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Patty Palace

Top-quality ingredients and flat-top crisped beef combine to create a delicious throw-back burger that’s well worth every calorie at Howdy Burger.

Donna Leahey
Sarah Eliza Roberts
October 28, 2019

A few decades back, you could hop in your convertible with your friends and cruise the Mother Road, Route 66. The possibilities were as endless as the road unrolling before you and the big blue sky above. And when you got hungry, you’d pull into a roadside hamburger stand for a classic cheeseburger. Add some fries and an ice-cold lemonade to go with it, and life didn’t get much sweeter.

Then life sped up. The interstate highway system took the place of Route 66, and those great hamburger stands faded away, replaced by fast-food joints that typically did not squeeze their lemonade fresh.

Of course, Route 66 is still there; it cuts across Tulsa’s midtown going east to west along 11th Street. The Mother Road is now lined with small businesses, many paying homage to the famous historic highway. Right at Lewis Avenue and 11th Street is one of Tulsa’s most significant and newest monuments to the old highway: the Mother Road Market. The sprawling space houses over 20 restaurants and shops. There’s plenty of great options to enjoy at Mother Road Market, but their newest shop, Howdy Burger, harkens back to the days of those old roadside stands along Route 66, with burgers you have to try to believe, old-fashioned fries, and sweet-tangy fresh, hand-squeezed lemonade to go along with it.

Howdy Burger’s menu is simple and to the point. The eponymous Howdy Burger is the star of the show. (Photo: Sarah Eliza Roberts)
Howdy Burger’s menu is simple and to the point. The eponymous Howdy Burger is the star of the show. (Photo: Sarah Eliza Roberts)

Howdy Burger opened at Mother Road in mid-September. “I love the area. All the other vendors are cooperative with each other,” says general manager Steve Gleeson. “It’s like a co-op; we share resources and help each other out.

“Tulsa needed a remake of the classic burgers on Route 66. We make an old-fashioned burger with a classic burger sauce. We have fresh-squeezed lemonade, and we work with local vendors like Prairie Creek Farms and Fassler Hall for our sausage.”

Not only does Howdy Burger deliver old-fashioned goodness in a burger and fries, but you can also feel good about handing over your money because every month they give back to the community through their Donation Creation Burger. The burger is a new creation each month, featuring an ingredient from a local vendor. In October, it was the BBQ Bison Burger with Oklahoma Joe’s barbecue sauce. For November, look for a holiday-inspired take on the Turkey Burger.

Howdy Burger opened at Mother Road in mid-September 2019. (Photo: Sarah Eliza Roberts)
Howdy Burger opened at Mother Road in mid-September 2019. (Photo: Sarah Eliza Roberts)

Each month, 25% of the proceeds of that burger go to local charities like Domestic Violence Intervention Services and the Eastern Oklahoma Food Bank.

Howdy Burger’s menu is simple and to the point. The eponymous Howdy Burger is the star of the show. “The proof is in the meat,” says Gleeson. And he’s not wrong. One bite will make you a believer. Not one, but two thin, perfectly seared and seasoned beef patties, with not one but two slices of tangy, creamy cheese. This old-fashioned creation is topped — like every burger should be — with crisp, fresh lettuce, thick slices of tomato, and sharp and spicy onions on top. You can add mustard, pickles, mayo, or fried onions to your burger to make it perfect for you. The whole thing is cradled between halves of a soft, fresh bun.

If your appetite is too big for two patties, you can make your burger a hearty triple for just a couple dollars more. Or if you’re not as hungry, you can also get your Howdy Burger with a single patty. For an extra treat, spring for some Prairie Creek Farms bacon. It takes an already amazingly great burger and elevates it to savory, smoky, bacon perfection.

If you prefer a meatless burger, Howdy Burger offers their All Hat Burger. This burger features the tasty and surprisingly savory Impossible Veggie Patty, topped like the original Howdy Burger with lettuce, tomato, onion, and rodeo sauce.

For kids who prefer a no-frill burger, get the Little Rancher for just $4. It’s a single patty with cheese, and sure to please the pickiest of youngsters.

What burger meal is complete without fries? Served alongside the burger in an old-fashioned white paper envelope, these fries will take you back. Fluffy and delicious on the inside, a gentle crunch on the outside, and all-around tasty, they complement the burger perfectly, nestled together on your tray. For an extra treat, try Rodeo Fries. It’s Howdy Burgers’ old-fashioned fries topped with cheese, rodeo sauce, and bacon.

Be sure to try that fresh-squeezed lemonade. It’s not too sweet, not too sour, and so fresh you can taste it. Cold and crisp and refreshing, it’s a sweet treat like you probably haven’t had for years. Alongside the traditional lemonade, Howdy Burger offers a flavored lemonade that switches out every few weeks. Flavors like blackberry, prickly pear, and passionfruit are on the menu to set off that already beautiful, sweet, and sour cold drink.

If you’re looking for something more brunchy, consider the Sunrise Sandwich. It includes locally sourced egg, cheese, rodeo sauce, and your choice of Prairie Creek Farms bacon or Fassler Hall sausage. It’s served atop a challasant. What’s a challasant, you ask? It’s like challah bread made into a croissant. It’s a delicious, hearty meal whether you’re starting your day or want breakfast food for lunch or dinner.

On the weekends, Howdy Burger offers corn dogs for the kids and grown-up kids. Who doesn’t love a corn dog?

Howdy Burger
Mother Road Market | 124 S. Lewis Ave. | Tulsa
Monday: Closed
Tuesday-Thursday: 10 a.m.-9 p.m.
Friday-Saturday: 10 a.m.-10 p.m.
Sunday: 10 a.m.-9 p.m.