December 29, 2005

The Truth About Litton's

There is a deli here in Knoxville called Litton's Market and Restaurant. People rave about this place and apparently it is legendary. On a radio show one morning I heard people calling in response to the question of "What makes you a real Knoxvillian?" and the answer "Eating at Litton's" was second-most-popular, after only "Going to a game."

Litton's is located near La Casa and this morning while on our way to go work there, we stopped there for lunch. We were underwhelmed -- and we won't be going back.

The burgers are what people say is great about this place and since there is a very limited menu, that was what we had. My burger was bland, small, dry, and came with strange-tasting cheese (something called "smoked cheddar" should not taste like unmelted Velveeta). The only thing good about it was the bun. My request for bacon on the burger was ignored by the waitress. The Wife and I wound up getting the exact same thing, and the exact same thing showed up on the bill (I was not billed for the absent bacon) but we were charged different prices nevertheless. Two cheeseburgers (neither of which were finished because they weren't all that good), a shared order of onion rings, a hot tea, and a diet coke cost us nearly twenty-five dollars.

I'd actually eaten there almost a year ago, while interviewing with a lawyer. He raved about the place and I was polite and said I liked it, too. The truth was that I thought it wasn't very good then, but was willing to allow that maybe I had gotten a bad burger for whatever reason, because everyone who ever mentioned the place spoke of it like a Shangri-La for cheeseburgers.

So I'm sorry, Knoxville, but someone has to tell you the truth. And the truth is, Litton's just isn't very good. Much better cheeseburgers exist, including within Knoxville.


Anonymous said...

TL, you'll never fit in with that attitude! Whether the popular thing is really any good is never the point.

It's like, remember how every bumf*ck community in the AV (and every other rural CA area) had its own "queen," who was often very average-looking, not particularly bright or talented, and unremarkable in personality -- yet, locals nonetheless held her above identical girls and treated her like a superstar? It wasn't because they were blind, or because she had a beautiful soul.

It was about local pride and loyalty to the community. Smile while you choke down your bland patty, partner.

Anonymous said...

There are starving people in China.

Burt Likko said...

Then pack up my cheeseburger from Litton's and mail it to them.

Pamela said...


Salsola said...

Nostalgia will make food taste better.

Just remember how good Wong Kok Palace tasted? Eventhough now I realize that as one of the least sanitary restaurants in Los Angeles it probably did not taste that good (or maybe that made it taste better!)