In the next few days,Southern Burger Company will celebrate the one-year anniversary of their food truck hitting the streets in Chattanooga. The overwhelmingly positive response they have received led them to open their first brick-and-mortar location on Jan. 5 at Warehouse Row. The welcome has been just as enthusiastic, for the same reason their truck has proved so popular—you can’t get a burger like this anywhere else.
Every component of their burgers is selected with the utmost care. The meat (obviously the foundation of any good burger) is grass-fed Hereford beef from farms right here in Tennessee. The buns are sourdough, made especially for Southern Burger Company by The Bread Basket. The toppings are locally farmed, and their character is attested to by the fact that Benton’s Bacon and Wickle’s Pickles are the only options worthy of augmenting their burgers.
Just as much thought and care go into the rest of the menu. The fries are cut in-house each morning, and the onion rings often sell out—they only make so many each day. The sauces to dip them in are made in-house—right down to the ketchup! That focus on quality translates into one of the best and most unique burger experiences you can have in Chattanooga.
Their premium burgers include familiar options as well as singular combinations I’ve never even thought of before. I settled on the Jalapeño Burger, an excellent example of how Southern Burger Company thinks outside the box. Freshly sliced jalapeños join cheddar cheese, mayo and ketchup, as well as a house-made bacon jam that has to be tasted to be believed.
The first thing I noticed was how the flavor of the meat itself stood out, even when coupled with such flavorful toppings. The amount of peppers was just right to leave my mouth tingling, and worked extremely well in conjunction with the sweetness of the jam, as well as that of the bun. Speaking of the bun, it almost boggled my mind that it held up so well with the amount of toppings—it was just as firm on the last bite as it was on the first.
I tried both the fries and onion rings. The fries were just at the right level of doneness, and you could definitely tell they were made fresh—quite a far cry from the standard frozen options. The onion rings were extra crunchy, with just enough coating, and were great dipped in their Garlic Mayoli.
In addition to the Mayoli, Southern Burger has many more house-made options for dipping. The Buttermilk Ranch was sinfully delicious with the fries, and their Bleu Cheese-Jalapeño is an astoundingly creative blend of tang and heat.
If you can’t make it to Warehouse Row, have no fear—Southern Burger Company’s truck is still making the rounds in Hamilton County for lunch and special events (look for them at Chattanooga Market and Nightfall this year). If you see them out and about, be sure to stop by as quick as you can—it’s not a rare occurrence for them to sell out on any given day. If you want to see when they’ll be in your area, you can check their oft-updated Facebook page to get the skinny. You can even book the truck for your special event—it’s hard to imagine a better option for a large get-together or a pool party.
In the next month, they’ll be adding craft beers to the menu (with happy hour specials), which really is appropriate—if there’s such a thing as a craft burger, this is it. Each item on the menu is thoughtfully put together, and you can tell how passionate they are as soon as you exchange a few words with them. Stop in and see why so many Chattanoogans have been going bonkers for Southern Burger Company.
Southern Burger Co.
1110 Market St.
(423) 825-4919 southernburgerco.com
Hours: 11 a.m.-6 p.m.