Believe it or not, there are several great hamburgers in and around Searcy. For the rest of this semester, JP Baker and I plan to review a local burger each week. Our goal here is locality, so the burgers must be near and unique to Searcy. No Big Orange or Colton’s. We’re beginning the series this week with the Rock House burger.
Rock House opened about a year ago, taking the space Doc’s had occupied. It has a nice, more upscale environment — with the exception of the scattered lazy attempts to add a Rock ‘n’ Roll theme. Regardless, it’s a good option for either a nice occasion or an inexpensive dinner.
The immediate uniqueness of Rock House’s burger is the array of toppings. For an additional charge per topping, ranging from cheese and bacon to chili and fried egg. While each of these costs a little more, the burger on it’s own is pretty cheap, priced at $3.99 for a single — with one quarter-pound patty — and $5.49 for a double. To get a fair taste for the burger, we ordered one with only cheese and one with our ideal toppings.
Hunter: I was very impressed with the plain burger. The meat was juicy and lightly seasoned, though the flavor was very pronounced. The burger needs no ketchup. The bun was lightly toasted, slightly crunchy but not burnt. It was also quite buttery, which was a little overpowering at times, but it gave a unique flavor that typically complimented the burger nicely. Considering the toppings, the bacon amounted to two long strips folded over, which was adequate, and was not quite crispy but not floppy either — no complaints, but may not be worth the extra cost. I was more disappointed in the fried egg, as it was very dry, and took away from the moisture of the burger itself. All in all, however, Rock House offers a great burger. It is definitely one of the best burgers you can get in Searcy for around $4. If you want to spend a little more, it’s the most customizable — there are better burgers for $10 and up, but none match the amount of options offered by Rock House. I give it an 8/10.
JP: I am a simple man, and I’m governed by simple burgers. I think most restaurants would do well to live by the following maxim: if your burger needs condiments, you need a new burger. Rock House follows this well — the plain burger was exceptionally flavorful on its own — but they also offer an impressive array of add-ons: the usual sauteed mushrooms and onions, but throw in options for queso, salsa, chili, and fried egg. All of this starts out cheap, but the add-ons pile up quickly. Just bacon, cheese and sauteed onions would add a full $2.40 to the bill. Fortunately for those seeking simpler pleasures, the burger needs little more than itself. The Rock House buns, while nothing special in terms of the bread, are perfectly buttered and toasted. I only regret that I was given no option on how the patty was cooked — the medium-well burger was delicious, but I always prefer medium rare. Overall, the Rock House burger scores a solid 7/10 for its classic approach to burger-craft and a generous (if pricey) array of options for those looking to go beyond the basic burger.
Bottom Line: Rock House offers a great burger if you are looking for an inexpensive option or for a lot of toppings. Averaging our two assessments, the Rock House burger scores 7.5/10.