When something appears too good to be true, it usually ends up being exactly that. Burger Day at T.J Mulligans is a prime example of something being too good to be true. T.J. Mulligans is an Irish pub and restaurant with four locations around the Memphis metro area. There’s one downtown, two around Cordova, and one out east on Quince and Kirby. I’ve eaten lunch at the downtown Mulligans several times but never paid much attention to their burger selections. Items like the Buffalo Chicken Sandwich or Rueben are what I recall eenjoying there. Recently, however, I learned that Mulligans runs a burger special on Mondays. For $3.95, you get their Famous Burger and fries. Additional toppings are .50 each. For under $5.00, I figured I could score a decent cheeseburger, fries and get another burger review written. How could I go wrong?
It turns out the Monday lunch burger special is quite popular. My friend Dylan and I arrived around 12:15 and walked into a very crowded downtown T.J. Mulligans. It appeared that at least 75% of the other patrons around us were all eating burgers. The other 25% were probably waiting for theirs to be served. A server quickly arrived at our table and we ordered the burger special and a couple of soft drinks. I recall us both asking for medium burgers and I saw her write that down and walk away. I sensed Monday lunch isn’t a fun shift to be a server at T.J. Mulligans – probably due to the carnivorous crowds with smaller tabs and tips.
Somewhere between five and ten minutes later, two burgers and our check showed up at the table. Beside it seeming like I was at a diner instead of a pub, a feeling of deja vu hit me pretty quick. The last time a burger was brought out this quick, it was pre-cooked at the Trolley Stop Market. I’d be willing to bet, with the volume of burgers served for the Monday burger lunch special, T.J. Mulligans pre-cooks them too. Our burgers were served with a small side of lettuce, tomato, pickles and onion. In fact, my piece of onion was no larger than a half-dollar. When I pointed it out to a server and asked for a little more, she brought two more outer rings of an onion slice. I wondered again if I made someone angry by coming to Mulligans for lunch. There was no service with a smile. I dressed up my burger, snapped a couple of pictures and took a big bite. It was well-done and had no real taste or juiciness at all. I was disappointed, but not entirely surprised. For $3.95, I didn’t think I was going to get another Sweden Kream burger. With the help of some additional salt and pepper, my burger became a bit more bearable, but still not even close to being a Best Memphis Burger. Compared to what I just ate and reviewed at Roxie’s, this burger was at the far other end of the spectrum.
The only redeeming thing to the entire lunch were the french fries. The were generously seasoned with a seasoned salt that had a great flavor to it. They were as good as the burger was bad. It’s too bad the kitchen didn’t use some of that seasoning on the burger.
I give the T.J. Mulligans Famous Burger with white cheddar 2 out of 5 stars. Mulligans may have some great dishes. Unfortunately, the Monday Famous Burger isn’t one of them.
362 North Main Street
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.