Have you figured out yet that local food is a big deal to me? If you’ve been a regular reader for a while you know that (while I still visit the grocery store) I buy the majority of my food at the farmers market. I try to eat at local restaurants as much as possible (and don’t profile chain restaurants-other than “local chains”-on Chattavore. Period.). The best of both worlds? A local restaurant that serves food from farmers markets. More and more restaurants in Chattanooga are making an effort to do just that, but most of them tend toward a few items on the menu that are local and everything else is from who-knows-where.
Philip and I visited Nashville for a couple of days this week just to get away on my fall break. One of my friends, who is an animal lover/vegetarian/local food fanatic, met us for lunch on Friday. I asked her to recommend some good local places, so she threw out some suggestions. All of them sounded good….Calypso Café (Caribbean fare), Puffy Muffin (“dessert bakery and restaurant”), and Burger Up (self-explanatory). She mentioned that just about everything served at Burger Up is sourced locally and that they serve Krispy Kreme bread pudding. Sold! Philip loves Krispy Kreme and bread pudding, and you know we both love a good burger.
According to their website, Burger Up Cool Springs was born from the idea to start a follow-up restaurant to the Burger Up location at 12th and Paris in Nashville. The farm that sources the beef (Triple L Beef) for that restaurant is located in Franklin, so this restaurant is an homage of sorts to that farm. The farm that sources the beef for the Cool Springs restaurant (Bear Creek Farm) is also located in Williamson County. The menu features grass-fed beef, free-range chicken, Sweetwater Valley cheese, Benton’s Bacon (oh yeeeeaaaahhhhhh), etc. Even the chocolate used in their brownies and the ranch dressing served with their fried pickles are local. For a complete rundown of their vendors, check out this page: http://www.burgerupcoolsprings.com/vendors.html.
Philip took one look at the menu and pointed out what he knew I was going to order: the ramsey pimento cheese burger. Duh. House-made pimento cheese, pickles, red onion, Bibb lettuce. Perfection. On my friend’s suggestion, I ordered the truffle fries (unlimited house fries are included in the price of the burger, but you can sub any other side-truffle fries, sweet potato fries, vidalia onion rings, or steamed baby spinach-for $1.00 extra) which are drizzled with truffle oil, topped with parmesan, and served with honey dijon aioli. These are my dream fries, with or without the truffle oil…hand-cut, crispy but not overly so….obviously made in house. The aioli was amazing, a stepped-up version of the honey mustard I used to obsessively dip my fries in. The burger…wow. It had the amazing flavor of grass-fed beef (if you’ve never compared the two….you really can tell the difference), the pimento cheese (in which you could see the shreds of cheese) was just creamy enough and you could taste the pimentos just a little, the vegetables were fresh, and the bun was soft but not squishy. Me = happy camper.
Oh dear. My photo looks terrible! Sorry for the blur.
Similarly, Philip immediately knew what he was going to order: the woodstock. Benton’s bacon (again, oh yeeaahhhh), Sweetwater white cheddar, and Jack Daniels maple ketchup (see? Another local product!!). He decided to get the regular house fries so that we could compare the two. Like me, he thought the fries were perfect, and he liked their ketchup, which he doesn’t usually eat. They make it there and it has a different texture and flavor from storebought…and it contains Coke! Fun. He took one bite of the burger and his eyes rolled back. The bacon was awe-evoking…..not super-crisp, perfectly salty, and with the sweet flavor from the Jack Daniels maple ketchup…wow. Of course, the burger itself was wonderful too.
Colleen ordered the tomato-basil soup as a starter and our server brought us three spoons so that Philip and I could try it too. It was creamy and tasted like a non-alcoholic (ha!) and slightly spicy (just slightly!) version of my vodka sauce. Mmmmm. She ordered the Marathon burger, a quinoa and black bean burger served with lettuce, tomato, red onion, and cilantro-lime crème fraiche. Wow. I would love to go back and order this sometime. She eats there fairly regularly and always orders this. She said that she really likes it because (a) it tastes good; (b) they cook it perfectly so that it is a little crunchy; and (c) it isn’t non-meat trying to masquerade as meat (a la Boca burgers) which is my criteria for a good vegetarian burger as well. It looked amazing.
And, finally, we ordered the Krispy Kreme donut pudding with housemade raspberry sauce (they also serve milkshakes and a brownie). It came in a fairly large rectangle, definitely big enough for two (actually, I think it could have served three but Colleen didn’t eat any…she insisted that since we don’t have access to this restaurant on a regular basis we had to eat the whole thing). It was perfectly moist and not overly sweet (like you might fear that Krispy Kreme pudding would be) and the raspberry sauce was sweet and just slightly tart and nicely “raspberry-y”. It complemented the pudding just right. We ate the whole thing.
All I can say is…..a-MAH-zing. I’m in love with this restaurant. It’s probably a good thing I don’t live there or I’d be eating at Burger Up all the time. Good for them but probably not good for the state of my waistline. It’s definitely ranked right up there with Southern Burger in my burger rankings (and it’s a good thing they aren’t open all the time or I’d be in trouble here too!). I love the mission of serving as much local food as possible and Burger Up is definitely going above and beyond that call. I’ll be back.
Burger Up Cool Springs is located at 401B Cool Springs Boulevard, Franklin, TN 37067. You can call them at 615-503-9892. Check out their website: http://www.burgerupcoolsprings.com/. You can also like them on Facebook or follow them on Twitter. The website for the original location at 12th and Paris is http://burger-up.com/.