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Rivah Visitor's Guide

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NN Burger: A wood-grilled and hand-crafted experience


by Madison White Franks

Who doesn’t love an awesome burger? Northern Neck Burger opened its doors in December 2013 in Kilmarnock and expanded into Tappahannock in fall 2015.

I had heard great things about NN Burger but it actually took me awhile to get to the first location in Kilmarnock for a try.

My husband Taylor and I recently made the trek from Deltaville during Hurricane Matthew to eat at the NN Burger in Tappahannock to find out if the burgers upriver are as good as the ones at the Kilmarnock location.

I pulled the menu up on my iPhone and knew what I wanted before pulling into the parking lot. I was in the the mood for something different—the Chesapeake crabmeat-topped burger, a wood-grilled burger topped with Virginia crabmeat infused with pimento cheese, sounded like my kind of meal.

Even though it was a rainy day, when we arrived I could see through the window that the dining room was full with other patrons already enjoying their Saturday night fix of NN Burger.

The outside is decorated with flame heaters to keep the outdoor diners warm on chilly fall days or even in the winter.


We walked in and I automatically loved the look of the place, an industrial yet woodsy feel with quotes from a variety of writers on the walls. The walls and tables were made from reclaimed wood.

We went straight to the ordering counter. To make things a little more complicated, I opted for a craft-your-own burger variation starting with the hand-crafted and wood-grilled burger, the Virginia crabmeat infused with pimento cheese, onions and creamy “Rivah” sauce, and then topped it off with a piece of swiss cheese because a little extra cheese never hurts!

Taylor ordered the NN American cheeseburger, complete with cheese, lettuce, tomato, red onion and the creamy “Rivah” sauce.

Burger prices range from $6.50 for the basic NN American cheeseburger to $9.50 for the Chesapeake crabmeat-topped burger. The craft-your-own burger starts at $7. Some toppings are free and some require a little extra change. The craft-your-own options feature some 38 toppings and condiments.

We added an order of Tappahannock Twisters, NN Burger’s signature ribbon-cut, flash-fried fresh potatoes. They come plain or with a choice of four topping options: baked, truffle, nacho and LC (short for life-changing). We chose the baked with cheddar, applewood-smoked bacon, sour cream and chives.

We were handed a buzzer and our cups and we went to their Coca-Cola Freestyle Machine that has 165 flavors. Taylor chose his usual Coke and I got Sprite with cherry flavoring—Shirley Temple-like refreshing. They also offer craft beer and wine.

Although it would have been nice to sit outside on the patio where the tables and benches are made from retired fishing boats, we sat inside due to the weather. The patio is also dog friendly.

The burgers were juicy and filling and the combination of crab and beef was different but delicious. The Tappahannock Twisters were a great alternative to French fries.

As we were finishing our burgers, the music began. Michael Burgess, guitarist and singer, sang a variety of songs by James Taylor and other artists. Northern Neck Burger Company has music every Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday night.

We couldn’t leave without trying dessert, so I sent Talyor up to get a NN original “Dessert Burger,” described on the menu as a sweet baked bun, filled with vanilla ice cream and a rich chocolate crunch, topped with a Lindt chocolate truffle candy, but he ended up bringing back two milkshakes.

I had a caramel brownie shake and Taylor got a java shake. Both were scrumptious.

The menu offers a few non-burger sandwiches and fresh salads. There’s also a children’s menu. And the menu, toppings and prices may vary slightly depending upon the location.

NN Burger in Tappahannock recently added the NN Prime menu that features wood-grilled filet mignon, jumbo grilled Bahamian lobster tails or a surf & turf combination.

Even a visit to the restroom at NN Burger was enjoyable and made me laugh. There’s a song on loop urging patrons to “wash, wash, wash your hands!” There’s also an automated hand-washing station that cleans hands in just 10 seconds.

So make your way to NN Burger.

posted 10.28.2016

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