Dub's Hamburger Heaven, an unassuming dairy bar between North Little Rock and Scott, a few miles down the road from the imposing shadow of the original Cotham's and next door to a boarded-up storefront, enjoys a steady stream of business not only from locals wanting a nearby burger, but a fair number of hamburger aficionados, to boot. And for good reason. At worst, you'll get a solid hamburger for a couple bucks. On a good day — usually if your order is taken and cooked by an older gentleman with inked knuckles — rest assured you'll be in good hands and may just end up eating one of the best dairy bar burgers in a state full of great highway dairy bars.
Simple to the point of making other burgers look frilly in comparison, Dub's specializes in the art of the Fundamental Burger — moist, well-seasoned beef and crispy bacon on a crushed sesame seed bun that's held together with a toothpick and served in an oily wax paper wrapping. Just the way these things should be.
It's worthy of being mentioned in the same breath as Cotham's Hubcap and the House's Peter Singer (sadly now off the menu), and at its best it can be as effortlessly good as even those served up at New Haven's Louis' Lunch, the accepted birthplace of the quintessential American food. Just make sure to specify how you want it cooked, or you may end up with a dry, well-done patty that won't do justice to the cult following the place has accrued.
The sides are nothing to be sneezed at, either. And just as straightforward, too: fries, Cajun fries, curly fries — but the onion rings are where it's at. Too often, especially in the dairy bar league, onion rings have a tendency to be either grease-logged or burnt and brittle. Again, on a good day — which happens more often than not in our experience — Dub's come out light and crispy, with a batter that accentuates the onion flavor without overpowering it.
All that said, we've been disappointed by some of Dub's other offerings. The tamales, which we'd heard good things about, were small, greasy, bland, and ended up half eaten even after we tried to salvage them by drowning the little guys in hot sauce. The Frito chili pie was your standard concession stand fare: Fritos hidden beneath a ton of canned chili and cheese.
The frog leg dinner, served with plain fries, onion rings, hush puppies, corn nuggets, and a sweet, made-from-scratch slaw, was good, but not quite up to the standard of the burgers.
But let's face it, you don't go to Dub's Hamburger Heaven and order tamales.
Sure, it's a bit out of the way for most, but when the weather warms up, take a long lunch break, hop on the I-440 Scott exit, and treat yourself to a springtime burger on a picnic bench.
Dub's Hamburger Heaven
6230 Baucum Pike,
North Little Rock
Try the strawberry milkshake. Sweet and creamy with generously huge chunks of strawberry to be harvested from the bottom, it's a wholly satisfying take on the classic. Breakfast is standard, greasy-good fare—bacon, egg sandwiches and the like.
6 a.m. to 9 p.m. daily.
No alcohol. Cash only.
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