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PATTY WAGON BURGERS: Lock me up and throw away the key!

Louis Fowler / Red Dirt Report
The "Red Dirt Burger" and fresh-cut french fries from Patty Wagon.
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Rusty's Score
5 Rustys

With fast food or some variation thereof on every street corner these days, a tried and true burger joint has really got to do something that sets itself apart from the cheesy riff-raff; some places might resort to cheap gimmicks and promises to cattle-drive the public in, but the ones that last and the ones that matter instead put their valuable resources and energy where it truly counts: perfecting the food.

Independent burger outlet Patty Wagon originally started off as a food truck before finding a home in an ancient and abandoned Whataburger at 3600 N. May Ave. While the building is no-frills inside and out, don’t let the sparse decor fool ya: these guys have spent all of their precious time recreating the old-fashioned burger with brand new eyes, crafting a half-dozen hot takes that are most definitely beyond compare to other burgers in the immediate area, offering numerous nouveau tastes and signature sides that can turn a simple lunch into a culinary revelation.


Offering nothing but “100% local grass-fed beef” on their burgers, the difference is almost automatic—aromatic—from the get go, with the scent of pure charred meat lifting every nose in the room to the counter. Sure, they have a few hot sandwiches like the BLT or the Thunder Bird on the menu, but who’s got time to sample them when seductive burgers like the Big John (pepper jack, green chiles, jalapenos, and spicy mayo) or the Jailhouse Blues (bleu cheese crumbles, hickory-smoked bacon and BBQ sauce) jump out immediately at the hungry customer, like a most delicious form of 3D.

In honor of my employer, however, I thought it would be apropos to sample the Red Dirt Burger ($7.50) for this review, while my dining companion settled on the classic Swiss n’ Shroom ($6.95) without any hesitation, sharing both a large basket of fresh-cut French fries ($2.50) and, even more intriguing, their thick-cut onion rings ($3.00). And, you know what…since it’s currently in the public consciousness right now, what with Braum’s changing their formula and all, let’s do a classic vanilla milkshake ($4.50) as well.

Red Dirt Report is committed to finding the truth in every story we write and the truth here is the Red Dirt Burger is one of the best burgers I’ve had in the Metro in a long time. Here’s the scoop: that juicy grass-fed beef patty is topped with melted cheddar cheese, thick-cut hickory smoked bacon, grilled onions and a special “made in Oklahoma” BBQ sauce. Every bite was a tight, tangy mélange of smokehouse goodness, generously portioned but not to the point of exhaustion, every bite a new story to write. Rusty would be proud.

The French fries were quite the blurb-worthy discovery as well, the fresh-cut potatoes beautifully seasoned with a pepper-heavy mix that made these a new favorite with this critic. It was a surprising change of pace that complimented the tart components of my burger like an Emily Post graduate. It’s a sentiment that applies almost double to their wonderfully simplistic shake—just homemade vanilla ice cream and whole milk, nothing less, nothing more—that will indubitably fill any hole left by Braum’s lunk-headed corporate decisions.

Served on a fresh-made buttery roll, the Swiss n’ Shroom came heavily recommended and did not disappoint, with plump grilled mushrooms swimming—but not drowning—in premium Swiss cheese and onions, with just the right amount of horseradish mayonnaise to give the thing a punkish edge. Sided with thick-cut onion rings that were cotton-candy soft and lightly battered, it made for a late-lunch that my dining companion said kept her satisfied until breakfast.

With an indie joint like Patty Wagon striving to serve some of the best burgers they can in the Metro, if not farther, it would be an absolute crime to pick up a quick lunch from an impersonal McDonald’s drive-thru, a culinary case of fraud that is worthy of a life sentence of corporate blandness, possibly without parole. Load your cadre of hungry Keystone Kops into your own paddy wagon and throw yourself on the mercy of the local goodness that is this absolutely worthy hall of culinary justice. ¡Cómpralo ya!

Patty Wagon
3600 N May Ave
Oklahoma City, OK 73112
Phone: 405-917-1711

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About the Author

Louis Fowler

Güicho. Gadfly. Chicano. Choctaw. Cristero. Freelancer. Leftist. Activist. Vilified. PKD....

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About Red Dirt Report

Red Dirt Report was launched July 4, 2007 as an independent news website covering all manner of news, culture, entertainment and lifestyle stories that affect and interest Oklahoma readers and readers outside of our state. Our mission is to educate, promote civic engagement and discourse on public policy, government and politics. Our experienced journalists provided balanced in-depth coverage of news stories that affect Oklahomans. Our opinion/editorial stories come from a wide range of political view points. We carry out our mission by reporting, writing, and posting news and information. read more

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