The double-cheeseburger at Bar Arbolada is pretty good…but is it the best in all of America?
That’s the claim that Food Network shill Alton Brown made on his Twitter when in town recently for, I guess, a stage performance. It’s a lofty claim that left me asking if he’s been smoking something other than brisket:
I’m not sure how many times Brown has been to Oklahoma—let alone Oklahoma City—but I’m willing to bet that he’s tried very few of this city’s truly remarkable cheeseburgers, more than likely eating at Arbolada because it was moderately close to his hotel. But far be it for me to speculate on such things.
But his tweet, at least, gave me the forceful push to finally stop at Bar Arbolada, 637 W. Main Street, one Saturday to try this storied Double Burger ($8.00)...
Paired with a large helping of fries ($2.00), it was easy to make that selection because that’s all the eats that were on the menu, with the exception of a so-called charcuterie board, but more on that later.
Bar Arbolada is a beautiful bar, with its perfectly tiled floors and delicately spaced seating, feeling more like a bar in downtown Havana than Oklahoma City, which works for me in the best way. Combine this with their inventive list of cocktails and, if I needed a bar to call home, this would be at the top of the list.
That’s great, but what I truly needed now was this cheeseburger. Delivered to my seat after only a few minutes, I unwrapped the concession stand foil to discover a moderately plump cheeseburger, featuring two slabs of meat, downright melty cheese, and a few of your typical toppings that made sure this thing didn’t get too churched up, maintaining a plainspoken sensibility to itself.
With nothing left but to try it, I bit deep and lovingly into it and it was…fine. It’s a good burger, one of the better ones that Oklahoma City has to offer, checking off all the necessary boxes. But is it better than Nic’s? Better than Geronimo’s? Better than the fucking Red Dog?
Not even close, bud.
As I was chomping and clomping the incredibly over-salted French fries—ask for them unsalted, if you can—my friend ordered the aforementioned Charcuterie Board ($12.00). Thinking that she was going to get an actual wooden board filled with healthy bits of food, imagine her painful surprise when she was given a clear plastic box of fruits, nuts and cheese that looked (and was priced as) airport ready.
So, I guess, skip the charcuterie board.
Regardless, Bar Arbolada certainly does make a decent double-cheeseburger, certainly better than any of your usual fast-food travesties and a few of your over-priced ones too. Without a doubt, you should go down and get yourself one. But, per Brown’s online rating, do they have the absolute best double-cheeseburger in America?
Sadly, in my opinion, no, they don’t. But, you know, as long as people are genuinely happy eating them, really, that's all that truly matters.