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Bite Into A Juicy Burger at Tailgater’s in Hope, Arkansas

Tailgater's counter
Jathan Fink/Townsquare Media

Have you ever sunk your teeth into a burger that was so juicy and delicious you had to tell the world about it? That’s what happened when I sat down for lunch at Tailgater’s Burger Company in Hope, Ark.

As soon as I opened the door beneath the twin archways and the towering neon sign, I could tell that Tailgater’s was something special.

First of all, the building is pristine! Every inch of the facility is gorgeous, from its custom built tables to the fun tailgate seats that line one wall. For more details about the restaurant itself, check out our article in the Small Town Tour.

Place your order at the beautifully restored counter beneath a large chalk board menu. Tailgater’s prices are inexpensive, starting at $5.75 for their fresh half-pound burgers. They also sell a variety of hot dogs and feature a children’s menu with items like chicken nuggets and grilled cheese sandwiches. Order hand cut French fries, onion strings, fried pickles, or fried green beans on the side for a complete meal.

Owners John & Sharon Caldwell, Bobby & Melinda Brinkmeyer and their staff provide phenomenal customer service. They all love to make recommendations based on your tastes, and the food is delivered to your table quickly while your sandwich is still steaming hot!

Applewood Bacon Cheeseburger at Tailgater's Burger Company
Jathan Fink/Townsquare Media

I dove into the house favorite, the Applewood Bacon Cheeseburger, a half-pound burger topped with thick slices of crisp bacon, provolone cheese, lettuce, tomato, onion and mayo. Cooked through and juicy without being greasy, this satisfied my hunger and then some.

My wife ventured out and tried the Avocado Burger which is topped with sliced avocado, cheddar cheese, lettuce, tomato, onions and mayo. We both loved these hunger busting burgers because the ingredients are fresh and of the highest quality.

The fries we had on the side were wonderfully seasoned, long and thick and edged with crispy skins, something that reminded us of the ones our moms used to make as kids. “None of us were trained cooks,” business partner Sharon Caldwell said. “But we wanted to offer items that were as good as mom used to make.”

The four business partners had fun planning the menu, trying all kinds of ingredients until they found just the right ones, Sharon said. “We tried all kinds of buns until we found one that was hearty and wouldn’t disintegrate in your hands when you ate it.”

Tailgater's strawberry milkshake
Jathan Fink/Townsquare Media

Sharon’s husband and business partner, John Caldwell, said that they searched high and low for the best meat too. “We have our meat shipped all the way from Kansas,” he said. “But when you eat it, you know it’s the best there is.”

Tailgater’s doesn’t skimp on any of its portions or ingredients, a habit that keeps regular customers coming back for more. “Folks come from as far away as Nashville and Texarkana to eat here every week,” the Caldwells said.

And as I sipped at one of their hand-dipped old-fashioned strawberry milkshakes, which was so thick and creamy I could barely suck it up the straw, I knew I’d be back for more. In fact, I’ll probably even bring some friends with me to venture outside Texarkana to try something new and tasty.

Next time you want a great burger, think Tailgater’s. The 30-minute drive from T-Town is worth it, and the staff is sure to treat you right!


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