It's Burger Time... "I ♥ Nashville" edition.
The trip snuck up on me fast and I had to mostly rely on my first researchings, a random collection of typo filled notes autosaved in my Gmail drafts box. I first heard of Rotier's Restaurant on beloved Roadfood.com and turned out the place was only several blocks from my business hotel in West End/Vanderbilt. I'm glad deciding on a dinner spot came easy as I hadn't eaten anything all the day except for an overpriced stale croissant at the SD airport.
Hamburger purists can be as picky about the buns that complete their casual handheld meal as much as the main ground meat patties themselves. You can order a supposed cheeseburger on toasted sliced bread and they will argue that it's technically a Patty Melt. I'm not sure what they would've called my mother's that was pressed between soggy white pink sandwich bread, saturated from ketchup...
But choose French Bread instead and voila, the space-time fabric that governs the universe of hamburgers seem to somehow shift back to happy equilibrium. Thank goodness because this is the most popular style offered at Rotier's, a restaurant having much closer vibe to a food friendly bar or tavern. One of the secrets to their award winning burgers I've been told is the half century old flat griddle that have been seasoned with decades worth of satisfied parton's greasy eats. Also the patties used to be generously hand-formed by the cook to the size of their palms, and older burger photos floating online seem to confirm. These days the patties are properly weighed for consistency, if not for the sake of better business practice for the relatively modest price of $5.50 (with cheese).
If you ask for 'everything' you get lettuce, tomatoes, pickles, mustard and in this case as I did with an addition of cheese. I remember the smaller but bright ripe red tomatoes particularly standing out as sweet and delicious. The toasted white French bread with poppy seeds contrasted nicely with the coarser ground beef patty while the gravity defying melted cheese shown below was the familiar bright orange American I've grown to love.
I would later find out that Medium-well to Well seems to be the preferred doneness in town judging by the few I'd be experiencing the visit including this day. Will be making sure to ask for medium next time but all in all the burger at Rotier's was a fine specimen that stood out, particularly in its feat of stimulating all senses. The attractive appearance, of course the taste, to the crusty sound it made as I took my first bite. When back it'll be hard not to order some other burger derivative again but I hear their plate lunches are notable good eats in their own right.
Rotier's Restaurant, 2413 Elliston Pl, Nashville, TN 37203