Zarzour’s Cafe is a dying breed: a tiny meat and three on the fringe of Chattanooga’s warehouse district, it sits across an alley from a boarded-up brick building and just a few blocks from the old Terminal Station where the famous choo choo train used to make its stops.
Walking inside Zarzour’s on a recent storm-tossed afternoon I swear that Chattanooga is on fire. The joint is jumping and owner Shannon Fuller is in full command of her crew as they hustle out blue plates crammed with Creole meatloaf, pork roast with cornbread dressing, butter beans and hunks of homemade peanut butter pie.
But we’re here for the hamburger, one of the South’s best.
When an order for a burger comes in, Mrs Fuller grabs a handful of loose beef, quickly shapes it into a patty then hurls it down upon the antique griddle where it sizzle for a few minutes til it’s craggy and burnished brown.
The sandwich is then garnished according to customer spec and trotted out to table by either the cook or a waitress-whoever’s handy as the cafe is always hopping.
If you like the juicy, old-school, fried in a pan by an old granny woman-style burger then this is your place.
We discovered Zarzour’s Cafe years ago via Jane and Michael Stern’s Roadfood book series.
We’ve been hooked ever since.
1627 Rossville Ave
Hours of Operation
Mon-Fri 11-3:30 pm