JONESVILLE – Do you enjoy top-notch 100% angus burgers, Nathan’s Famous ballpark hotdogs, crisp salads, and quirky cuisine with locally sourced ingredients? All of that and more can be had, right here in downtown Jonesville, at A Better Burger—Lee County’s premiere hamburger restaurant with a kick!
Chef and owner Chris Parsons started the restaurant just a few doors up from its current location about five years ago. Back then, he called the place “Take the Cake” and specialized in cakes, pies, and other dessert items. After about a year, Chris decided burgers would be a better match for his interests and the local market, moved down the street to the current location, and changed the restaurant’s name to “A Better Burger”.
Chris goes the extra mile to ensure taste and quality are always top order. Taking inspiration from top chefs Bobby Flay and Guy Fieri, as well as top burger joints from around the country, Chris serves up such savory splendors as the Whiskey River burger, with Jim Tom’s moonshine, cheese, grilled onions, apple pie moonshine barbecue sauce, bacon, lettuce and tomato, or the Bavarian Pretzel Burger, with beer cheese, bacon, and spicy mustard on a toasted pretzel bun.
Heat is a specialty of Chris’. He grows his own chili peppers and makes several spicy concoctions. If you are looking for something spicy, look no further than the “Devil Went Down to Jonesville” burger, which features “sinister” seasoning, pepper jack cheese, habañero relish, and “I Dare You, Stupit (sic)” mustard made with Smokin’ Ed’s Carolina Reaper chili pepper—the world’s hottest pepper, and one that Chris grows himself right here in Lee County. The menu explicitly warns that this burger is not for the faint of heart: a claim that patrons should take seriously!
Other heat treats to be had at A Better Burger include Scorpion Death Wings made with Chris’ own Scorpion Hot Sauce. There is even a Scorpion Death Wing Challenge that patrons can undertake in which they are given fifteen minutes to eat several of the fiery flappers and all the hot sauce that comes with them. No dairy is offered to ease the pain during the challenge, but those who succeed will be immortalized with their name and photo on the “Scorpion Death Wing Wall of Flame”. Be warned: this challenge is extreme, and those who fail will be similarly immortalized on the “Wall of Shame”.
If you have a huge appetite, you might want to attempt the Hungry Hillbilly Challenge. A Hungry Hillbilly triple-decker cheeseburger with all the fixin’s (about three pounds-worth cooked and decked), plus two orders of chili cheese fries–a total of about five pounds of food–come free of charge to those who can successfully consume them. Victors will enjoy Facebook fame, as well as pretty stout bragging rights.
A Better Burger is also on the map for its barbecued pork. They start with a signature rub on the best pork shoulders available, and then smoke them for several hours before hand-pulling the pork and dressing it with one of a number of top-secret sauces. Chris developed the rub and the sauces himself for this crowd-pleasing southern staple, including those that echo Memphis style, as well as North and South Carolina styles. Diners from around the country have praised Chris for his barbecue, and some even come from far flung places to get it. Having it here in the county saves us a trip, so don’t miss it.
Speaking of on the map, A Better Burger is listed on Virginia travel and tourism Top 10 lists for its challenges, specifically. The Wall of Flame spreads its wings beyond Lee County thanks to the power of the Internet.
You can find A Better Burger at 33739 Main Street, Suite 102, Jonesville, Va, or on the Web at http://www.a-better-burger.com. (Of course, you will have to actually go there to eat there. :p) Their menu is on their website, and you can call in your order at (276) 346-6768. In addition to their regular menu, they have a Friday night fish fry with all-you-can-eat fish from 5 p.m. to closing each Friday evening.
With so many of Jonesville’s storefronts empty, it is refreshing to see a vital downtown business like A Better Burger do so well by doing it right. It lifts the spirits of a downtrodden community by bringing world class right to our town and to our county. Our future depends upon enthusiastic entrepreneurs like Chris Parsons who show us every day that Lee County can be more.