Fried Onion Burgers & The Kindness of Strangers

Burgers with caramelized onions stuffed inside by I bake he shoots. Enjoy them with yellow mustard and American cheese.I’m a good person.

Not Mother Theresa good, mind you. I’m hold-the-door-open-for-ya, watch-your-house-while-you’re-on-vacation, grab-the-cereal-off-the-top-shelf-for-an-old-lady good.

What pains me is most people don’t think I’m good. They believe I’m inherently bad. Perhaps, it’s because I’m tall(about 6 feet), or I don’t smile every second of the day, or I’m Black.

Hey, I’m not playing the race card…I’m just saying a lot of women unnecessarily clutch their purses around me.

It saddens and annoys me, but that’s life.

Here’s the great part…sometimes, after being subjected to prejudice, something nice happens. Something that convinces me that people are inherently good, with kind hearts.

For example…

While daytripping in Ventura, Dave and I grabbed a couple of pizza slices and went for a walk downtown. Tons of people milled about as there was some type of festival going on. While we walked and talked, I noticed two ladies about ten feet ahead, glancing back at me with wide eyes and increasing their pace. Ugh. We stopped to do some window shopping.

The shop was closed, so we peered through the glass door and discussed how beautifully the shop was decorated with its earthy color palette, floral wall designs, and alluring displays. The owner, Michelle,  must’ve overheard our conversation because she invited us in to have a look around. The Refill Shoppe is a lovely place where you can make your own scented lotion, soap or even glass cleaner! She chatted with us, gave a tour of the shop, and made sure I had samples to take home.

Michelle didn’t know me but welcomed me into her shop and treated me with nothing but kindness. After our encounter, I was no longer “in a mood”. The previous experience had been wiped away and replaced with elation. Michelle, a friendly stranger, had literally made my trip.

In the end, I will always believe in people. If I didn’t, I’d be a depressed person indeed. And who needs that? Not me, I tell you! I want to live in a world with good people and good food. Which brings me to today’s food of choice: Fried Onion Burgers.

Burgers with caramelized onions stuffed inside by I bake he shoots. Enjoy them with yellow mustard and American cheese.

If you love onions and meat, then this burger is right up your alley….for a burger without onions is a boring burger indeed. Uh oh! That’s twice that I’ve used the word ‘indeed’. Please forgive my faux fancy ways. Let me bring it down a bit.

Burger good. Onion burger better.

Oklahoma loves it so much that there’s an annual festival dedicated to fried onion burgers. Even that guy from Man vs. Food digs it. But don’t take their word for it. Or mine. Make it yourself. Share it with a friend or better yet, a stranger. Especially, if that stranger is me.


Recipe for Fried Onion Burgers

Recipe for Oklahoma Fried Onion Burgers from America’s Test Kitchen: Best Recipes and Reviews 2014

Oklahoma Fried Onion Burgers
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Serves: 4
  • 1 large onion, halved, sliced ⅛ in thick and roughly chopped
  • salt and pepper
  • 12 ounces 85% lean ground beef (I used 80%)
  • 1 T unsalted butter
  • 1 t vegetable oil
  • 4 slices American cheese
  • 4 hamburger buns, buttered and toasted
  1. Place onion and 1 teaspoon salt in colander and toss to combine.
  2. Let sit for 30 minutes, tossing occasionally.
  3. Transfer onions to clean dish towel and squeeze onion dry.
  4. Sprinkle with ½ teaspoon pepper.
  5. Divide onions to 4 separate mounds on rimmed baking sheet.
  6. Form beef into 4 balls and season with salt and pepper.
  7. Place beef balls on top of onion mixture and smash until the onion adheres.
  8. Each patty should be 4 inches in diameter
  9. Melt butter with oil in 12 inch nonstick skillet over medium heat.
  10. Using spatula, transfer patties to skillet, onion side down.
  11. Cook until onions are deep golden brown and beginning to crisp around the edges, about 6 -8 minutes.
  12. Flip burgers and increase heat to high.
  13. Cook until browned on second side, about 2 minutes.
  14. Place 1 slice cheese on each bottom bun.
  15. Transfer burgers to bun.
  16. Serve with pickles and yellow mustard.










You May Also Like


  1. 1
  2. 3

    Dear Ms. M, I’m with David here, this is one beautifully crafted post. Heartfelt and so very well written. One thing I can say for sure is that it’s the not nice people are always the ones at a loss; they get back in life exactly what they project onto others and in doing so deprive themselves of amazing opportunities like tasting your out-of-this-world delicious goodies. Serves them right, as I know EXACTLY what they’re missing out. Keep them coming guys, you’re a great team and I greatly enjoy the fruits of both your talents.
    P.S. I bet those purses were pretty ugly too.

    • 4

      Elena! That post script made me laugh out loud which I very much needed. I just want you to know that your kind words are deeply appreciated. Dave and I will do our best to keep up the good work. Cheers!

  3. 5

    Longest intro I’ve ever read leading into “Today’s Food of Choice: Fried Onion Burgers,” and I loved it. If you ever need anyone to give you a hug you know I’m always there, even though I may need a ladder.

  4. 7
    • 8

      Crystal! I too love it when people show unsolicited kindness; it warms my heart. And I agree with you about the photos. Makes me wish I had an fried onion burger, right now. Thanks so much for stopping by.

  5. 9
    • 10

      היי אנונימוס. תודה על ביקור בבלוג שלי. זה נהדר להיות מבקר מישראל. האתר שלך הוא מתוק. אני אוהב את התמונה של אבא העוגה. תמשיך את העבודה טובה!

  6. 11

    This week Cooks Country showed an episode with this recipe, so it surprised me to see that the recipe actually came out a couple of years ago. Never mind, we made the onion burgers for dinner tonight, and they were delicious! And if you watch Man vs Food, maybe you saw the episode several years ago with Louis’ Lunch Burger, which was also an onion burger. One thing about the Louis’ Lunch Burger is that they used a mixture of meat, which I think I am going to try next time I make the onion burger. 1/2 80%, 1/2 85%. Also, I like a little more meat on my burger. The Cooks Country recipe makes 3oz burgers, and we made 4oz burgers instead. Really good.

    And I’m glad that the shopkeeper was a decent human being, to get the bad taste from the other women out of your mouth.

    • 12

      hey there, Jules! please excuse my late reply. I love that you and your fam made these burgers. onions are my thing and burgers w/o onions just seems like a waste, right? anyway, I like your suggestion of mixing the meats. I’m thinking…maybe I’ll try to mix in a little bit of sausage. maybe like 2/3 ground beef 1/3 ground pork. hmmm? about the shopkeeper…she really was good people. I’m so thankful for her. we really do need more people like her in this world. Thanks for stopping by and happy burgering!

  7. 13
  8. 14
  9. 15

    It’s unfortunate that you’ve experienced prejudice based on your appearance or race, but it’s heartening to hear about the moments of kindness that restore your faith in humanity. The encounter with Michelle, the owner of The Refill Shoppe, is a shining example of the kindness of strangers and how their actions can have a significant impact on our lives. Calgary Steak

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>

CommentLuv badge