I was afraid this was going to happen. Once again I’m knee deep planning the 2nd annual Best Memphis Burger Fest. Just like last year, I’m guilty of neglecting the Best Memphis Burger blog. That’s pretty inexcusable, and I apologize to my readers and to all the great burgers out there I haven’t had a chance to eat yet. Here’s a post that I’m only two whole months behind in publishing. It’s a post about a great lunch I had back in May at Hard Rock Cafe.
If you follow me on Twitter, Facebook or Instagram, you probably remember my acknowledging May as National Burger Month. Hard Rock Cafe Memphis, specifically, Sales & Marketing Manager, Holly Smith was kind enough to invite me down to Beale Street to celebrate with some of Hard Rock’s star burgers. I got there and met up with Holly, who took a few minutes to tell me a bit about Hard Rock’s menu and their crafted burger creations. In the middle of the conversation, Chef Jay Hall popped out of the kitchen and joined. We spent a few minutes talking about Hard Rock burgers, the festival and about putting a Memphis touch on the Local Legendary Burger.
I figured I’d get to choose a burger off the menu and that would be it. Holly asked me what I like and if anything looked good. I told her several of them looked great and I was having a hard time making a choice. She made things real easy and ordered four burgers for the table. Hard Rock’s Sales Coordinator, Deanne Brown was also dining with us. It was going to be Hard Rock Burger Heaven.
When all was said and done, Holly ordered the S.O.B. Burger, the Red, White & Blue Burger, the California Burger and the Local Legendary Burger. Each burger featured a 10 oz patty topped with a delicious variety of sauces and toppings.
The S.O.B. or South of the Border Burger was basted with spicy Chipotle Pepper puree and topped with Montery Jack cheese. Served on a buttered-toasted bun with Hard Rock Guacamole & grilled onions.
The Red, White & Blue Burger patty was laced and grilled with spicy Buffalo sauce and Cajun Seasoning, then topped with crumbled bleu cheese and a crisp fried onion ring. This was my favorite burger of all four. I love spicy stuff and just like the Holy Smoke Burger at Kooky Canuck, this bad boy hit my spicy yum spot. Not to mention, the onion rings were some of the best I’ve had.
The California Burger patty is served on a toasted bun brushed with Ranch dressing, fresh cucumber slices, lettuce, tomato, freshmade Hard Rock Guacamole and topped with Monterey Jack cheese.
The Local Legendary Burger is each Hard Rock Chef’s chance to be creative while reflecting the locale or region the burger comes from. In Hard Rock Memphis’ case, the Local Legendary was topped with steakhouse marinade, lemon mayonnaise, melted pepper jack cheese, spicy pickles, shredded iceberg lettuce and two pieces of crispy Cajun bacon, all piled on top of a bed of smoked red onions, and roasted tomato. To this day I’m not sure how I got my mouth around all that, but I’ll tell you this. It had great flavors and tons of different textures all blending together to make this burger a true Memphis legend.
All these burgers really hit the spot. Hats off to Hard Rock and Chef Jay Hall for putting out some really quality food. My only complaint, and this is more of a personal preference, is that the burger patties were too lean. For example, look at the Legendary above. It’s cooked perfectly Medium, yet there’s not juiciness to the burger. This is probably indicative of an 85/15 blend of beef and fat. I personally prefer burgers to be a little fattier which generally translates to juicier. In a more health-conscious society, I can see that not everyone would want this, but to me, this is what differentiates good from great burgers. Just making an observation.
I give the legendary burgers at Hard Rock Cafe Memphis 4 out 5 stars. Really solid burgers, hand crafted and made with a lot of attention to detail.
Hard Rock Cafe Memphis
315 Beale St.
Memphis, TN 38103
If you have a favorite burger that you think is Memphis’ best and should be reviewed on Best Memphis Burger, please drop a note in the suggestion box. If you’re interested in guest posting your favorite burger, send an email and let us know why.
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