A guest post from Kalisa, The One in Heels:
When my husband said he wanted to try BGR The Burger Joint, I texted my friend Seth to get his recommendation first. But I guess we were beating Seth to it because his response was, “Guest post?”
Now, I’m not the burger connoisseur that Seth is, but he’s a family friend and has
dragged me to influenced us to try many of his top places. So I have developed opinions about what constitutes a “good burger.”
BGR The Burger Joint is a national chain that’s new to Memphis. They’re like Chipotle (even located in the same strip mall) in that they proudly serve fresh, hormone-free food. BGR brags “prime, dry aged, all natural, hormone-free, grain-fed beef.” I ordered The Burger with cheddar and fries and my husband got a double burger with cheddar and onion rings.
The place seems to be marketing to my generation, given the 80s music and decor. Our burgers came out to the tune of INXS “It’s the One Thing;” how can you not be happy about that??
My burger and fries:
And here’s the double burger:
The ingredients were fresh and you can taste that the burgers are fire-grilled and made with good quality meat. It does make a difference. Some burgers you love because they have something different or special. Others you love because they take the best ingredients and fix it up like like something you’d grill in your own backyard. BGR falls into that second category.
The menu says the fries are from Yukon Gold potatoes and I can believe that. They tasted like fresh-cut potatoes although surely they’re not. The onion rings were really, really thick-cut onions and tasted like they’re beer battered.
The brioche bun was also very fresh but the bread-to-meat ratio was a little high for my taste. The first three bites I took were nothing but bread and garnish because the patty kept sliding off the bun.
I hear the shakes are good at BGR but if that’s not your taste, there are tons of sodas to choose from. They have a computerized soda machine that allows you to choose your drink and then choose your flavor. My husband had Diet Coke with Lime and I had a Vanilla Coke.
It’s fun but there is just the one machine, and quite a line develops as children play with mixing flavors and the tech-challenged try to figure out how to just get a damn Sprite.
I know it’s Seth’s policy to rate the burger, and not the restaurant, but BGR being new in town, I feel like I have to mention some issues with the overall experience.
For a restaurant to be solely judged on its food, BGR earns high marks indeed. Where this place fails is on organization. The place could use a good manager. When we walked in, every table was taken. A two-top got up after we ordered, but they left all their trash on the table. We asked the woman behind the counter to clear it for us, and she did, but she complained the whole time about people not dumping their own trash. But here’s the thing: There’s only one trashcan and it was hidden behind a wall. There is no way you would ever know it was there. If I get up to leave, look around and see no trashcans, I’m going to assume you don’t clear your own table.
When we got up to leave, we carried our trash behind the wall to dump it, and someone had emptied it and never came back to finish the job. The trashcan was sitting there with the top off and a plastic bag hanging over the side. And there’s no place to put your tray, even if we could have dumped our trash. We just kind of stood there not knowing what to do with our stuff. We ended up putting it up on the counter where they set the hot food, which certainly can’t be very sanitary.
By this time, there were several tables open, but none of them were cleaned off. Some of them had bottles of cleaning solution and rags sitting on them. It seems like people start a lot of jobs, get sidetracked and don’t finish them. There is precious little seating in this place as it is, so one would think that keeping the tables cleaned off would be a priority. It’s apparent that BGR has some organizing to work out but that sort of thing is often common in newly opened restaurant. Hopefully they get them worked out before it ruins their reputation.
I gave BGR The Burger Joint four out of five stars for their burger and fresh, high-quality food.
BGR The Burger Joint
5865 Poplar Ave
Memphis, TN 38119
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.