By now, you’ve seen my first post of the day, where I detailed a day trip to Tulsa in search of America’s first hamburger. The joint we were seeking was Weber’s Superior Root Beer, opened in Tulsa’s Brookside neighborhood in 1933 by Oscar Weber Bilby. Bilby, as you may recall from my earlier post, holds perhaps the most credible claim as inventor of the American hamburger, and his family still runs the restaurant today. The fact that I could claim to have eaten at the place where the hamburger was invented was good enough for me to get in the car and go, but Weber’s has also been voted Tulsa’s best hamburger multiple times. Would that make it worth driving 247 miles to try? Read on to find out.
Weber’s Superior Root Beer Restaurant
- 3817 S. Peoria Avenue, Tulsa, OK
- Hours: Monday-Saturday 11 A.M. – 5 P.M.; closed Sundays
- Price: $10 or less per person
Directions: From IH-44 – exit Peoria Avenue and head north. Restaurant is on your right at the intersection with 38th Place. If you’re on a Route 66 tour, from either 11th Street or Admiral Place, head south on Peoria, and the restaurant will be on your left.
From the outside, Weber’s almost looks like a repurposed Weinerschnitzel building, but no, this is an original built in 1933. This is very much a no-nonsense kind of place – order at the window, space for only about 10 people inside, a few tables off to the side for maybe 15-20 more. And the menu is very simple – a variety of burgers, chicken, fish, and steak sandwiches, hot dogs, and tater tots, onion rings, or fries on the side (in other words: if you’re on a diet, this place isn’t for you). Of particular interest is the sausage burger; I’m not really much of a sausage patty fan, but if you like them, it’s something eclectic to try. And of course, root beer, along with root beer floats and freezes, are always available. Since I’d driven 4 1/2 hours to eat a burger, I ordered a 1/4 pound cheeseburger, and my wife ordered a fish sandwich. We also got an order of fries for the table and a pair of root beer floats.
The lady at the counter warned us before ordering that it would probably take 20-25 minutes for the food to be ready, but that was fine with us. After all, we’d already driven all the way from Dallas, so what’s another 20 minutes. We chatted for a couple of minutes while she ran the credit card, and I got the impression that we’re not the only crazy people to drive 4+ hours to try their burgers. Anyway, Weber’s burgers are the thin patty variety, and this is indeed a tasty one. The patty was nicely seasoned and chargrilled, with a slice of gooey, melted American cheese, and the bun was homemade, soft but nicely grilled so that it didn’t fall apart when held. The fries were a little disappointing. They were fresh cut, but limp, and one or two weren’t cooked all the way through. But that root beer float – oh my, this alone makes a trip to Weber’s worth it. I normally don’t go for root beer, but will occasionally have some if it’s homemade. Weber’s root beer is delightfully spicy, giving you that nice kick in the back of your throat. It’s a great companion to the burger.
In case you like root beer, but don’t want to drive to Tulsa to get it, Weber’s will ship it to you. It’s not cheap at $2 a bottle, but if you’re a root beer aficionado, this is about as good as it gets.
Rating: 4 1/2 stars. I had to dock a half a star for the disappointing fries, but the burger and root beer were definitely worth driving 247 miles for. However, a sequel may be in order – more than one person has told me to try Claud’s across the street, also a Brookside burger fixture for decades. Another day trip to add to the list…