w/ fries. That thing is dee-licious.

    It deserves to be “part five” of this tour.

  • wimpy says:
    October 11th, 2010 at 2:44 pm   

    Seldom in the area but when I am I still like Robert’s the best best value for sure !

  • Fran Herring says:
    January 19th, 2012 at 9:55 am   

    My family & I have been stopping at Roberts for burgers and fries for over 65 years. Every Memorial Day on our way to Custer City, and if we were late coming home, we would stop again. All my kids & grandkids had their first fry at Roberts. Would not think of going thru El Reno without stopping. Brugers are the best in the world.

  • Mike says:
    August 12th, 2014 at 1:57 pm   

    Been going to Roberts every chance I get for over 20 years. I eat onion burgers everytime we find a place in our travels. Been to Syds, RJ’s, and many others but I always go back to Robert’s for what i believe is the best onion burger around. I drive from Del City on weekends to have eat there!

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