If you’re anything like me, you don’t often think about crossing the river and heading out to Maumelle for any sort of culinary adventure. Maumelle has always been a beautiful, family-friendly, and affordable location to make one’s home in central Arkansas, but it’s never been hailed as much of a gastronomic stronghold. This, perhaps, is what’s always made the trip to Maumelle feel significantly more tedious than a trip to, say, North Little Rock, a town studded with excellent, locally-owned eateries. But as I occasionally find myself in Maumelle, we determined to find some respectable eats in this part of town on a recent visit.
If there’s one thing a small town will likely be able to pull off, it’s burgers—even the most humble of rural establishments will likely have at least one or two reputable burger joints. In Maumelle, many put their money on Burger Fix—a small, casual, table-service restaurant just off Club Manor Drive. We dropped by with some Maumelle friends recently, assuming that such a place dedicated to burgers could at least produce an edible product—luckily, we were correct in our assumption.
Before the burgers, we started with Burger Fix’s version of that popular Chili’s standard, “Southwest Eggrolls.” We were presented with a standard Chinese-style eggroll wrapper, fried crispy, and stuffed with black beans, corn, cheese, spinach, peppers, and chicken, served alongside a small cup of “housemade” ranch dressing for dipping. We enjoyed them, but weren’t overwhelmed with the flavors—is it blasphemous to say I have fonder memories of the Chili’s version? Given, it’s been over 10 years since I’ve eaten them. We moved on to burgers…
First we sampled their signature “BANG! Burger,” which the menu informed us was assembled from pepper-jack cheese, beer-battered onion rings, and their housemade “BANG!” sauce. We considered asking what exactly goes into one’s “BANG!” sauce, but we didn’t want to spoil the surprise. The burger arrived and we were treated to a ½-lb. slab of hand-patted beef that was flavorful, but cooked a little more than we would have liked (though we foolishly forgot to ask for a nice medium-rare to medium). Regardless, the beef had a nice showing of melted fat and beef juice—we were satisfied. The “BANG!” sauce slathered on top was a creamy, slightly tangy mayonnaise concoction that added a nice flavor to the burger overall. The onion rings were forgettable, but overall, the burger was a satisfying choice.
Our second burger was a simple cheeseburger dressed with the standard array of condiments—cheese, ketchup, lettuce, tomato, pickle. Again, a respectable burger but this one seemed slightly more well-done than the last, resulting in a somewhat dryer patty that seemed to age quickly if not devoured in a timely manner.
Perhaps the best items presented this day were their housemade fries and potato chips accompanying the burgers. The fries were clearly handcut, fried to order, and made from fresh potatoes. They arrived crispy and coated in a thin layer of oil, but entirely delicious. The chips were even better. When they first hit the table, they appeared as if they had only been removed from the fryer literally seconds before being served—hot and golden brown. They quickly cooled, however, and were nicely crisp and lovely. We asked for a side of the aforementioned “BANG!” sauce for dipping and were happy to gulp the entire basket down.
While we don’t often find ourselves in Maumelle, we were please to find an eatery worth returning to. Burger Fix may not have enough pull to lure us to M-town regularly, but we’d certainly venture there again when the occasion presents itself.
Burger Fix: 1800 Club Manor Drive, Maumelle. 501-803-9251. Visit their Facebook page here.