I began the Best Memphis Burger blog because of the Huey Burger. When I moved to Memphis, Huey’s Midtown was my neighborhood go to place for great burgers and a bar within walking distance. For years, the Huey Burger was as good as any burger I’d ever eaten. But over time, that burger changed and I found myself eating things like Turkey Croissant and Rueben sandwiches. The Huey Burger just wasn’t what it used to be, and I believe I’m not the only one who’s noticed. However, somehow Huey’s continues to win the Best Burger in the Memphis Flyer’s Best of Memphis Competition. And that brings us to why I’m blogging burgers and on the quest for the new Best Memphis Burger. I started this site because I believed Memphis had better burgers and I wanted to prove it.
Back in July I reviewed the Huey Burger at the Cordova store and gave it 3.5 out of 5 stars. Since then, I’ve been back to the Huey’s Cordova store a couple of times. Nothing really changed. It was still a decent burger, my kids and I still love shooting toothpicks into the ceiling and I believe to this day, there are fewer places in Memphis to meet up with family and friends that are equally as enjoyable. Having said that, my opinion remains that this is not the same great burger I ate back in the mid 90′s and it’s not the same burger that made Huey’s a Memphis landmark since 1970.
A few weeks ago I hooked up with Huey’s Marketing Department on Twitter. I mentioned that someone I ate with ordered the Little Miners and they didn’t appear to be very appetizing. The Huey’s Marketing Department invite me to come in and try them for myself. In fact, the person running that Twitter account is a fellow Foodie. She said they’re one of her favorite dishes and promised I wouldn’t be disappointed. The day we finally showed up at Huey’s Midtown was the day I planned to hit up Kooky Canuck. The problem was it was pouring and my friends and I didn’t feel like dealing with downtown parking. Instead I messaged my Huey’s friend and told her we were inbound for some burgers.
I was actually excited to be back at my old stomping ground, Huey’s Midtown. It had probably been two or three years since the last time I’d eaten there. They’d just completed some renovations, creating more space in the dining room and a side patio on Tucker. The place looked great and for a moment, I was overcome by my memories of living in Midtown and being a Newlywed living right up the street in a Tucker duplex.
I was pretty hungry and I just didn’t feel like messing with sliders. Instead of getting the Little Miners, I opted for an old favorite, the Señor Huey Burger. The Señor Huey is a Huey Burger topped with spicy jalapeño cheese and all the normal burger toppings like mayo, mustard, lettuce, tomato, pickle and onion. Instead of fries or onion rings, I asked for onion straws. Oh, and I didn’t forget to order it medium. Even though the menu says that unless otherwise requested, all burgers are typically served medium, I figured I better ask.
Our burgers came out just like all Huey Burgers do, in a big basket with a container of ketchup and a big deli pickle spear. Instead of onion straws, I was served the giant onion rings. Our server quickly corrected that for me when I reminded him I ordered the straws. Once the onion straw situation was fixed, everything looked really good, except for the bun. The Señor Huey Burger is served on a sesame bun. I have no problem with sesame buns, but the top of this one was a quite a bit over toasted. I laid out all my toppings the way I like them, added some ketchup, snapped a couple of pictures and went in for the big bite. The burger had a good taste to it. Huey’s uses their own special seasoning while grilling their burgers and this one had a nice flavor. However, for a burger that was cooked medium, the juice was completely missing. The overly toasted bun I was served began to quickly crumble before I was even halfway through. I found myself dealing with a dry burger that was quickly becoming messy. That’s when I think it occurred to me I was eating swiss cheese and not spicy jalapeño. There was nothing, not even a hint, of spiciness to this burger. I just let it go and decided maybe my expectations were too high.
On the flip side, the the onion straws were delicious. They were crisp, slightly greasy and a little salty. Very enjoyable. I loved the dipping sauce. I even found myself dipping my burger in it. Really good stuff. One thing you need to remember about the onion straws, eat them quick. They cool off fast and once they’re cold, the great taste just isn’t there. Luckily, I’ve had them before and I knew this already.
Overall, the Huey Burger had some good flavor. It’s a decent size preformed patty, pressed and delivered daily from Charlie’s Meat Market. I do believe there are somethings Huey’s can do to make their burgers better. One would be to get rid of the sesame bun if its going to toast up like that. A good bun can make the burger. A bad one, can kill it. My other suggestion would be to use more seasoning and make sure those patties are juicy and bursting with flavor. A lot of flavor resides in that juice. It’s a shame none was there.
I give the Señor Huey Burger at Huey’s Midtown 3 out of 5 stars. I’m more disappointed than anyone with this score. I really wanted it to be great. The people in the Marketing Department are so incredibly nice. I wanted to be able to write something that would make them proud. Instead I reiterate my earlier statement. This is not the same burger it once was. I really have to scratch my head on its annual victory as Best of Memphis. It just isn’t!
1927 Madison Ave
Memphis, TN 38104
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.