The other day, my buddy Tim and I had all intentions of eating at Trolley Stop Market. That is until I got a tweet from Cliff Heegel containing only one word, “Stuffy’s” with a link to their website. After a couple tweets back and forth, I found out that Stuffy’s a brand new restaurant located where the Azaela Grill was. From their site, I learned that Stuffy’s stuffs their burgers with cheese and uses only fresh ingredients. Not a lot to go by, right? Still, I was intrigued so I called down to Tim’s office and asked him if he was up for something completely new, untested waters, or in this case, untasted burgers. I said, “Let’s check this out man! After our outing to Yosemite Sam’s for a Varmint Burger last week (A review I refuse to post out of respect for their closing on 8/27), things can only get better.” Luckily Tim was up for this last minute change of lunch venues and a plan quickly came together.
Stuffy’s isn’t on the beat an path. It’s in a fairly residential area on Echles, just south of the University of Memphis, with parking available only on the streets surrounding the restaurant. We arrived around 11:45 and there was only one other guy eating in the place. I was worried. If you remember, that was a pretty tell-tale sign when we ate at UBEE’S. In this instance, I chalked it up to Stuffy’s being so new, their minimal advertising and the University’s still being on summer break.
The inside was immaculate. It looked brand new. There were tables and booths setup in the main dining area and a large countertop containing a soda fountain, napkins, condiments and plastic utensils. A large window separated the dining area and the kitchen. That same window is where you place your order. There was a team of three people working behind the counter taking orders and doing all the cooking. They were very friendly and happy to talk about all the menu items and offer sample tastes of the homemade mayonnaise varieties and chili on the menu. I tried the Chipotle and Hot Wings with Blue Cheese flavors. Both were great, but the Hot Wings with Blue Cheese was my favorite.
It turns out that one of the people working was the owner. She talked to us for quite some time about the food quality, preparation and her history with the Five Guys corporation in the Maryland area. She spoke about their fresh produce and meat and seemed very proud of their chicken tenders and wings, which sounded so good I almost ordered some to go. I think once the word gets out, this will be one busy burger joint.
I ordered the Stuffy Burger combo. It came with fries and a drink and cost about $7.50 plus tax. My choices for burger toppings seemed endless. I settled on lettuce, tomato, pickles, grilled onion, coleslaw, and the Hot Wings and Blue Cheese mayo. I opted to leave the off the chili, banana peppers, jalapeños, mushrooms, and bacon. I watched the Stuffy’s crew start grilling my 7 oz hand formed patty on the griddle with an old fashioned burger press placed on it while they dropped a generous handful of hand-cut straw fries into hot soybean oil. The smells coming through that window were so mouth-wateringly good, I just knew we’d stumbled into something pretty special.
About 10 minutes after ordering my combo, one of the Stuffy’s cooks carried a basket out to my table. In it was a heap of delicious looking fries covered in Old Bay seasoning and a burger wrapped in foil that easily stood 4 to 5 inches tall. The only thing I could think of was how was I going unhinge my jaw to eat this burger. Turns out, that wasn’t a problem. Where there’s a will, there’s a way. My burger was thick and juicy, cooked to a perfect medium temperature. It was full of flavor and a total “mouthgasm.” Folks, as of right now, this is the burger to beat. There were so many flavors going on that all worked so well together. The slaw, which was such a good call, mixed great with the Hot Wings and Blue Cheese Mayo, which brought out the Old Bay and pepper seasoning in the burger. It was a bit messy thanks to the slaw, but the toasted bun held it together all the way to the end. I just couldn’t compare it to any other burger I’ve had. It was that much better.
Tim ordered the Double Stuffy Burger which was 2 5oz burgers stacked on the same bun. He went with apple wood smoked bacon, grilled onion, pickles and Chipotle mayo. His too was cooked perfectly and full of that big seasoned beef flavor. We just couldn’t find anything wrong with our burgers. Everything was perfect. I don’t think I could have dreamed up a better burger. Additionally, the Stuffy’s fries were something to be had. I love hand-cut straw fries. These were cut almost identical to Five Guys, but less greasy, more crisp and seasoned perfectly with Old Bay. We both agreed that they were the best fries we’ve had, which was a nice compliment for a Best Memphis Burger.
I give Stuffy’s a 4.5 out of 5. Truthfully, it is more like a 4.75 or even a 4.99. I can’t give a 5.0 because the search would be over, and there are still many burgers to try. Stuffy’s was better than Uncle Lou’s and Alex’s Tavern, two great burgers that deserve nothing but praise. The Stuffy’s burger stood out beyond anything I’ve tasted. The bar has been raised for the Best Memphis Burger.
786 Echles St.
Memphis, TN 38111
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.