If you follow Best Memphis Burger on Twitter, you know we love to talk burgers. We bring the chatter to Facebook, Google +, Pinterest and even to Instagram. But by far, the best Best Memphis Burger Chat takes place on Twitter. That’s where I’ve met really cool Memphis people like Michael Cardwell and Ashley Dacus. Michael is a photographer and marketer and Ashley is a Realtor and PBS talk show panelist. They’re both very engaging and full of personality. If you’re not following them, you’re missing out on some great conversation. They both also happen to love the Local Burger at Local Gastropub on Main Street between Union and Gayoso.
Jeff Johnson, owner and experienced bar & restaurant entrepreneur opened Local Gastropub in the fall of 2009. He wanted more than just to feed people. He had a vision to create a food and beverage experience in the community inspired by the ambience of local downtown and the need for a true gastropub in Memphis. Thus, it was born.
So was born the idea of getting three real life strangers together at a downtown restaurant for an awesome burger. The idea was great on paper but, the with the coming holidays, scheduling and work locations prevented the three of us from actually meeting up for lunch. Instead Tiffany Langston from TiffanyTastes.com was more than ready to join Ashley Dacus and I for a the Local Burger lunch. Tiffany and I are no strangers. She was part of the Blogger Kookamonga Challenge, the BYO Bleu Burger Lunch, and The EatLocalMemphis Zinnie’s Burger Lunch. If I didn’t know better, I’d say Tiffany was the Burger Blogger. I should at least get her to guest write some posts. This, however was the first time I’d been out with Ashley, and not that I’ve read the book, but I can picture Ashley as a real life Sweet Potato Queen in the making. She’s incredibly nice, very attractive and has an adorable southern accent. Check Ashley out on the WKNO Memphis Local Color Best Hotwings Show (YouTube) Show information (PDF).
I should also mention that my other Burger Buddy/Wingman, Allison Jacob was going to join us, but her iPhone freaked out before lunch while she was doing an update. If you know Allison, you know she can’t be without her phone for any extended amount of time, and unfortunately, getting it situated trumped lunch. Next time, Allison and Michael will be in on the Local Burger.
Okay. So let’s get to the eating. Ashley, Tiffany and I all showed up at Local somewhere around 12:30 this past Thursday. We narrowly beat a huge thunderstorm getting there and after some quick introductions, the manager came over and introduced herself. We all chatted with the Local Gastropub Twitter account during the lead up to lunch. It turned out that this manager also managed the Twitter account and she wanted to make sure she got some pictures of the “burger squad” having lunch.
As expected, we all ordered the burger. Tiffany went medium-well and Ashley and I wanted to see pink. We ordered ours medium. I remember laughing and whispering, “kiss of death” after asking for a medium burger, because I so rarely (no puns intended) get what I ask for. Our server assured me, I’d get a medium burger.
We were having a great conversation when the food arrived. Talk about some pretty burgers. The Local Burger is a 1/2 lb local Donnell Farms 21 day dry aged Black Angus beef patty with your choice of cheese and dressed classically.
The Local burger is served on a big fluffy Brioche bun. It’s very similar to the bun served at Kooky Canuck and from the looks of it, much less buttered than the bun at BGR The Burger Joint. This was no small burger, though. Between the 1/2 lb patty, the thick melted cheese, the big slices of tomato and onion all sandwiched between that fluffy Brioche bun and sided with a very generous portion of hand-cut fries, this was a lunch not designed for a little person. And that didn’t stop us one bit. We all (Local manager included) snapped a few pictures, and dug in like famished fasters who hadn’t eaten in days.
Let’s go ahead and get the temperature issue out of the way. It was a little over cooked. I personally couldn’t tell the difference between my supposedly medium burger and Tiffany’s medium-well burger. All three looked well-done. When the manager came by to check on our lunches, I mentioned that it was cooked more than I ordered it. She explained that the burgers are mixed with Worcestershire and that could be what was making it appear so done. I gave it another try nonetheless and I was satisfied that the meat tasted tender and decided to shut up and eat up.
Man was this a good burger! Not in my top three, but only because the temperature was off. Worcestershire or not, a medium burger would have been juicier. But, even without the juiciness, this bad boy had all the flavor of good quality meat, and seasoning a rock-star burger should have. It had all the gooey melted cheese (in my case, Swiss); all the crisp tanginess of a fresh red onion and it was served up on a that fresh fluffy Brioche bun.
One thing I found slightly odd was as I got further in, the burger became more medium-well. Check this out! Maybe it just wasn’t cooked evenly? Maybe it was the side I began eating from? Maybe that particular section was cooked with less worcestershire? Nevertheless, it was still a really good burger and you can be sure, I’ll be back to get Local to cook one medium for me. Ashley told me that she and her husband came in late one evening after seeing a concert. They were looking for a burger and the kitchen happened to out of burger patty meat. They instead went the distance for her and made her a burger out of Chorizo. Now that sounds good!
So just when we were finishing the last of our burgers, the manager reappeared to tell us to save room for the Blondie Brownie that Local was buying us for dessert. When you do a Foursquare checkin to Local, ILoveMemphis‘ brownie suggestions pops up telling you what a wonderful dessert this is. The Blondie Brownie at Local isn’t just a blonde non-chocolate brownie, it’s a blonde non-chocolate brownie topped with maple bacon, vanilla bean ice cream and fresh whipped cream. All I could think was, “must save room!”
What an awesome lunch with some great friends! This is what the Best Memphis Burger site it about. Eating good food with good people and making meals an experience.
I give the Local Burger at Local Gastropub 4 out of 5 stars. I’m looking forward to making an edit on this post when they cook one medium. Until then, I still say, if you haven’t gone to Local, you’re in for a treat. Just look at their menu, and go!
95 S. Main St.
Memphis, TN 38103
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