- GRAV WELDON
- MADE FROM SCRATCH: CJ's burgers aren't smashed until you arrive and order
Or something like that. You’ve no doubt read what I had to say about the place on Serious Eats last year. I still feel the same way… though I absolutely love and adoreFeltner’s Whatta-Burger, I have to hand it to CJ’s for turning out an excellent, decent burger, the best you can get in the city of Russellville. You can’t get any better than fresh.
And you can't get any fresher than CJ's.
When you place your order at the counter, as you order fries the potatoes are picked up, put up in the top portion ofa slicer and pressed down, instantly turning into 3/8 inch straws of raw potato. They’re delivered to a fryer basket, dunked to cook, pulled out and checked and dunked again before being liberally sprinkled with the house spice(which flavors somewhere between Cavender’s and Cotham’s house seasoning). The fries are never bright yellow. They’re a golden brown, sometimes a little darker than might look appetizing but always hot and fresh.
That burger when you order it hits the hot griddle and gets smashed down flat, seasoned a little and allowed to cook in its own juices. Maybe you go for some grilledonions or mushrooms with it, and those get cooked there too.
And then there are the shakes, thick hand-pulled shakes in chocolate, strawberry or vanilla (though if you ask nicely you can get a half-and-half). They’re spoon-thick and icy cold and you’ll probably finish your burger before you’re able to smoothly suck it through a straw.
And if you’re wondering why the sign you see from the interstate says “CJ’s Burger Boy,” that’s because up until the mid-90s it was a Waffle House. I once spent a Christmas Eve there. But that’s a story for another time.