The things I'll eat for this blog... | Rock Candy

Friday, July 23, 2010

The things I'll eat for this blog...

Posted By on Fri, Jul 23, 2010 at 8:34 AM

IMPRESSIVE:  The Excaliburger at Ozark Cafe
  • Kat Robinson
  • IMPRESSIVE: The Excaliburger at Ozark Cafe
You ever try something you perhaps shouldn’t on a whim, just out of curiosity? I just did. Really. That burger, right there. Let me tell you about it.

I’m on assignment right now on Scenic Highway Seven in the Ozarks. Yesterday morning my photographer and I stopped in at the Ozark Café in Jasper for a long drink of iced tea and a chance to cool down. I’d been bragging about having consumed the Deep Fried Burger at the restaurant back in 2008 and had expected to order the same again, just because I could.

But as I perused the menu I noticed another listing:

Excaliburger: Our ½ pound burger, sandwiched between two grilled cheese w/Ozark sauce… Single $5.99 Double $8.99

Well, what do you do? I mean, after all, I had figured I’d send photos of that Deep Fried Burger to Serious Eats, but this intrigued me. But we’d just ate. No, really, we’d just had breakfast not two hours before at the Cliff House Inn (and yes, I will tell you about that sometime soon).

  • Kat Robinson
  • Kat Robinson
In the end, we gave in. Having someone to share the experience with helped… I wouldn’t feel guilty leaving a good hunk of burger on a plate. We ordered it up and waited.

If you haven’t been to the Ozark Café and you’re in the area, you should stop in. The place is a veritable treasure trove of historical photographs and memorabilia from all over Newton County, including a great deal of Dogpatch USA items. It’d be hard to be bored there. The café itself has been around since 1909 (no joke!) and many of the photos you’ll see are from the restaurant over the years.

So, the burger comes out with this knife stuck in it. Yeah, we got it, Excaliber. After a prodigious amount of photographs we split the monster and dug in.

  • Kat Robinson
The grilled cheese sandwiches themselves were butter-toasted, each two slices of bread glued together with American cheese. In between the two were all the things you need on a burger — juicy tomato (very juicy, actually), the Ozark sauce (an herbed mayo, I believe), thinly sliced red onions, the burger patty, green leaf lettuce, flat hamburger dills and a thin layer of mayo.

  • Kat Robinson
And the burger had this perfect char on it, a grilled burger with lots of black pepper and a hint of thyme, and the strong suggestion on the use of Worchestershire throughout. It’s thick but not ovoid, and it was cooked medium well.

Now, there was one thing that was tough, and that was getting the burger to the mouth. Because of all the wet items, the burger patty tends to slide right out. In the end I procured a fork to finish my half. I was awesomely pleased with the burger, really I was.

  • Kat Robinson
The one downside was the fact that the café’s ice cream freezer recently went out, so I missed out on the marvelous milkshake I had been expecting to order. Probably for the best, considering I’d already had two rounds of breakfast (oh, did I mention I’d stopped at the Hankins Country Store? No? I have to tell you about that one, too) and dinner at Scooter’s at The Hub was to follow.

You’ll find the Ozark Café in Jasper on the town square… literally, you cannot miss it. It’s on Scenic Highway 7 just east of where the road turns right at the courthouse, on the north side of the road. They have a website or you can call (870) 446-2976.

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