Found in small restaurants hugging railroads tracks that crisscross the counties of northeast Mississippi, northwestern Alabama, and lower Tennessee, these hamburgers defy hunger and solitude in a region where many workers worry over their next paycheck.
Until the Slugburger Festival in Corinth, Mississippi became popular, the burgers in Selmer were always known as “cerealburgers” because they are mixed with soymeal grits, which have the consistency of cereal.
When railroad work took Charles Franklin Penn to Florida where he slept in a tent with alligators visible everywhere, he decided a new career was in order.
Kitty Spears of Cullman, Alabama, ran the Busy Bee Cafe with her late husband, Steve, until 2014. Her children now run the business.
Whether you see these festivals as good, old-fashioned kitsch–or the last gasp of a dying town–is up for debate.
Slugburgers are a local favorite in Corinth, a North Mississippi town that claims to be the birthplace of this budget-friendly delicacy.