2021 Main St.
I’ve known about Ferrell’s since I was a kid. There was only one nearby at the time, in Hopkinsville, about 20 miles east of Cadiz. We ventured to Hoptown a few times per year, it had more and bigger stores, even a mall. It even had a McDonald's, which was pretty popular among the younger set. Cadiz had its own local greasy burger hut, it was okay, but it wasn’t a McDonald's.
Long before McDonald's came to Hoptown, there was Ferrell’s, (first open in Owensboro in 1929, Hopkinsville in 1936.) I knew of it in my youth, but I don’t recall ever going there. We didn’t eat out much back then.
A few years back Ferrell’s expanded into Cadiz. I knew about it, but since most of my visits to that part of the world were to celebrate one thing or another with family, I never needed to eat out.
This time was different. I’d be alone, with an ample amount of time and no family fridge to graze out of. I posted my plan on a social media page and asked locals if it was still renowned as a great place for a burger. Even my first-born, who currently lives in Tempe ,chimed in that it was his favorite place to eat while in the area. As far as I know, I am the only Trigg Countian, current, or former, that had never had a Ferrell’s burger.
Right along 68 (which is Main Street downtown) in an area once known as East Cadiz.
It’s small and tight. There are only stools and counters, one along the windowed wall, one in front of the griddle. It was about half occupied with locals. There seemed to be three crew members behind the counter. One obviously the chief flipper. He was yammering away with one of the customers while scraping the goo off the heavy steel cooking surface.
It was then that I had a Gestalt moment, that sudden awareness that sneaks up on you and awakens you to a different, larger perspective of time and place.
It is not as sweet and song-like as say a refined Atlanta accent, but not as crude as one might find on a swampy, backwoods banjo-infested porch.
If I stay more than a week at a time, I can catch myself slipping towards it a little. For me it is soothing, comfy, invoking the feel of having yourself pulled into the ample bosom of an aunt or grandmother’s soft cotton dress.
I found a stool at the counter. No need to look at the overhead menu, it only boasted a few things anyhow, burgers and breakfast. One of the nice things about Ferrell’s, especially if you are on the long haul or frequently imbibe, is that it is open 24 hours. The only place I know of to do that in whole of Trigg County.
They offer a bacon cheeseburger too, but I wanted to taste the burger itself, I already know what bacon tastes like.
I fiddled with my cellular smart phone. There are many places in Trigg County where there just is no cell service, fortunately I was in the county seat. At the old house in Cerulean, on visits, we siblings would have to stand in the middle of the road and hold the phones up in the air to get a connection. If we wanted to look at an email or social media, we’d have to drive down that road about five miles, which we actually did a couple of times on one of the last visits.
It didn’t take too long, thin burgers cook fast, fries, not so much. The flat top wasn’t very large and it had only a 2 basket deep fryer on one end. This limited the output. I was in no hurry though, I had a couple of hours and only four miles to drive to get to the house I was going to visit later.
No plates, silverware, baskets or anything here. The burger and fries were handed to me wrapped in green and white checkered paper, the tea came in a Styrofoam cup. The burger looked perfect, made the way I like them best. A ball of beef, spatula flattened, wafer thin, on the flat top. Not a perfectly round uniformly pressed, robot patty. The un-smooth edges were just shy of crispy. I love burgers this way.
The fries were thick, but not too thick, the tea was forgettable. The burger was a little messy, but since it wasn’t huge, the mess was manageable. I came away with nary a condiment or grease stain on my shirt.
It didn't take long to eat either. I listened to the conversations around me, all in that comforting lilt. Good people, hard working, proud and wise people. I assume they were wise simply because they'd come in to the best burger joint in town.
The burger was very good and just what I expected and wanted. The fries were not bad, but they did have that chalky starchiness on the inside indicating they had been frozen. . . but that’s the only thing that I think would I would improve for this experience. I left quite satisfied. I made plans to stop in for breakfast on Saturday morning.