Monday, September 10, 2012

Digging into a cheeseburger at The Root Cafe

Posted By on Mon, Sep 10, 2012 at 10:19 AM

IMG_0746.JPG

The formula for the perfect burger is surprisingly elusive. Though the basic components remain fairly standard between restaurants, the execution and end products often have dramatic differences. And with so many diverse iterations of this noble beast, a person could spend an entire lifetime trying to hunt down the ultimate burger experience. It is intriguing to think that the humble burger, an item nearly any backyard troll with a grill and a spatula can slap together, can warrant so much attention from the restaurant community at large. The simple fact is, our nation is completely infatuated with ground beef in a bun. I am no exception, as I, myself, cannot ignore the delightful siren’s song of the next restaurant touting “the best burger in town.” The burger is the epitome of comfort food. It will never go away, it will never fade out of favor…and if a restaurant is serving a notable rendition on its menu, you can be fairly certain that word will get out sooner rather than later. Such is the case with The Root Café, a precious gem of a restaurant in Little Rock ’s Southside Main St. neighborhood…a place serving food too fresh, too unique, and too delicious not to shout about.

The Root’s burger is the kind of dish that is difficult to perfectly capture in words. Suddenly, I find that the same old tired food descriptors seem inadequate when trying to portray a thing of such beauty. I could go on spouting out the usual adjectives…juicy, fresh, perfectly-cooked, luscious, rich, flavorful (all of which apply here)…you’ve heard them all before. But now I am finding it difficult to detail exactly what it is about the Root burger that really sings to me. Still, I shall attempt to capture in words what I really feel in my heart.

Perhaps, its splendor lies in its simplicity. There are no gimmicks here, no exotic cheeses from distant lands, and no beef from cows that have been oil-massaged and fed grapes while lounging in clover fields all day. Just honest, locally-sourced ingredients, utilized in perfect proportions, to create a literal thing of beauty. The pasture-raised beef comes from local farms. It’s 1/3 pound of pure bovine bliss. And thank the heavens, they can cook a burger right, medium, the only way a decent burger should be enjoyed. Joining the party: a thick slice of ripe red tomato, sweetly caramelized grilled white onion, thinly sliced house-made pickle, a mild, zesty mustard, and a creamy house mayo. The exceptional cheese is sourced from the local Daley Dairy, producers of the fine Honeysuckle Lane yellow cheddar. This melted cheese softly wraps around the thick, hot beef patty, gently cascading down its sides. Holding the entire team together is the Boulevard Bread bun…soft, lightly grilled, superb.

Its colors, its textures, its smell…all combine to form an edible masterpiece, worthy of its own pedestal in the Louvre. Beyond that, the flavors swirling around in each bite of this burger will leave an indelible impression on your mind, a memory that will likely be safely tucked away into some pleasurable recess of your mind, right next to the memories of your first kiss, your wedding day, or the birth of your first child. It’s not the kind of thing you keep silent about.

The Root Cafe
1500 S. Main
Little Rock

Tags: , ,

Favorite

Speaking of The Root Cafe, Burgers

Comments (14)

Showing 1-14 of 14

Add a comment

 
Subscribe to this thread:
Showing 1-14 of 14

Add a comment

More by Daniel Walker

  • The Kraft Mac & Cheese Food Hack

    Recently, we held another food hack competition, taking another childhood classic, Kraft Mac & Cheese, and tried to turn it on its head, creating something entirely new and unique. Again, the results were pretty awesome. The rules were simple: Use a whole box of mac and cheese, both noodles and cheese powder, and turn it into any sinister monstrosity imaginable. We had a vote via the Eat Arkansas Facebook page to crown a winner. Here's what was submitted:
    • Jul 30, 2014
  • Food Feedback Friday: The "We need your vote!" edition

    Alrighty...you know the drill with Food Feedback. Tell us what you're eating this week and what you thought about it. I love to hear all the suggestions and I'm frequently looking back through your recommendations to determine my next meal. So share away! Happy weekend, y'all.
    • Jul 25, 2014
  • Looking in on the new Le Pops, now in the Heights

    Le Pops is a wonderful addition to the Heights neighborhood. Laurie Harrison is incredibly dedicated to her product, she still works here 7 days a week and is constantly experimenting in the kitchen to develop new flavors. Check them out the next time you need a cool down.
    • Jul 24, 2014
  • More »

Readers also liked…

  • Root Cafe the Growing America winner on HLN

    How apt: The Root Cafe is the viewer-chosen winner of the documentary series "Growing America: A Journey to Success," on HLN TV. The show's idea: that MBAs from the country's most prestigious universities could help businesses to, well, leaf out.
    • Dec 21, 2014
  • We can do better, Little Rock

    The Friday Five open line is here, and we're talking restaurant sales numbers. You can talk about whatever you'd like.
    • Feb 20, 2015
  • Damgoode Pies to join the brewpub scene

    Local brew returns to the River Market in the form of Damgoode Brews, and some familiar faces are working to hard to create a new identity for the local favorite.
    • Jan 8, 2015

Most Shared

  • Nursing home bribery case details suspect judicial fund-raising

    Plaintiffs' lawyers made their case today to continue to trial with the civil suit over then-Judge Mike Maggio's reduction of a $5.2 million jury verdict in a nursing home negligence case to $1 million, a reduction he said he made in return for campaign contributions from the nursing home's owner.
  • Defense for Suhl asks judge to dismiss bribery indictment, citing Supreme Court decision in McDonnell case

    Attorneys for the businessman argue that his cash payments to a former deputy director of DHS, Steven Jones, did not constitute corruption. They say prosecutors cannot prove the money was given in exchange for any particular "official act" from Jones.
  • When America was great

    Donald Trump is right. There was a time when America was great and it didn't pussyfoot around to avoid offending people who thought they were victimized by discrimination. It was, let's see, the period after World War II, when everyone prospered and America was kicking butts, at home and abroad, and Arkansas's leaders were at the center of it.
  • Arkansas Heirloom Tomatoes at Edwards Food Giant for the Fourth of July weekend

    We are receiving 200-pounds of large heirloom tomatoes Friday morning from Times publisher and farmer Alan Leveritt. We have dark, brick red Carbons, Goldies (large, high acid golden tomatoes) and Annis Noire, a delicious French heirloom that is green with red marbling when ripe.
  • Resistance grows nationally to freeway expansions

    The U.S. Public Interest Research Group has issued a news release about freeway expansion with relevance in Little Rock. It's about wasting money to widen freeways that only create more congestion. Sound familiar?

Most Recent Comments

Blogroll

 

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