Dear AHT: Litton's Market: Overpromised, Overpriced, Under Delivered

Dear AHT

Recommendations, reviews, and more from the AHT inbox.

Although we prefer to spread positive burger vibes, we also want to warn people when a highly regarded burger isn't quite up to snuff. Today we have an un-recommendatuoin from AHT reader Pavlov, who's previously contributed a burger review. Got something to share with AHT-ers? Contact us at [email protected].


[Photograph: Pavlov]

Dear AHT, Letters From Our ReadersAsk most folks here where is the best burger in town, and Litton's pops out most often. I looked at their menu online and saw they have been voted best burger in East Tennessee. This would surely set the mark for all other burgers in Knoxville, right?

I got the burger platter for $8.99 (comes with hand cut fries). The burger is made with eight ounces of grilled western beef (I was told top round but I couldn't confirm that with the cook) and it came dressed with lettuce, tomato, and sweet raw onion slice on a freshly baked, buttered, and grilled brioche style-bun (although the charming waitress described it as a "southern sweet" bun). I opted for a slice of American cheese for $1.29 and added a little mustard and ketchup.

When the burger arrived it was, to my sadness, a perfect disk of meat. This meant burger press. I was again disappointed when I bit into the patty: it had a somewhat mealy and slimy consistency. It was technically cooked to medium rare as I requested, but the texture was all off. On top of that, there was no char on the patty to contribute flavor. The bun was tasty and a good size, but as brioche-style buns go, not up to the task of holding everything together very well.

The fries are hand cut, par fried, then held for flash frying upon ordering. I like that they're fried in peanut oil, but they weren't fried long enough to give them a pillowy interior and golden brown exterior. Also, they had no seasoning, which I found out was on purpose. The problem with not seasoning fries fresh out is that the salt won't stick as they start to cool.

I wanted desperately to like—no, love this place. But in the end, it was disappointing, plus, at $13 dollars for burger, fries, and a soda, expensive! That being said, with a few tweaks—like hand forming patties, cooking at a higher temp, seasoning just before grilling, and cooking fries just a bit longer then seasoning hot, it could be great. Best Burgers in Knoxville? Man I hope not!

Litton's Market

2803 Essary Road, Knoxville Tennessee 37918 (map) 865-688-0429;