Nov 162011

2 Stars

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 T.J. Mulligans Monday Burger Specialgood 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.

The Burger
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 T.J. Mulligans Monday Burger Specialfeeling 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.

T.J. Mulligans
362 North Main Street
Memphis, TN 38103
(901) 523-1453

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.

T J Mulligans on Urbanspoon

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  4 Responses to “T.J. Mulligans”

  1. I completely disagree. I had the burger special (for dinner) this past Monday night, as I have many Monday nights before. I find it to be one of the best, biggest, juciest, tastiest burgers in town. I believe it ranks in my top 5, though I’ve not had as many around town as you. Typically half pound burgers are dry, flavorless, and pointless because they are hinging on bigger is better. Yeah, so what if not every burger you eat is medium. Try judging by taste for a change. Also, if you ask for medium rare, I bet that you’ll start getting medium burgers.

  2. Further, if you want to judge a restaurant based on speed of service (with a smile) then you need to do a different blog or rate that apart from the burger. I understand that you want to judge the whole experience, but you need a separate rating scale for burger, fry, service, presentation, etc. Obviously a given waitress on a given day could change that rating. My waitress on Monday night was pleasant, friendly, and cute too. A good burger should be a good burger regardless becuase I do believe consistency is important in the meal. Due to my job, I know that some days you just can’t serve with a smile and it’s nothing personal. For $3.95, there’s not a better burger in town – though there may be a better $10 burger somewhere, I’m sure. You can’t even go to BYB and get one for that price, much less with fries and a very nice waitress. I dined at the Cordova/Trinity location.

  3. I appreciate the comments and your opinion on the Mulligans burger. I mention the temperature of the burger in most of my posts because for a bigger burger, I expect the kitchen to be able to pull of a medium temperature. More importantly, Im frequently asked, “How would you like that cooked?” My point is why offer a temperature if you’re kitchen isn’t going to deliver it?

    I agree, flavor is more important than temperature. Flavor, along with juiciness, seasoning, and toppings are my typical criteria. The burger I had on Monday had no flavor, no seasoning, limited amounts of toppings and not trace of juiciness. I don’t score on service and only mention it when it’s real poor. For $3.00 there’s a cheeseburger at Sweden Kream,, that is full of juicy flavor. That fact that your burger at Mulligan’s was great on Monday just proves what I’ve tried to suggest in the past. Burger judging is as subjective as BBQ judging. What one person really enjoys, another may dislike.

    I’d be happy to give their burger another try when they’re not mass producing them for the Monday lunch special and append my post as needed.

    • @Seth Agranov

      Thanks for the explanation. I appreciate it and I appreciate your blog. I know it’s also hard to judge when there are multiple locations (seeing as you were downtown and I was in Cordova). Look forward to your next tasting regardless of its doneness 😉 It is a very subjective task for sure.

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