Thursday, June 23, 2011

Burger joint of the week: Cotham's Mercantile

Posted By on Thu, Jun 23, 2011 at 8:15 AM

LEGENDARY:  Cothams famed Hubcap burger
It’s been half a year since I started posting these burger joint recommendations, and you’ve probably wondered one thing: why haven’t I covered the most famous burger in Arkansas?

Well, frankly… I was out trying all these new burgers…

Still, no burger tour would be complete without a visit to Cotham’s Mercantile in Scott. A landmarks for about umpteen million reasons, Cotham’s is where the powers that be meet the foodies and the food celebrities and the home folks. It because so popular that a second location, Cotham’s in the City, was opened.

So if you live in Little Rock, why in tarnation would you go all the way out to Scott to get a burger when you could have one right on Third Street?

Well, there’s the atmosphere, sure.

But there’s also the burger. I made an egregious mistake when I ordered a Hubcap the other day. I chose to stick with fries instead of onion rings. That shoulda been my undoing right there. While I waited on my burger to come out I watched one order after another delivered to tables… all with the big, inch-thick fat cut crusty sided golden rings of joy piled high to one side. I won’t make that mistake again.

At least I didn’t make the other mistake. I love fried green tomatoes, but I don’t care for Cotham’s because they’re too thin. And people keep telling me “no, they’re really thick!” but both times I’ve had them they’ve been rather thin and more cornmeal than tomato. Meh. Maybe I will try again.

That being said, the skin-on fries that came with my burger were good, nicely salt-and-pepper dusted and strong enough for ketchup. But you don’t want to hear about that.

You want to hear about the burger. And I’ll tell you this — the patty for the Hubcap burger is nice, seedless and fluffy. The patty is thick, deliciously seasoned with that Cotham’s special spice heavy on onion powder and a snap of thyme, griddle-crusted and cooked to medium well. The tomatoes and lettuce and pickles and onions are plentiful. But why in the world is the darn thing sold without a bottom bun?

I am jesting, of course. A bottom bun does come with the whole affair. But if you don’t eat yours all in one setting, it’ll disappear.

Really, it’s all in the way the burger is made. The American cheese (if you get your Hubcap with cheese) glues the patty to the untoasted bun on top. That means all of the vegetation (purple onions, tomato slices, ridgy hamburger dills and iceberg lettuce) gets placed on top of the mayo (the default condiment; you have to ask for mustard) which results in a big, fat, wet mess.

The solution to all of this is to eat the burger upside down. That’s what I do, anyway.

So is the Cotham’s Hubcap worthy of the fame it’s garnered? Well, I won’t deny it’s a good burger. My only real issue is the price — $9.49 for a cheeseburger with fries. Seems steep, even though it is a pounder. For comparison — Frostop’s Big Daddy is $7.95. The Rock at Arkansas Burger Company is $6.50 with a bag of chips.

Still… it is Cotham’s. There is a certain amount of reverence involved in making the pilgrimage, walking through the doors at the old Mercantile and observing the atmosphere that’s entertained generations of wayward food lover. Besides, it’s worth a peek at the napkin art.

You’ll find Cotham’s in Scott at the intersection of Highway 161 and Cotham Road, a few blocks east of Highway 165 and the Plantation Agriculture Museum. It’s about a 12 minute drive from the outskirts of North Little Rock. Open 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Monday through Thursday, til 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday and closed Sunday. (501) 961-9284.

Tags: , , ,

Favorite

Speaking of...

Comments (3)

Showing 1-3 of 3

Add a comment

 
Subscribe to this thread:
Showing 1-3 of 3

Add a comment

More by Kat Robinson

Readers also liked…

  • Cache can't cut it

    All sizzle and no steak at Cache in the River Market.
    • Apr 14, 2015
  • In defense of Planned Parenthood and abortion rights

    An op-ed in today's New York Time by Katha Pollitt says what I've been struggling to say about the reaction to the attack on women's reproductive rights launched by means of the undercover videos made by anti-abortion activists.
    • Aug 5, 2015
  • Maddie's Place makes a believer out of a skeptic

    After a long hiatus, I return to Maddie's Place in Riverdale and find the food is a lot tastier than I remembered.
    • Aug 19, 2015

Most Shared

  • Department of Arkansas Heritage archeologist resigns

    Bob Scoggin, 50, the Department of Arkansas Heritage archeologist whose job it was to review the work of agencies, including DAH and the Arkansas Highway and Transportation Department, for possible impacts on historic properties, resigned from the agency on Monday. Multiple sources say Scoggin, whom they describe as an "exemplary" employee who the week before had completed an archeological project on DAH property, was told he would be fired if he did not resign.
  • Trump proposes an unconstitutional ban on flag burning, revoking citizenship

    Donald Trump, the president-elect of the United States, this morning made a public statement, via Twitter, that the flag burning should be disallowed by law: "there must be consequences — perhaps loss of citizenship or year in jail!"
  • Child welfare too often about 'punishing parents,' DCFS consultant tells legislators

    Reforms promised by the Division of Children and Family Services are "absolutely necessary," the president of DCFS's independent consultant told a legislative committee this morning. But they still may not be enough to control the state's alarming growth in foster care cases.
  • Donald Trump taps Tom Price for HHS Secretary; Medicaid and Medicare cuts could be next

    The selection of Tom Price as HHS secretary could signal that the Trump administration will dismantle the current healthcare safety net, both Medicaid and Medicare.
  • Fake economics

    Fake news is a new phenomenon in the world of politics and policy, but hokey economic scholarship has been around as long as Form 1040 and is about as reliable as the news hoaxes that enlivened the presidential campaign.

Visit Arkansas

Arkansas remembers Pearl Harbor

Arkansas remembers Pearl Harbor

Central Arkansas venues have a full week of commemorative events planned

Blogroll

 

© 2016 Arkansas Times | 201 East Markham, Suite 200, Little Rock, AR 72201
Powered by Foundation