One of the first suggestions sent to me on this Best Memphis Burger endeavor was the Belmont Grill. Until the other day, I hadn’t stepped into the Belmont in over a decade and even then, I don’t recall ever eating their burger. I remember being a fan of their potato skins, Rueben sandwich and po-boys. Nonetheless, a good handful of friends and blog readers have told me I need to take my quest to the Belmont. Even my boss has been advocating the Belmont cheeseburger with mushroom gravy and a side of onion rings. As luck would have it, Thursday came around and she invited me for lunch at a restaurant of my choosing. It wasn’t a hard choice, and off to the Belmont we went.
We got to the Belmont, which wasn’t overly crowded for a lunch hour, and were seated in the small room by the back door. Yuck. Having worked in the restaurant business, I understand how seating and server rotation works. A restaurant dining room is divided into sections or stations, each assigned to a server. Each party that comes in is seated in rotation in each server’s station so that the dining room and each server’s workload is balanced. Still, it was a lousy table with no view or ambiance that the front room of the Belmont has.
Of course I ordered the Belmont burger with American cheese, lettuce, tomato, onion and a side of the mushroom gravy. I specifically ordered it to be cooked medium as I had heard their burgers tend to be thicker than the average patty. I couldn’t bear the thought of eating a well-done thick burger. The last time I checked, beef prepared medium should be pink in the center, grayish brown surrounding, and hot throughout. I was served a burger that was cooked somewhere between medium-well and well-done. Additionally, the Belmont serves their burgers on toasted french bread. When I picked the burger off the bottom of the bread to put ketchup underneath, I noticed it had already absorbed a lot of the burger’s juice.
The burger turned out to be pretty juicy, despite it’s temperature. The problem was that once I loaded it up with all the toppings, plus mayo, mustard and ketchup, there was no way of eating it neatly or without its falling apart on me. The french bread bun just didn’t hold up. The burger itself was pretty tasty. It was well seasoned, charbroiled and full of flavor. I just didn’t enjoy eating half of it off the plate with a fork. The onion rings on the other hand were very good. They were crisp and didn’t fall apart when eating them. There was onion in every bite and I ended up enjoying them more than the burger. On a side note, I’m glad the mushroom gravy was served on the side. Truth is, that’s where it stayed.
I give the Belmont Grill burger 2.5 out of 5 stars. I don’t like to be critical but this was a good burger that was not prepared to order and didn’t stand a chance on the soft soggy french bread it was served on. I’d love the opportunity to go back and see if maybe the chef was having an “off” day.
4970 Poplar Ave
Memphis, TN 38117
If you have a favorite burger that you think is Memphis’ best or that I need to try and review, please drop a note in my suggestion box.