When I made my grand entrance into Hassler’s Restaurant, 333 S. Porter in Norman last week, I learned something fast – the staff is extremely friendly. In fact, I'd say they're the most friendly and helpful group of restaurant employees on this side of the Red River.
As I walked past the construction outside, I tripped over a small ledge and hurt my knee on something fierce, but as soon as I limped inside, the waitstaff was all smiles, my bad attitude quickly succumbing to a winning demeanor.
And even though it was a cash establishment and, for some reason, I couldn’t work the ATM just right, I received some help with that. In most places, I would have never received this level of customer service, and would have instead been greeted by groans and eye rolls, but not here at Hassler's. They actually cared!
With my cash all set and ready to go, I started with a good cup of coffee that gave me a great feeling. I then looked over the menu, wanting a good meal and a good value and, thankfully, received both.
For starters, I chose a simple working man classic – Gravy Fries ($4.50).
It was top-of-the-line, of course, bringing together two of my favorite things—gravy and fries.
White gravy is the most overlooked condiment and provided the perfect gooey topping for the very crispy fries. Did it all likely come from a bag? Yes, but it was a match made in starchy carbohydrate heaven and provided the right amount of eats for an early lunch starter.
For breakfast, my friend tried the very hearty Heavenly Hashbrowns ($8.99), a celestial dish of big hash browns mixed with grilled onions, bell peppers, sausage, and cheddar, accompanied by two scrambled eggs and a big biscuit with even more gravy.
While not a monstrous breakfast, it is good enough to be wholly satisfying. With a blanket of shredded cheese, this hash brown dish is very substantial, with the onions and bell peppers making it a real treat, especially with the robust sausage.
While the scrambled eggs are just fine, the biscuits are to die for. Another please!
On my side on the table, I went with Hassler’s Cheese Burger ($8.99), topped with Swiss cheese, grilled onions, mushrooms, and green peppers for a sweet little kick that can’t be denied. Plated with a handful of crispy French fries, this looks like a real good time.
And it is!
Much like other restaurants, it's more about quality than quantity at Hassler's. The burger is made with care, as the patty is full of onions and green peppers to entice the senses.
But the real treat was the mushrooms. Absorbing and releasing the juices of the burger with every bite, they left me quivering down to my own spores. With the fries, this is a venerable meal for lunch!
With many other things on the menu – and a friendly and helpful staff that makes you feel welcome – I need to pencil in a second visit to Hassler's in the coming weeks. Only this time, I won't forget to bring cash.