Great Burger Joints in the Middle of Nowhere

Hamburger expert and photographer George Motz gives us 5 great choices for a day trip into the middle of nowhere for a great burger.

Photos

George Motz

George Motz

George Motz plays a vintage guitar at Gruhn Guitars in Nashville, TN. 960 1280

  

This decadent grilled cheeseburger

This decadent grilled cheeseburger

This decadent grilled cheeseburger at Rotier’s in Nashville is similar to a patty melt, dripping with cheese and with a fantastic ground beef patty in the center. 960 1280

  

Rotier's in Nashville, TN

Rotier's in Nashville, TN

George eats a grilled cheeseburger at Rotier's in Nashville, TN. Rotier’s is so well known for their burgers that Jimmy Buffett went so far as to call the Rotier’s burger one of the top 10 in the nation. 960 1280

  

Rotier’s

Rotier’s

Rotier’s was opened in 1945 by Evelyn and John Rotier. Their son and daughter, Charlie and Margaret, continue the tradition of serving one of Nashville’s most famous burgers. 960 1280

  

Ryman Auditorium

Ryman Auditorium

George stands outside Ryman Auditorium in Nashville, TN. 960 1280

  

Muhammad Ali and Shiva Karimy

Muhammad Ali and Shiva Karimy

George talks with Muhammad Ali and Shiva Karimy, owners of Fat Mo's in Nashville, TN. They opened the restaurant 1991, and they now have 15 franchised locations in the Nashville metro area. 960 1280

  

Fat Mo’s half-pound “Double Mo”

Fat Mo’s half-pound “Double Mo”

Fat Mo’s half-pound “Double Mo” consists of 2 quarter-pound patties topped with cheese, lettuce, tomato, raw onion, pickles, mustard, ketchup and mayo. 960 1280

  

Fat Mo’s

Fat Mo’s

The key to Fat Mo’s unique burger is the marinade used on the patties. The patties are marinated in juice containing 18 different spices that are similar to shish kabob seasoning and native to Iranian culture. 960 1280

  

Fat Mo's

Fat Mo's

George eats a “Double Mo” on the bed of his truck outside Fat Mo's in Nashville, TN. 960 1280

  

Alex's Tavern in Memphis, TN

Alex's Tavern in Memphis, TN

The owner of Alex's Tavern in Memphis, TN, has worked there for over 35 years and still makes the same delicious Greek-seasoned burger his father, Alex, made back in 1953. 960 1280

  

Rocky Kastafes

Rocky Kastafes

George talks to Rocky Kastafes, owner of Alex's Tavern in Memphis, TN. 960 1280

  

Alex’s Greek burger

Alex’s Greek burger

Alex’s Greek burger is made up of a fantastic Greek seasoning mixed with a 6-ounce freshly ground beef patty and topped with both cheddar and mozzarella cheeses. 960 1280

  

Dyer's in Memphis, TN

Dyer's in Memphis, TN

George watches an employee fry a burger at Dyer's in Memphis, TN. The grease at Dyer’s is more than 100 years old, and they value the grease so much that they used police escorts to transfer it when they moved locations. 960 1280

  

Dyer's on Beale Street

Dyer's on Beale Street

George and local burger blogger Seth Agranov talk with Scott Lawrence, manager of Dyer's on Beale Street in Memphis, TN. 960 1280

  

Dyer's on Beale Street

Dyer's on Beale Street

At Dyer’s, a 3-ounce ball of ground beef is smashed paper thin and dropped into the skillet to fry. Once the patty floats, it is ready to serve in single, double, or triple proportions. 960 1280

  

Holly Springs, MS

Holly Springs, MS

George near the train tracks in Holly Springs, MS. The Mississippi Central Railroad, which was the backbone of the northern Mississippi area back when it was a major supply line, is still used today. 960 1280

  

Bill's Hamburgers in Amory, MS

Bill's Hamburgers in Amory, MS

George dives in at Bill's Hamburgers in Amory, MS. Bill’s Hamburgers has been around since the Great Depression and serves the same kind of burgers that Mississippians were eating back then. 960 1280

  

Bill’s Hamburgers

Bill’s Hamburgers

Current owners of Bill’s Hamburgers, Reid and Janice Wilkerson, won’t tell you what’s added into the beef, but whatever it is it certainly doesn’t take away from the delicious meaty flavor that’s only complimented by the signature toppings of mustard and onions. 960 1280

  

Bill's Hamburgers

Bill's Hamburgers

George outside Bill's Hamburgers in Amory, MS. 960 1280

  

Lamar Lounge in Oxford, MS

Lamar Lounge in Oxford, MS

George talks to Amos Harvey, manager at Lamar Lounge in Oxford, MS. Lamar Lounge has deep ties to Mississippi’s music scene -- the bar was even once owned by pop legend Eddie Fisher. 960 1280

  

Lamar Lounge

Lamar Lounge

At Lamar Lounge, the burger is only seasoned with salt and pepper, and the thick sear on both sides of the patty seals in the juices. It’s a hearty burger to have while listening to some great local blues acts. 960 1280

  

Lamar Lounge

Lamar Lounge

The owner of Lamar is also part owner of a record label called Fat Possum, and when you walk in the door at Lamar Lounge, you are immediately treated to some great local music. 960 1280

  

Lamar Lounge

Lamar Lounge

George talks to musician, Jake Fussell, at the bar at Lamar Lounge. 960 1280

  

Latham’s Hamburger Inn

Latham’s Hamburger Inn

Latham’s Hamburger Inn, in New Albany, MS, serves a signature deep-fried “dough burger.” The dough burger got its name because during the Great Depression and World War II, resourceful people would add extra ingredients to their meat rations as a way of stretching the beef. 960 1280

  

Latham's Hamburger Inn

Latham's Hamburger Inn

George and local burger expert John T. Edge eat cheeseburgers at Latham's Hamburger Inn. 960 1280

  

Latham’s burger

Latham’s burger

Latham’s burger is the only burger George has in Mississippi that is deep fried, but the doughy consistency locks in the meaty flavor, and the fried crunch makes the burger taste like a beef fritter. 960 1280

  

Phillips Grocery in Holly Springs, MS

Phillips Grocery in Holly Springs, MS

Phillips Grocery in Holly Springs, MS, is a former grocery store that is now a burger joint, and it’s located just a few feet from the Mississippi Central Railroad. 960 1280

  

Phillips Grocery

Phillips Grocery

George’s favorite burger at Phillips Grocery is the double with cheese, and the tangy combination of mustard, pickles and onions only enhances the fantastic flavor of the beef. 960 1280

  

Phillips Grocery

Phillips Grocery

The people of Holly Springs can bask in the nostalgic decorations at Phillips while hearing the all-too-familiar train whistle in the background and enjoying a juicy double cheeseburger. 960 1280

  

Phillips Grocery

Phillips Grocery

George talks to the owner of Phillips Grocery, Larry Davis, who has been using the same burger recipe for years. He purchased the secret recipe along with the restaurant back in 1989. 960 1280

  

George Motz in New Orleans

George Motz in New Orleans

George Motz holding Mardi Gras beads at a parade in New Orleans. 960 1280

  

Bozo's in Metairie, LA

Bozo's in Metairie, LA

George gets a taste of a hamburger po' boy at Bozo's in Metairie, LA. 960 1280

  

George meets Mark Fayard

George meets Mark Fayard

George meets Mark Fayard, the owner of Bozo's Restaurant. Mark bought the restaurant with his wife in 2008. 960 1280

  

The hamburger po' boy at Bozo's Restaurant

The hamburger po' boy at Bozo's Restaurant

The hamburger po' boy at Bozo's Restaurant is comprised of a freshly ground black angus beef patty with diced onions, lettuce, tomato, mayo and cheese on the ubiquitous Leidenheimer French bread. 960 1280

  

George Motz and local burger expert TG Herrington

George Motz and local burger expert TG Herrington

George Motz and local burger expert TG Herrington arrive at the Camellia Grill, a New Orleans landmark. A classic diner that originally opened in 1946, it was closed for a year and a half after Hurricane Katrina and reopened in 2007. 960 1280

  

Camellia Grill

Camellia Grill

George and TG make friends at the Camellia Grill. During the time the restaurant was closed, customers covered the front of the building with notes asking the beloved diner to reopen. 960 1280

  

Camellia’s bacon cheeseburger

Camellia’s bacon cheeseburger

Camellia’s bacon cheeseburger is amplified by the flavors of bacon fat seared into the grill itself, topped with lettuce -- and in traditional New Orleans style -- mayo. 960 1280

  

Ted’s Frostop

Ted’s Frostop

Named for the frosty tops of the root beer they serve, Ted’s Frostop is one of only about a dozen Frostops remaining from a chain that spread across the nation in the first half of the century. 960 1280

  

The Frostop’s Lot-O Burger

The Frostop’s Lot-O Burger

The Frostop’s Lot-O Burger is a smashed burger cooked on a flattop grill to create a nice griddle crust on the patty. 960 1280

  

Ted’s Frostop

Ted’s Frostop

The Frostop’s burger comes “dressed,” which in New Orleans means it comes with pickles, lettuce, tomatoes and mayo, or in this case, “Lot-O” sauce, a secret recipe named after the massive Lot-O burger. 960 1280

  

George talks to Mike Mollere

George talks to Mike Mollere

George talks to Mike Mollere, owner of Port of Call, located on the quiet end of the French Quarter. 960 1280

  

Port of Call's mushroom cheddar burger

Port of Call's mushroom cheddar burger

Port of Call started out as a steakhouse, which explains the steak-like quality of the fist-sized burgers, char-broiled to perfection and covered with shredded cheddar cheese and earthy mushrooms sautéed in red wine, butter and garlic. 960 1280

  

Port of Call's mushroom cheddar burger

Port of Call's mushroom cheddar burger

George dives into the mushroom cheddar burger at Port of Call in New Orleans. 960 1280

  

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