Photography by Michael Butler Jr.
How would I describe Roxie’s Grocery?
Well there’s a correct way to do so, and then there’s my way of describing Roxie’s. The correct way would be: Nestled in the heart of Uptown stands a Memphis establishment that serves some of the best foods in Memphis. Pretty blah, and it definitely doesn’t do Roxie’s any justice. Allow me to describe it in my own words:
It’s an experience, mane!
Roxie’s is located in what they now call Uptown. Growing up in South Memphis, I knew this area as Hurt Village, but things have changed. I arrive at Roxie’s around noon, and there’s already a line. Roxie’s sells pretty much everything, but the burgers are really what everyone is here for.
These ain’t no thin patties of processed meat either. Nah, these are real hand-rolled patties of real ground beef.
As I’m in line, I notice a couple guys hanging near the cash register watching the Cowboys game. You have to order at the register before going to the back area where the food is prepared. Do not forget this! Register first! There are about 15 people in line, and the conversations are ranging from “I heard whatchamacallit got shot” to “Mane, hurry up! I gotta go to work.”
Looking around, you’ll see that Roxie’s is actually a grocery store. They have bread, milk, detergent, and I even spotted a PVC hose. (Not quite sure why there was a PVC hose, but it really got my imagination going.) Roxie’s also boasts one of the biggest selections of Mr. Pure juices. Not up on the Mr. Pure game? Oh, you’re missing out! It’s the best juice you can get! You can only find it in the “urban” stores, and it comes in the most amazing flavors. There’s Pineapple, Peach Watermelon, Apple and my favorite, Island Punch. Roxie’s also features Tahitian Treat and Jungle Juice. These were staples in my old neighborhood.
After you order, take your ticket to the cook and wait for your made-to-order bite of heaven.
I will go on record and say it’s the best burger you can get in Memphis.
Yes, I said it! It’s that good. I’m not sure how they season it, but it’s simply delicious. Maybe I’m tripping, but the bread they use defies all odds. There’s no way that bread should be able to hold that burger. It’s magic, mane. Pure magic.
Roxie’s isn’t just a burger joint. They also serve up some of the best breakfast in the city and have plate lunches during the week. You can literally have breakfast, lunch and dinner here. Your doctor might be a bit concerned, but it’s definitely possible.
So get up and go check out Roxie’s in Uptown. No, it’s not the prettiest place and they might not have all the name brand products you know and love, but what Roxie’s does have is character and consistency. They know what they do well, and they stick to it. Very few places have the ability to do that. There’s a certain Memphis charm that Roxie’s preserves.
It’s very Memphis, and I mean that in a very good way: It is a bit rough around the edges, but there’s a lot of love and pride on the inside.
520 North Third Street
Michael Butler Jr. loves everything Memphis. His goal is to show the beauty in Memphis that others overlook. He’s a photographer, videographer, Memphis tee collector, foodie, lover of tacos and mayor of South Memphis. @_one901