The Best Burger You May Not Even Know Exists

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Ollie's

As a teenager in Louisville, I attended Presentation Academy, located at the corner of Fourth Street and Breckinridge Lane, as I’m sure many of you former Pres girls (or friends of former Pres girls) may already know. It was right next to Spaulding University, an alley’s walk away from the main branch of the library, and fairly close to other downtown spots like Fourth Street Live, where no classmates ever hung out, as far as I know. But that’s not what you’re here for. You want to know about this amazing burger I promised to tell you about.

As It happens, the library and Spaulding University weren’t the only nearby attractions. Just a block away, at the corner of Third Street and Kentucky Street, was and is the most amazing burger creation, made in a tiny contraption just big enough to hold three or four employees, a grill and fryer, and a single line of about three or four customers: Ollie’s Trolley.

Ollie’s Trolley was the place we went when we got out of school early for such things as the St. James Art Fair or finals or days where the temperature inside the old building was literally so hot they could not keep us there.

If you haven’t heard of Ollie’s Trolley and their amazing Ollie Burger and Ollie Fries, you may be wondering: if it’s so super fantastic, why haven’t I heard about it by now? One reason is probably that there are only a few locations in the entire country – one here,one in Washington, DC (which has a larger menu and set up), another in Elizabeth, IN, and one in Cincinnati. Another reason is that it is sadly only open Monday through Friday from 10 to 4. No weekend or late night burger stops here, but that may be for the best since I don’t even want to think about calorie counts for an Ollie Burger with cheese and a single order of fries. It’s definitely a pilgrimage destination, unless of course you are lucky enough to work downtown.

What, exactly, is so special about a burger from Ollie’s Trolley, you may be wondering. Why should I stand outside in a terribly long line for a burger and fries when there’s a McDonald’s right over on Broadway, you may be asking.

Two words: special sauce.

And this isn’t some ordinary Big Mac sauce. It’s a magical, surely fattening, creation that tastes delicious on probably everything they serve and more.  A regular Ollie Burger is arranged thusly: soft yet firm lower bun; half-inch thick, specially seasoned burger patty; optional cheese (a mild white cheese); Ollie Sauce; soft yet firm top bun. That’s all it needs to be delicious. Sure, you can order a dressed burger or even a chicken, fish, or veggie patty, but the original Ollie Burger is what you want.

And don’t forget a side of their fries. They are cut fairly thin, but just enough to have a perfect ratio of crispy outside and tender insides. Then they are coated with a magical 26-spice seasoning and served to you. If you want to test fate and make them even more delicious, you can order a side of Ollie Sauce to dip them in.

The joint is actually set up in what looks like (and possibly at one time was) an actual trolley, although a small one. It’s also important to note that it is strictly cash only, so you’ll be disappointed if you don’t have some cash. An Ollie Burger with cheese, fries, and a drink will run you about $7-8.

And a lot of Louisvillians are already quite keen to its awesomeness, so don’t be surprised if there’s a line extending out the door when you show up.

View the menu here. Get your own burger at 978 South Third Street.

About Jennifer Kiefer
Germantown transplant. Louisville native.
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