Excellent | Worth a Detour
Armando’s | Cheeseburgers & Catfish Suppers | Chattanooga
Out East Main Street
For cheeseburgers and catfish suppers in Chattanooga, Tennessee, Armando’s is the place to go. Looking at it from the outside, you might guess it once was a banquet hall or wedding venue. Under a mini port cochere with a mansard roof, an old but not vintage Cadillac sits for sale. Its muffler dangles. Seasons of pollen and dust cloud its windows.
Inside, there is nothing derelict about the dimly-lit, windowless dining area. In this neat, modest eat-place, you step to the counter, place an order and pay. They give you a number, which you take to your chosen booth or table. A member of the staff brings the food.
Bacon Cheeseburgers and Catfish Suppers
Most customers come for burgers, bacon cheeseburgers in particular. The menu guarantees that the meat is “100% pure ground beef delivered fresh daily.” The patties themselves are relatively thin, but they form the basis of a teetering architectural marvel with so many garnishes that even the most capacious jaws will find it a challenge. A schmear of mayonnaise serves as the burger’s cushion in its bun. Atop the meat rests a square of American cheese. Atop the cheese come three strips of bacon, a slice of onion as thick as the burger itself, a few pickles, slices of tomato, and a leaf or two of lettuce. It is a beautiful thing and a joy to devour, whichever parts of it fit in your mouth in any one bite.
One other dish lures customer’s to Amando’s: catfish. The hefty fillets boast flesh sweet as cream encased in shattering-crisp, brightly seasoned crust. On a plate with Tater Tots and fried okra, it’s a fry-basket treasure.
Beyond cheeseburgers and catfish suppers, Armando’s menu is a broad one. Choose from among multi-layer grilled cheese sandwiches, Reubens, Philly steaks, and chili slaw dogs. You can have a stuffed baked potato or even choose a salubrious salad from a section of the menu headlined “Lite Side.”
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