Rotier’s looks like a bar, and it is: beer-sign décor, dark wood-panel walls, cozy back-room booths suitable for private rendez-vous. Ambience notwithstanding, this is a restaurant that attracts families, nice white-haired ladies, polite couples on dates, and just about every other sort of person in and around Nashville who appreciates a first-class hamburger. Rotier’s burgers, served on French bread, are monumental. Piled in with lettuce, tomato, pickle, and mustard (and preferably crowned with a slab of bright orange cheese, too), the rugged-textured meat patty is stuck inside its two tiles of bread with a long toothpick. It is a beautiful sight; and once the toothpick is removed, the diner faces a significant challenge keeping the sandwich intact as it is lifted from plate to mouth. To go with this hamburger are fresh, crisp French fries … and a choice from a list of several dozen beers.
Although everyone in town knows Rotier’s as the hamburger place, it also happens to be one of Nashville’s premier hot-lunch restaurants; and every day at lunch and supper, you can choose from a menu of such entrees as pork barbecue, country-fried steak, fried chicken, and meat loaf. On the side you pick two vegetables from a list of southern classics: blackeyed peas, turnip greens, fried okra, baked squash casserole, crowder peas, white beans, etc., etc. Or, it is possible to get a plate of nothing but vegetables – an excellent strategy if for some reason you are going meatless. (However, all-vegetable plates are NOT necessarily the ticket for confirmed vegetarians, as many of the green vegetables are cooked with pork for flavor). With the vegetables come good rolls or warm corn bread; and if you don’t want beer to drink, the menu lists chocolate milk, sweet milk, and buttermilk.