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Patty Perfection

Bringing burgers and fried sides to new heights without a lick of pretension, Flo’s is building stacked stunners to savor, one Bomb at a time.

Donna Leahey
Valerie Grant
August 29, 2017

Bring your appetite to Flo’s Burger Diner, because this little old-fashioned diner will feed you right. Tucked away in a strip mall at the corner of Admiral Place and Route 66 in Catoosa, Flo’s is home to fantastically decadent and delicious burgers, sandwiches, sides, and desserts.

Flo’s feels like a classic diner, from the black and white tile floor to the black and red booths and tables. Chubby Checker prompts you to do “The Twist” while cooks call out customer names, offering up baskets of fresh cooked deliciousness. The grill cooks are right there on the other side of a partition while you wait your turn to place your order and the scent of burgers and spices pique your hunger.

Chef and owner Brandy Adkins opened Flo’s “on a whim,” she says.

“I went to Platt College and got a culinary and business degree. They taught us to have a business plan ready, so you know what you can do,” she recalls. “My husband and I were eating lunch nearby and saw a for-rent sign. So, I called about it and it was totally feasible. That was June 2014. We’d just had our three-year anniversary.”

Adkins commemorated her family when naming the restaurant. “My mom’s name is Floette, my dad is Floyd, and my great-grandmother’s name is Flora.” And with that, Flo’s Burger Diner was born.

The cozy space is filled with regulars, families, people who love the old-fashioned taste and quality of the food. “A lot of the older guys tell me they haven’t had a burger like that in 40 years,” she says. And they keep coming back for more.

Bomb Burger (Photo: Valerie Grant)
Bomb Burger (Photo: Valerie Grant)

The most popular item on the menu is the Bomb Burger. Like most of the unique items on the menu, this is Adkins’ creation. “It’s what we’re known for,” she says. “It’s a deconstructed jalapeno popper which we blend into a paste and shove between two patties. We top it with cheese, bacon, mayo.”

It’s less spicy than you might expect, as the rich creaminess smooths away most of the heat, but it still leaves a nice tingle on the tongue. The Bomb Burger is served on a soft, fresh bun and will satisfy the heartiest appetite.

Another popular item, for the strong of heart and the hungry of belly, is the Stuffed Crust Deluxe. The regular buns on the burger are replaced with hot, gooey, grilled cheese sandwiches. “You can get any burger served as a stuffed crust,” Adkins explains. The rich, buttery, creamy, toasty bread and cheese creates a surprising new taste and texture sensation.

For the freshest of fresh tastes, try the guac burger. “We do it a little different,” Adkins says. “We make the guacamole when you order it, so it’s fresh. We don’t put the onion or tomato in the guac, because sometimes people don’t want those, so we serve it with sliced tomato and onion that you can ask us to leave off. That freshness makes a difference you can taste in the bright, creamy guac.”

Adkins’ personal favorite is the Bomb Burger — she thinks everyone should try it — but she’s also fond of the French Dip. “We take 3-pound rib-eyes, marinate them overnight, cook them, slice them thin, and serve it on a bun with cheese and grilled onion with au jus.”

How does Adkins come up with her unique and tasty takes on classic diner fare? “I’m a fat kid,” she says with a laugh. “We sit here and just think this stuff up, what sounds good. We try new things out as specials, and if it does well, it goes on the regular menu.”

Guac Burger (Photo: Valerie Grant)
Guac Burger (Photo: Valerie Grant)

Flo’s fantastic burgers are the star of the show, but the sides are something special. The hand-cut fresh fries are square-cut old fashioned goodness: hot, fresh, and the perfect complement to any of the burgers or sandwiches.

The fried jalapenos are a spicy choice of side for the adventurous. A generous serving of sliced jalapenos, battered, and served hot with a side of creamy, housemade ranch. “The secret is the dill,” says Adkins. The flavor makes these worth trying even if you’re not a fan of heat, and the ranch dressing does a great job of managing the burn.

The onion rings are sliced paper thin, lightly battered, and fried to a crisp, flavorful tasty treat. They crunch just right between your teeth and set off the flavor of whatever you’re having.

One of the best surprises on the sides menu is the fried mushrooms. You’ve had fried mushrooms where they took an entire mushroom and deep-fried it, but Flo’s serves up something different. These are mushrooms sliced thin, battered, and fried. The texture is light, the flavor earthy and perfectly seasoned. It’s hard to stop once you start eating, they are so tasty and crisp.

Adkins and her crew make homemade desserts like brownies and apple pies, so always ask what they’ve got for dessert when you go in.

“All our food is local. All our stuff is made in-house,” says Adkins. “And our customer service is great. People love us for our customer service.”

There’s a sign hanging over the cash register. “It’s not fast food, but we will get it to you fast. And if there is a wait, we promise it’ll be worth it.” They’re not kidding.

Flo's Burger Diner
19322 E. Admiral Place | Catoosa
Monday-Tuesday: 11 a.m.-2:30 p.m.
Wednesday-Friday: 11 a.m.-8 p.m.
Saturday-Sunday: Closed