You have to love a place that has a dog-eared copy of Hamburger America sitting right by the cash register….
Working our way from Little Rock to Oxford, I had two or three stops planned – the first being Cotham’s Mercantile, in Scott. In the first version of the Hamburger America book that I bought, Scott’s was the only location listed in Arkansas. As there always is with a “list”, there was low hanging fruit – items that you can check off easily. I wondered if I would ever have the opportunity to check this burger off my list. This trip provided that.
Cotham’s was a true mercantile shop – the general store – in Scott, starting in 1931. They began serving lunch and, as chain grocery and department stores changed the landscape for general stores all over the country, the food service eclipsed the retail business.
We took a seat at a table near the rear. As you can see, from the photo above, the place was packed. If you look closely, you’ll see a table of USAF Airmen right near the door. A conversation with these American heroes ended up being one of the highlights of the trip, but that’s another story for another blog.
Cotham’s is most well known for the “Hubcap” burger – a 17 ounce patty of griddled fresh ground beef on a giant bun, which was our goal.
We ordered one, with fries, to share. What you can’t tell, from this picture, is the size of this burger. This thing was as wide as a dollar bill is long. And, based on the thousands of these that they’ve cooked over the years, it was uniformly cooked. It was simply seasoned and the melted American cheese had the correct amount of gooiness. Half of this burger was a whole meal. I’m not saying you should drive there from Atlanta, Nashville or west Texas, but if you’re in Little Rock, you should make the drive down to Scott. And if you are there and choose not to do that, there is a Cotham’s in the City, in Little Rock.