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Rockin’ the Taste Buds

With a menu loaded with deliciously old-fashioned American diner classics, Hatfield’s is one of those secret places you take out-of-towners when you want to impress them with local fare.

Donna Leahey
Marc Rains
April 29, 2017

At the corner of Admiral and Garnett sits a diner with an unassuming facade, the sort of place you probably wouldn’t be tempted to stop at if you didn’t already know it. But you’d be making a mistake your appetite would regret if you drove on by.

Hatfield’s Hamburgers — “Home of the Real McCoy hamburgers and BBQ” — is the real thing, one of those secret places you take out-of-town visitors when you want to impress them with local fare. The menu is chock-full of deliciously old-fashioned American diner classics.

The interior is decorated simply, with a corrugated steel roof and wall-mounted lamps. The large windows let in plenty of natural light and give a good view of life passing by on Admiral.

Gary Smith co-owns Hatfield’s with his wife, Lera. “My parents owned it in the ‘70s,” he says. “We’ve owned it since 1996.” 

Smith’s past as a rock musician is well documented in pictures on the walls. Just ask him, and he’ll animatedly discuss Saturday night jam sessions that have been held at Hatfield’s in the past.

Smith says that the burgers are the most popular items on the menu. Depending on your appetite, you can choose a regular, a quarter-pounder, a third-pounder, or a half-pound patty. Get it the way you like it by adding cheese, jalapenos, bacon, or chili. The burgers are cooked on either a traditional flat grill or the char-grill. One bite will tell you why they’re so popular. Juicy and rich, and cooked just right, Hatfield’s burgers will make any burger lover happy.

Drip Beef Sandwich (Photo: Marc Rains)
Drip Beef Sandwich (Photo: Marc Rains)

“People come from out of town for the barbecue,” says Smith.

The old-fashioned wood smoker is loaded with hickory and pecan, (to add a hint of sweetness), and the meat is delivered fresh every day. The sauces and seasonings are made fresh. The chopped brisket is especially tasty, even without one of Hatfield’s sauces, which come in sweet and tangy, smoke, and hot. The Polish sausage has a rich smoky taste, nicely set off by Hatfield’s smoke sauce. But you have got to find room for an order of ribs. Thick and meaty, the tender smoked pork falls right off the bone. Dress them with a just a bit of sweet sauce — or hot if you’re brave — for a sweet and savory meal sure to satisfy.

You can order the barbecue by the plate, by the pound or by the rack. You can choose bologna, polish sausage, pulled pork, brisket, ribs, or chicken.

If you need to feed a family or a group of friends, you can bring home complete meals for four, six, or eight consisting of meat, sides, Texas toast, sauce, pickles, onions, and peppers.

Smith’s personal favorite item isn’t on the menu, “But they all know what it is, if you want to order it.” He calls it the Barn Burner. It’s one of Hatfield’s already delicious burgers, covered in raw jalapenos and onion as well as grilled jalapenos and onions. The bun is smeared generously with housemade spicy mustard. It’s plenty hot, but loaded with savory flavor. Not for the faint of heart or the delicate of palate.

If you’re in the mood for a sandwich, you’ve got plenty of options, from grilled cheese to fish, but give the drip beef sandwich a try. It’s thin sliced beef on a hoagie, with Swiss, grilled onions and mushrooms, and served with au jus.

The Barn Burner is one of Hatfield’s already delicious burgers, covered in raw jalapenos and onion as well as grilled jalapenos and onions. (Photo: Marc Rains)
The Barn Burner is one of Hatfield’s already delicious burgers, covered in raw jalapenos and onion as well as grilled jalapenos and onions. (Photo: Marc Rains)

Hatfield’s has some down-home goodness on their menu of dinners. Hamburger steaks, chicken-fried steaks, boneless chicken, and a marinated chicken breast are all tasty and filling options, served with two sides and Texas toast. The breaded shrimp is a delicious option as well. Hatfield’s serves up a plate full of generously sized butter fly-shrimp, breaded and fried crispy, with sides and toast.

On Friday and Saturday, Hatfield’s special is a fried catfish that’ll make any southerner proud and available as an all you can eat plate, so bring your appetite. Crispy, coated with cornmeal and Hatfield’s special seasoning, this catfish will make a believer out of you.

The sides menu is loaded with diner staples like fries, tater tots, or fried okra. There’s a few not-to-be-missed items on the list, like the seasoned potato wedges which are  crunchy and flavorful. The corn dodgers are crispy fried nuggets with sweet corn packed inside. The sweet potato fries are thin-sliced, perfectly cooked and served with a side of marshmallow sauce for dipping.

The star of the side menu, though, is the homemade coleslaw. “It’s my wife’s family’s secret recipe,” Smith says with a smile. The fresh, crispy slaw is lightly coated in dressing, and is a cool and tasty addition to any meal.

Find a way to save room for dessert, because Hatfield’s isn’t done treating you right. There’s a selection of pies, cakes, cheesecake, and ice cream available, and it’s all great, but the cobbler is special. The crust is flaky and delicious. You can choose from apple, cherry, or peach, and it’s nicely tart and never too sweet.

Catering is available, and phone-in orders are welcome.

“I have people say if they’re within 30 miles, they’ll find a way to come by,” Smith says. It only takes one bite to make you believe. Burgers, barbecue, sandwiches, catfish, and cobbler, there’s something on the Hatfield’s menu that will make you want to come back, too. 

Hatfield's Burgers & BBQ
11223 E. Admiral Blvd. | Tulsa
Monday-Friday: 10 a.m.-8 p.m.
Saturday: 11 a.m.-4 p.m.
Sunday: Closed