Great Hamburgers, Fried Pies, Smashburger, and SlugburgersWednesday, July 11, 2012
Staggs (Stagg's? Staggs'?) Grocery in Florence is one of those old little hamburger shops that all lucky small-towns have.
Forget those plastic tables and peer upwards to that fantastic pressed ceiling:
We forgot those straight-from-Sam's tables and chairs too, and had lunch in the car while viewing gorgeous Florence. That hamburger? Verrr-verrr-good.
...and extra points (even though it wasn't served just-out-of-the-oil hot) for having fried pies. And extra-extra points for supporting Grandma in Phil Campbell, who, as it turns out, makes a pretty good fried pie. Boo to all those hamburger places who have the good sense to think of selling fried pies like this but instead place orders with Sysco or some other of that ilk and dole out nasty rectangular, prefab bricks.
Smashburger is a new chain to Alabama; their first store in Madison was just written up in the H'ville Times for developing a burger called the 'Dixie' with a regional specialty spin -- white barbecue sauce: "In addition to the white barbecue sauce, the burger comes with shredded leaf lettuce, fried green tomato, mayo and Swiss cheese on an egg bun." (I bet it doesn't need that extra mayonnaise, though, and I wonder why they used Swiss.)
There's a new-ish magazine called 'Eat. Drink. Mississippi' based out of Monticello. The latest issue had a feature on Slugburgers -- I've waxed poetic about them before -- and mentioned that slugburger mix is available to purchase, Suitor's at Gardner's Supermarket in Corinth, and their own mix at Rickman's Meat Market. The hamburgers at Staggs are beef, but the hamburgers at some of the older places, like CF Penn's in Decatur, are meat + extenders: an extender being something like flour, soy protein...
Oh -- and CF Penn does a food challenge, giving people an hour to eat ten of these. If Joey Chestnut ate the 72oz steak meal at the Big Texan in fewer than nine minutes, he could do this in one!