Surrounded by an all-consuming darkness that swallows the Oklahoma landscape come nightfall, a lone outpost in the Wichita Mountains somewhere near the aptly named Holy City is the Meers Store and Restaurant, 26005 State Highway 115, an Oklahoma novelty best known for their massive Meersburgers as well as, according to the menu, an absolute dislike of “sissies, Yankees and confused souls.”
Two out of three ain’t bad, right?
The historical home to the Meers Mining Camp, this restaurant is the last remaining vestige of the once booming town, one that had prospectors from all over coming to make it rich during the gold rush. As the long dead shouts of “Consarnit!” and “Dagnabbit!” echoed outside the building, with its rickety piecemeal construction, Meers is now a busy burger-joint for mountain climbers, weekend bikers and conspiracy theorists from all over Oklahoma.
As a “Don’t Tread on Me!” flag waves proudly when you walk into the restaurant, with its carnival funhouse construction, the Meers Store and Restaurant is definitely something “special” to look at, but, as I smelled the scent of charred Longhorn meat wafting though the enclosed air, I almost wanted to send a canary in a cage down to the kitchen to double-check it for me.
After a moderate wait under a large “Support the Troops!” poster, we were taken to our seats not by a dirty-faced boy in soot-streaked overalls and a case of coalminer’s cough, but by a seemingly overworked waitress that was ready to go home…at least that how it seemed to me as my girlfriend and I flipped through their menu slash ‘zine that featured not only their famous food, but plenty of right-wing opinions about hamburgers.
Yes, they do exist.
As I ordered my traditional small-town drink of (Diet) RC Cola ($3.50), I asked the server if their fried okra was fresh or if came from a bag; she told me that most of their “AppeTeasers” came from a bag. That being said, my girlfriend ordered us a helping of Fried Green Tomatoes ($4.95).
She was originally thinking about ordering from the salad bar, but the pickings were undoubtedly slim and mostly pathetic, although it looks like they did had three different kinds of potato salad earlier.
Ordering the overwhelming Seismic Meers Burger ($15.95) to share, along with a possibly bagged serving of Meers Fries ($2.95), as we somewhat enjoyed the tongue-searing tomatoes and cool ranch dressing, we began reading our wall, featuring scotch-taped Oklahoman reviews, country comedy bits and, surprisingly, an autographed picture of David Boren, who apparently is fan of Meers and their meaty foodstuffs.
Our food was served in a tin pie plate, the Seismic Meers Burger taking up damn-near the whole thing. The giant patty of meat could’ve been its own meal though: sixteen ounces of 97% lean Longhorn beef, made from their own cattle. It’s the only way non-sissy, non-Yankee, and non-confused souls like their hamburgers, Goddammit!
In addition to the jaw-tiring meat, the burger was packed with bacon, cheese, sweet relish, pickles, tomatoes, onions and plenty of mild jalapenos; it’s a burger that was well-worth the sixteen bucks, but don’t wait too long to go down on it or the entire bottom will get soaking wet in sensual meat-juices, as mine did.
The Meers Fries were pretty pedestrian until I noticed on the receipt that the whole time I had been eating patriotic Freedom Fries; as my heart began filling with unadulterated American pride, I looked skyward to the ol’ red, white and blue, imaginary ramparts bursting in midair over my half-eaten and somewhat soaked hamburger, the way our Lord and Savior had always intended.
Or maybe I was having another stroke. Either way…cómpralo ya!