For Tuscaloosa folk, the family behind Dotson’s Burger Spot is a familiar one. As owners of both Southern Ale House and Dotson’s, Justin Holt and his father, Cal Holt, are no strangers to running a successful restaurant business locally. And keeping it in the family even further, the homemade pies are Justin’s great grandmother’s recipes – her partnership with Clara Dotson in Franklin, Tennessee, provides the restaurant namesake (Dotson’s in Franklin was an institution for decades).
Hearing the raves from co-workers about the generously-sized appetizers and flavorful burgers, I knew I had to make my way over to Dotson’s Burger Spot to try everything out. Walking into the restaurant, I was immediately struck by nostalgia by the red booths and diner feel of the space, once home to The Cajun Kitchen.
Hopping up to the bar area as a single diner, I immediately noticed the assortment of gourmet burgers on the menu. Wagyu, ground chuck with pork belly, and a chorizo blend made my mouth water. I finally landed on the ’53 Chevy burger, featuring a wagyu patty with bleu cheese, red onion, pickle, and mustard on a garlic herb bun.
Knowing this was a “go big or go home” dining moment, I went all out with the loaded waffle fries topped with cheese sauce, chopped bacon, sour cream, and shredded cheddar. As my order arrived, complete with my burger and a massive tray of loaded waffle fries, I knew I was in deep when a diner beside me casually asked if I was pregnant. Sure, I probably ordered way too much food for one person – but hey, I’m reviewing! By the end of my meal, I should have confirmed to the neighbor beside me that I was indeed pregnant – with a food baby!
Overall, there’s no doubt that Dotson’s Burger Spot has set the stage for a long term stay in Temerson Square. Homemade pies, signature cocktails, and adult milkshakes add to the growing food scene in downtown Tuscaloosa. For more information, including the restaurant’s hours, visit @dotsonsburgerspot on Facebook.