Today there was no Post-it note Roulette, no combing through the suggestion box and no discussion about where to go for a burger. Last Friday I received a tweet from the RP Tracks Twitter account that read, “@MemphisSeth you should come down to RPTracks and try our burger. We think it’ll beat everyone else’s on your blog!” For days that tweet has stuck me with two things impressing me the most. One was that RP Tracks was ready to throw it down with any Memphis Burger joint. The other was that they’re paying attention online to their customers and their competition.
Besides RP Tracks reaching out to me, a couple great people I follow on Twitter, @scootette and @zacattac have told me how good their burger is. Too bad we couldn’t coordinate our schedules to meet there for lunch. Next time!
RP Tracks has been around since 1987. They’re located on Walker Avenue right off the the Highland Strip in the heart of the University of Memphis area. Recently, they’ve become Project Green Fork certified, meaning they contribute to a sustainable Mid-South by helping reduce environmental impacts. The criteria to be PGF certified are impressive and as I’ve said it before with Huey’s and Sweet Grass Next Door, anyone this committed to PGF gets extra points in my book.
I’m long past my late night post-college days. With a 9 to 5 job and two kids at home who can’t seem to sleep past 6:00 am, especially on the weekends, late night bar scenes are just a distant memory. However, had I attended the U of M or been in Memphis back in the day, RP Tracks could easily have become my hangout of choice. There are pool tables and large screen TVs inside and on their smoking patio section. They have pint nights and rumored shot specials every time a train passes. Their menu is full of deliciously described appetizers, salads, wraps, sandwiches, burgers, quesadillas and burritos. One of their signature dishes happens to be BBQ Tofu. Although I didn’t get to try it, the featured picture on their Website and Shannon Little’s description on the Memphis Foodie site confirms its goodness. Yeah I could have spent hours here back in the day.
Tim and I got to RP tracks a little past the lunch hour rush and had no trouble finding a nice table on the patio. They still had a nice crowd eating lunch both inside and out. It took a lot of restraint to not order the Steakhouse or Jalapeno burgers on the menu. The last time I went fancy was at Trolley Stop and it didn’t turn out so well. Instead, we both ordered the RP Burger which was described as a 1/2 lb. fresh ground beef topped with lettuce, tomato, pickle, onion and your choice of Cheddar, American, Pepper-Jack, Gouda or Swiss. I went with cheddar and made two separate comments to our server to please ask the kitchen to cook mine medium. Gotta ask, right?
Our server busted me out as the “Burger Blogger” when I immediately started snapping photos of my burger. She asked about my favorite burgers so far. Of course we got into the talk about the different categories of burgers and some of Memphis’ great burger joints. Once she left us alone to eat our burgers, I began the assembly process. The burger is truly a 1/2 lb. pre-formed patty servered on a big kaiser bun. On the side was shredded lettuce, tomato, pickles, onion and some big crisp steak fries. My burger quickly grew from an pretty open-faced burger to a 4-5 inch tall burger masterpiece.
My RP Burger was thick and dripping with juice. When I put the “mash” on it to get it in my mouth, even more juices combined with the tomato and mayo came squirting out. I had a brief moment of disappointment when I saw my burger was cooked way past medium. It was was more like well-done. I contemplated sending it back, but it really didn’t matter. It was still really juicy and not at all dried out like some its predecessors on the burger quest. A few bites later, I found myself really enjoying this burger. It took me a couple of minutes to pin down the reason. The beef wasn’t overly seasoned and the cheese wasn’t too sharp. It was the bun. The bun was so fresh and good. It made everything between it taste that much better. This burger had one of the best classic cheeseburger tastes I’ve come across. We got a winner here! I ended up enjoying this burger all the way to the last bite.
The steak fries where good too. They weren’t was good as Tim’s seasoned waffle fries, but with a little extra salt and some ketchup I had no problem eating them all.
I give the RP Burger at RP Tracks 4.5 out of 5 stars. I couldn’t find a thing wrong with this big tasting burger. Even cooked well-done, this burger’s taste held up like a champ. It did beat most the burgers I’ve tried with only a couple that would give it a run for its money. Another top notch Memphis burger nonetheless. Thanks Rick & Pete.
3547 Walker Ave.
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.