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

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 poses on the Battleship TEXAS

George Motz poses on the Battleship TEXAS

George Motz poses on the Battleship TEXAS, the first battleship memorial museum in the United States. 960 1280

  

George and local burger expert Robb Walsh

George and local burger expert Robb Walsh

George and local burger expert Robb Walsh eat burgers at Blake's BBQ & Burgers in Houston. 960 1280

  

Blake's BBQ & Burgers

Blake's BBQ & Burgers

Since Blake's is a barbecue restaurant, their burger has a distinct smoky flavor, which pairs nicely with its butter-soaked, toasted bun. 960 1280

  

George shakes hands with Don Blake

George shakes hands with Don Blake

George shakes hands with Don Blake, owner of Blake's BBQ & Burgers in Houston. 960 1280

  

Christian's Tailgate

Christian's Tailgate

George and owner Steve Christian pose by the truck-bed counter at Christian's Tailgate in Houston. 960 1280

  

The jalapeno bacon cheeseburger at Christian's Tailgate

The jalapeno bacon cheeseburger at Christian's Tailgate

The jalapeno bacon cheeseburger at Christian's Tailgate features a slow-cooked patty and deep-fried bacon. 960 1280

  

Christian's Tailgate

Christian's Tailgate

Christian's Tailgate was an icehouse back in the days before refrigeration. 960 1280

  

Christian's Tailgate

Christian's Tailgate

George dives into the jalapeno bacon cheeseburger at Christian's Tailgate. 960 1280

  

Cavender's Boot City

Cavender's Boot City

George tries on his new cowboy hat at Cavender's Boot City in Houston. 960 1280

  

Tookie's in Seabrook, TX

Tookie's in Seabrook, TX

Tookie's is located in Seabrook, TX, which was hit hard by Hurricane Ike in 2008. In fact, Tookie’s was forced to close and remained closed for 3 years until it was bought by a new owner. 960 1280

  

George eats the “Squealer” at Tookie’s

George eats the “Squealer” at Tookie’s

George eats the “Squealer” at Tookie’s. With support from the community, the city council and the mayor himself, Tookie’s has been restored to its former glory. 960 1280

  

The Squealer at Tookie's

The Squealer at Tookie's

The local favorite, the “Squealer,” is a secret recipe, but Tookie’s will tell you that it’s made with bacon ground right into the beef patty. 960 1280

  

Johnson Space Center

Johnson Space Center

George eats an astronaut burger -- complete with a freeze-dried beef patty -- at the Johnson Space Center in Houston. 960 1280

  

George and Robb Walsh

George and Robb Walsh

George and Robb Walsh eat burgers at Stanton's City Bites in Houston. This convenience store doubles as a hamburger joint, and has been a hidden gem in the community for 50 years. 960 1280

  

The bacon cheeseburger at Stanton's City Bites

The bacon cheeseburger at Stanton's City Bites

The bacon cheeseburger at Stanton's City Bites is served on a sweet, fluffy challah bun and has brisket ground into its beef patty. 960 1280

  

George Motz talks to Matt Romero

George Motz talks to Matt Romero

George Motz talks to Matt Romero, a pepper grower in New Mexico. The arid climate is perfect for growing the New Mexican chile, a hot pepper native to the state that’s found its way into the local cuisine, especially burgers. 960 1280

  

Bobcat Bite in Santa Fe, NM

Bobcat Bite in Santa Fe, NM

Bobcat Bite in Santa Fe, NM, is where George and his friend, local burger expert Rob Dewalt, both had their first-ever green chile cheeseburgers. 960 1280

  

Bobcat Bite

Bobcat Bite

The Burger Land crew shoots George with owner John Eckre in the kitchen of Bobcat Bite. 960 1280

  

Bobcat Bite's green chile cheeseburger

Bobcat Bite's green chile cheeseburger

It’s hard to resist a burger as fresh and juicy as this simple 10-oz beast, topped with a little bit of mild cheese and a load of fresh green chile, made with locally grown peppers. 960 1280

  

Owl Bar & Cafe in San Antonio, NM

Owl Bar & Cafe in San Antonio, NM

George eats a green chile cheeseburger at Owl Bar & Cafe in San Antonio, NM, which is best known for its proximity to the Trinity Site, where American scientists detonated the first atomic bomb. 960 1280

  

The Owl Bar & Cafe

The Owl Bar & Cafe

The Owl Bar & Cafe holds the distinction of being the first restaurant to make the green chile cheeseburger. 960 1280

  

Owl Bar & Cafe in San Antonio, NM

Owl Bar & Cafe in San Antonio, NM

Owl Bar began as a grocery store in 1939, but the founder’s son started fixing burgers when the Trinity scientists began frequenting the establishment. 960 1280

  

The Pantry in Santa Fe, NM

The Pantry in Santa Fe, NM

George stands outside The Pantry in Santa Fe, NM, known for its twist on the New Mexican chile cheeseburger. 960 1280

  

The Pantry in Santa Fe, NM

The Pantry in Santa Fe, NM

Burger patties on the grill at The Pantry. 960 1280

  

George talks to Michael Singley

George talks to Michael Singley

George talks to Michael Singley, co-owner of The Pantry. The restaurant has had many owners since it opened in 1948, but it has barely changed a bit. 960 1280

  

The Pantry’s tortilla burger

The Pantry’s tortilla burger

The Pantry’s tortilla burger consists of a char-grilled patty and pinto beans, wrapped in a flour tortilla and smothered in so much red chile sauce that you have to eat it with a fork. 960 1280

  

Bode's General Store

Bode's General Store

George and local burger expert Rob Dewalt eat green chile cheeseburgers at Bode's General Store, an hour north of Santa Fe in Abiquiu, NM. 960 1280

  

The burger at Bode’s

The burger at Bode’s

The burger at Bode’s is a half-pound patty topped with 3 slices of aged cheddar and not-so-mild green chile that’s been caramelized on the grill – all served on a sesame seed bun with a heaping side of tater tots. 960 1280

  

Bode's General Store

Bode's General Store

Bode's General Store sells everything you could ever need – from kitchen appliances to New Mexico souvenirs – in addition to delicious cheeseburgers. 960 1280

  

New Mexico's red chile

New Mexico's red chile

New Mexico’s pepper pride is strong. There’s only one way to experience the slow burn of a green chile cheeseburger, and that’s to try one in its native land. 960 1280

  

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