I’m in Lexington, Kentucky when I text George Motz about another burger restaurant nearby. He responds that I’m not too far from Dovie’s (107 W 4th St, Tompkinsville) and that I absolutely must hit it up. Dovie’s is in Tompkinsville, Kentucky, and opened its doors in 1940. Dovie was the founder’s sister.
There are some empty parking spaces right in front. We walk right into an old-school horseshoe counter, so I make my way to the farthest end. There’s a lot of hustle & bustle with folks sitting down to eat and many grabbing bags of burgers to go.
Squozed or Unsquozed?
I’m told that I need to get my burger unsquozed, sure, I thought. So I strike up a conversation with Tina McIntyre, who happens to be the manager. She explained the unsquozed or squozed thing.
The burgers sit on a flat top in about half an inch of soybean oil. Squozed means that you’d like to have your patty drained of all the excessive oil via spatula, and unsquozed with everything intact is the way to have it. I also ordered a hot dog, which also received a nice crispy char from the oil bath.
The crispy char on the burger is the first thing I notice. It is not burned in any way since I know that will be everyone’s first thoughts when looking at it. I removed the top bun, added the onions, a couple of pickles, and went to work. There’s a secret sauce lurking under the bottom patty and on the bottom bun.
Dovie’s sells a SlugBurger?
The texture is the next notable thing that told me this was not a full-on beef burger. It was more like a SlugBurger. If you’re not familiar with the term, it might turn you off initially. A SlugBurger does have beef but also some extender like possibly flour or soybeans. The Slug part of the name references counterfeit coins sized as nickels that tricked vending machines back in the day. It’s very soft and not like a regular ground patty you regularly eat.
My friends in South Florida will understand when I say the patty’s consistency is like that of a croqueta. It’s a match made in heaven since I love croquetas. Dovie’s has been around for over 70 years. They’re doing things their way, and you can only hope Dovie’s will never change.
There is no phone at Dovie; hence no phone number exists.