Burger Roulette once again. This time we folded up 5 restaurant names on separate Post-it notes and hoped the Burger Gods would be smiling on our pick. We’d be eating at Arcade, Young Avenue Deli, Blue Monkey, Caritas Village or Broadway Pizza. Even before Tim made the random selection, I told him that I really wanted to give Caritas a try. Urbanspoon reviews say this it’s a winner and Dan Conaway, from the Daily News, went as far as saying the Osho Burger was a religious experience. I was sold, but Tim had to make a pick. Today the Burger Gods were aligned and sure enough, Caritas was chosen.
Caritas Village was opened in 2006 by Onie Johns. The facility is located in the center of the West Binghamton neighborhood on the corner of Harvard Ave and N. Merton Street. Caritas Village serves as a community center, coffee chop and cultural arts center. The Village uses art, music, hospitality, theatre, classes, and connections to creatively join people together in common goals from many different ethnic, racial, and socioeconomic backgrounds.
Tim and I arrived at Caritas in the middle of the lunch rush not really knowing what to expect. The atmosphere was quite unique to say the least. We walked into an open dining area full of tables draped in black and white checkered cloths. Some were filled with business professionals, families, social clubs and casual diners. The walls were covered with eclectic Cooper-Young Festival type art and mosaics. Yet the feel and atmosphere was so warm and friendly. It a very welcoming place.
At the register where we placed our orders, we quickly learned the difference between the two beef burgers on the menu. Swiss cheese and sauteed mushrooms. The Osho Burger has them and the Bing burger doesn’t. Otherwise, both burgers came with the usual lettuce, tomato, grilled onion, pickle and your choice of pork or turkey bacon. (There are also, veggie, turkey, salmon and bacon, egg & cheese burger options) Caritas doesn’t make fries so your burgers side choices are chips, potato salad or soup. Tim and I both ordered the Osho burger and potato salad. I ordered mine cooked medium with everything on it and with turkey bacon. Tim ordered his medium-well and with regular bacon.
I’ll start by saying our burgers were slightly over cooked and the cheese could have been a bit more melted. Other than that, there wasn’t a thing wrong with our meals. The burgers were juicy and loaded with a spicy flavor. There was heat in the seasoning and heat in the sauteed mushrooms. If I had to guess, I’d say it was cayenne. It wasn’t too hot in anyway, but just enough to kick up the taste. If you like a little spice in your food, give this burger a try. You won’t regret it. I probably could have done without the lettuce and tomato, because the grilled onions, sauteed mushroom and turkey bacon lifted the burger to such a higher level of deliciousness. These toppings made the Osho Burger awesome. I don’t know about it being a religious experience, but I will say my taste buds were highly elevated. The taste was all there.
The bun was nothing special in the sense that it was just a plain wonder bun. However, it was grilled to perfection looking just like the top to a crispy grilled cheese sandwich. The potato salad was really tasty too. It wasn’t creamy or loose like some of those store bought potato salads. This was thick and chunky and tasted incredibly fresh. Yes, I still would have preferred fries, but this wasn’t a bad substitute at all. Much better than a bag of Golden Flake chips!
I think one of the best things about going to Caritas Village is you can see what a positive impact it’s making on on the community around it. This is probably the best $8.00 I’ve spent on lunch in a long time. I sensed I was contributing to more than just the cost of food. I look forward to going back again very soon and trying some of their other dishes.
I give Caritas Village Osho Burger 4.5 out of 5 stars. The flavor is all there – Great Burger!
2509 Harvard Ave.
Memphis, TN 38112
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.