Today we wrote down 5 restaurant names from the Suggestion Box list, folded them individually on a post-it notes, scrambled them around the desk and chose one to be our lunch. The winner was The Green Beetle, but I overrode the pick and said, we’re going to the Bayou Bar & Grill for some Blackened Burgers. I wanted something spicy and I knew Tim wouldn’t argue. After all, he’s the one who sent the Bayou suggestion in.
I’ve probably eaten at the Bayou a few dozen times since I’ve lived in Memphis. I always get one of two things, the Hot Wings or the Grilled Grouper Po’ Boy served blackened instead of grilled. I’ve haven’t gone wrong with either dish, nor have I, in 16 years, had a bad meal at the Bayou. Unfortunately, today was a different story.
Tim and I both ordered the Blackened Bayou Burgers. Our server asked how we’d like the burgers cooked. Of course I said, medium. I didn’t ask for cheese as I didn’t think it would be a tasty topping for a blackened burger. Tim ordered his medium-well and with Pepper-Jack cheese. While we waited on our burgers, we munched on an appetizer and talked about some of the recent burgers we’d eaten.
When our burgers arrived I was immediately unimpressed. There wasn’t much to the presentation other than a burger in a basket with some seasoned fries. The burgers were topped with shredded lettuce, tomato, grilled onion and cajun mayo. The bun was nothing more than a sesame seed white hamburger bun. After snapping a couple of pictures, I bit right into the burger hoping to taste a juicy, blackened burger. Well it was blackened, but horribly dry. The burgers weren’t medium or even medium-well. They were more like super well-done, if such a temperature even exists. It doesn’t get better. The buns were burnt, and the patty’s were unevenly seasoned. One bite was loaded with a very spicy peppery cayenne taste and the next was just over-cooked burger on burnt hamburger bun. I recall wishing there was some sort of slaw topping to balance the spiciness of the cayenne. I should have sent it back, but our server seemed to disappear after the food was dropped and we were on a time limited lunch break from work.
The fries which weren’t anything to write home about were the best part of the meal. While, they tasted like a frozen variety of seasoned fries that were fried to order, they actually offered some relief to my palate from the over seasoned burger.
I give the Blackened Bayou Burger 2 out of 5 stars. It just wasn’t a good burger. If you’re going to offer someone a temperature choice for their burger, serve it as ordered. I’m happy to return to the Bayou, but I’ll stick with the Wings and Grouper.
Bayou Bar & Grill
2094 Madison Ave
Memphis, TN 38104
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.