This past week I was at Bardog Tavern for a lunch meeting with some pretty cool Memphians kicking off an exciting new project called Memphis Spot. Memphis Spot strives to provide a single ‘spot’ where social Memphians can find events to breakout and engage with other ‘big thinkers’. The core idea is to bring together groups of people at local establishments to talk big ideas and build relationships with other local minds. I was very honored to be invited and fortunate, in my opinion, to meet with four very talented and plugged in Memphis stars: Patrick Mullins, Noah Shrader, Christina Meek and Tony Brown. I can’t forget to include Matthew Trisler who was working at Bardog that day. He’s a very talented local designer and songwriter who happens to be married to the driving force behind the ILoveMemphisBlog, Kerry Crawford. Check out Matthews new record. Proceeds this week all go to 4 of his favorite organizations.
Bardog Tavern is great little downtown pub that has been talked about endlessly on Twitter and Facebook since it opened. I’ve heard so many great things about it and was really looking forward to this lunch meeting. There’s a huge bar in front of you when you walk in and a few tables and long red bench along the wall for seating. Downstairs in their non-smoking room, there’s even more seating with over a dozen or so table and seating at a small bar. Bardog’s menu features a wide variety of American and Italian classics. One such dish is the 3 oz Memphis Slider.
From Wikipedia: “A slider is a small sandwich, typically around 3 inches across, served in a bun. The term primarily refers to small hamburgers, but can also cover any small sandwich served on a slider roll. The term, when used in reference to a small hamburger, originated with the fast food chain White Castle, which trademarked the spelling variant “Slyder” and used it between 1993 and 2009. Sliders can be served as an hors d’œuvre/appetizer, amuse bouche, or entrée.”
Sliders have become a popular addition to the Memphis burger world. If asked where to get a slider, I point you to, Bar None, Local, Mollie Fontaine’s, Dublin Inn, Le Chardonnay, Slider Inn, Bardog Tavern or even Huey’s. (If I’m missing a Memphis slider option, please let me know) The attraction is you can get a variety of sliders each cooked differently for the same price a full size burger at other restaurants.The truth is they’re not as small as you’d think. Back in the day, I could put away a half dozen Krystal’s without even blinking. This week at Bardog Tavern, I didn’t finish three. I could have, but didn’t want to go back to work with that post-Thanksgiving dinner food coma feeling.
I ordered three sliders at Bardog. One plain with just White American cheese, one with lettuce tomato and onion, and once with fried egg. And yes, I did ask for them to be cooked medium. Each slider was served with some ketchup and Bardog’s homemade
garlic bourbon mayonnaise. The buns were fresh thick Italian butter buns that didn’t appear to be toasted. My favorite slider was the one with fried egg. It seemed to have the most taste and was the least drowned out by the bun. The plain cheeseburger slider was my least favorite as all I really tasted was the bun. Even though none of my sliders had the big burger taste you’d get from full sized thick patty, I did like the flavor and the ability to mix up my toppings. Once again, they were cooked past medium, although at medium-well, I was still happy to see some pink. My biggest problems was they were served warm, not hot and I couldn’t taste any distinctive seasoning used other than salt and pepper. Overall, they were good, but I would probably order something different next time.
The Bardog fries were warmer than the burger. They were thin McDonald’s-like fries garnished with parsley but much more flavor. They were just the perfect size for ketchup dipping.
I give the Bardog Tavern sliders a 3 out of 5 stars. I’m sure they’re another candidate for an awesome late night burger. However at lunch time, I want to taste more burger than bun and prefer my food served hot. I really enjoyed my Bardog experience. I’m just not sure the slider thing is for me.
73 Monroe Ave
Memphis, TN 38103
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.
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It's bourbon mayonnaise, not garlic mayo. Thanks for the review. -Aldo
By the way, we were the first place downtown to have sliders on our menu, and we do them better than anyone. That's my opinion, and you know what they say about opinions...
Thanks for the correction on the mayo! I agree with your earlier tweet. Sliders are really in a category of their own. They're not easy to compare with a full sized burger. Since this is a burger blog and they were suggested as the best Memphis burger, I had to compare them as such.
I enjoyed my visit to Bardog and look forward to trying the club sandwich that everyone is talking about.
Best - Seth
When you get the chance, check out Aldo's other bar, The Slider Inn. It has a larger variety of slider options including "The Big Deuce," a slider that is stacked with two beef patties. Personally, my favorite is the Blue Cheese & Onion slider, but the menu has a lot of good choices.
By the way, Flight Restaurant and Wine Bar (next door to Bardog) also offers a slider on its lunch menu. Honestly, I wasn't impressed, but your opinion might differ.