It’s funny how some of these burger outings both originate and then come to fruition. For example, the other day I received an email from a reader suggesting that I try a place on N. 3rd called Roxie’s Grocery. I was not familiar with Roxie’s or that end of N. 3rd. However, the email was as compelling as it was convincing. He described this burger detail by detail and gave me a full run down of the grocery and what I could expect. Basically, he cast the bait and I was hooked.
Truth be told, nothing could have prepared me for Roxie’s Grocery other than being in Roxie’s Grocery. It’s a small neighborhood convenience/grocery store located past St. Jude and just south of Greenlaw Park. There was no listing for Roxie’s on Urbanspoon and only 1 review of the Uptown Burger on Yelp. As my car approached Roxie’s I did a double-take and even considered driving off. It’s a very small rundown looking store in a lower income neighborhood. There were three or four guys sitting out front on milk crates and no parking lot. The person who emailed me about Roxie’s assured me it was safe so I thought to myself, “why not give it a try?” I circled around the block, parked on the corner of a side street and headed towards the door. The gentlemen sitting out front were engaging and we exchanged a friendly greeting as I walked in.
The inside of Roxie’s was about as dingy looking as the outside of the store. There were long isles of miscellaneous groceries, produce and household odds and ends. The drink coolers had more Faygo products than an ICP concert. I saw a lot of large individual cans and bottles of beer for sale and cigarettes behind the counter. At the back of the store was a long deli looking display contained a few meats, pork products and cheeses. Above it was a big printed menu of foods and combo plates for sale. I got right up there and asked about the Uptown Burger. The guy working behind the counter told me it came with three cheeses and I could get it as a combo with fries and a drink. The cheeses were, a spicy pepper cheese, American, and hoop cheese. Hoop cheese, I believe, is just another name for a sharp cheddar. I told him to give me everything on it and to make it a combo.
I watched the man behind the deli window cook my Uptown Burger from start to finish on small griddle top off to the side of the deli window. He put two 1/4 lb. looking patties and a butter brushed bun on the griddle and the sizzling began. A moment later a large handful of fries were cooking along side the burgers in a small fryolator. I thought I’d get some funny looks if I tried to order a medium burger, so I didn’t even bother. Slowly but surely this burger came together. It ended up being two good size hand-formed patties, both covered in the three aforementioned cheeses and topped with a generous portion of grilled yellow onion. It was served on a large Wonder burger bun with lettuce, tomato, sour pickles, mustard and mayo. The fries were hit with a big dash of seasoned salt and dropped into a big Styrofoam container along side the Uptown Burger. I saw him pack a few packets of ketchup in there and told me to grab any bottle of soft drink I wanted out of one of the coolers to complete the combo. I grabbed a big Faygo root beer, paid the gentleman (Roxie I think) behind the cash register and headed back to work to dig in to this burger.
I can’t begin to do this burger justice. It was like a double giant Tops Bar-B-Q cheeseburger on steroids. It was so awesome. It was loaded with meat, cheese and grilled onion. It was greasy and bursting with flavor. The Uptown Burger was a giant hot mess of awesomeness. Much different from an Alex’s Tavern or Majestic Grille burger, it was just spilling out of the bun. I probably went through a dozen or so paper napkins while I enjoyed the burger. It wasn’t as spicy as I was expecting. Maybe he went easy on me with the pepper cheese. I will say the only thing I didn’t love were the pickles. I prefer dill pickle over sour pickles, but I quickly remedied that by taking them off the burger. Immediately, it returned to the awesome greasy burger taste. Simply Amazing.
The fries were a great side, and I loved how the cheese just spilled off the burger and melted over about some of them. Gotta love those cheese fries.
I give the Roxie’s Grocery Uptown Burger 4.5 out of 5 stars. Folks, if you dare to step off the beaten path, you won’t be sorry. Truly an amazing mess of a great cheeseburger. If you go, let me know, I may have to join you again.
520 N. 3rd St.
Memphis, TN 38105
If you have a favorite burger that you think is Memphis’ best or that I need to try and review, please drop a note in my suggestion box.