For a while now I’ve heard rumors about a delicious burger available just south of the Tennessee border. Turns out, the rumor is based on Fact, but there’s a twist. You can only get it on Tuesdays and Thursdays and at a small family owned restaurant in Hernando, Mississippi called Buon Cibo. Translated, Buon Cibo is Italian for good food and although I’ve only had their burger and hand cut fries, I’ll go on the record and say the name fits the restaurant. For you Memphians planning to make the drive, Buon Cibo is in the Highland Court Shopping Center on McIngvale Road, just off of Commerce Street. It wasn’t more than a 20 minute drive from Midtown Memphis and the service was quick, I didn’t have to wait more than 10 minutes to get my food.
Buon Cibo is known for their fresh, local meats and produces. Their tag line is, “Eat Fresh, Eat Local.” And that they do. They purchase much of their food from local distributors and farmers such as Delta Grind Grits, Brown Family Farms, Bonnie Blue Farms, Burnett Family Farms, Claybrook Farms, Delta Moon Farms, Cedar Hill Farms, McCarter Coffee, Force Beekeeping, Eckles Pottery and Peppers Plants. Their typical menu features pizzas, sandwiches, soups, and salads – all uniquely homemade with locally-grown fresh ingredients. Like I mentioned, on Tuesday and Thursday they serve burgers and on Friday evenings, they feature ClayBrook Farms Ribeye steaks. There was no way I could do it yesterday, but rumor has it that the homemade baked pies are “simply to die for” as someone texted me. From following them on Facebook, I’ve also discovered they’re getting pretty creative with Whoopie Pies as well. I’d love to see a Whoopie Pie throw-down with Bluff City Bakery’s Cookie Sliders. Better yet, I’d love to be a Judge for that throw-down.
I should also mention that Buon Cibo is PGF Certified, meaning that they contribute to a sustainable Mid-South by helping reduce environmental impacts. The criteria to be PGF certified are impressive and gives Buon Cibo extra points in my book.
A few weeks ago, Michael Rice, who’s the Meat Manager at Claybrook Farms sent me a picture of Buon Cibo’s latest burger creation, the Spicy Guacamole Burger. It just looked ridiculous. From the picture, I could tell it was huge and dripping with cheese, covered in what looked like fresh guacamole and layered on top of roasted red peppers and bacon. Just saying those words made me drool a bit. Since he sent me that picture, I’ve been trying to round up my usual crew of Burger Buddies to make the trip to Hernando, but for whatever reason, we could never coordinate it for a Tuesday or Thursday. Well yesterday came around and I knew it was going to be a burger day. I made one last attempt and called all the guys and once again, it just wasn’t happening. You know what I did? I hopped in the truck anyway and said, I’m flying solo today, but mark my words, I’m getting that burger.
I arrived at Buon Cibo not really knowing what to expect. Right inside the doorway, there’s a large chalkboard menu on the wall and a couple registers in front of you. You order and pay at the register and then find a seat while you wait for them to call your name with your food. Since it was a Tuesday, there was smaller chalkboard on the side of the register counter top with the beloved Tuesday and Thursday burger menu on it.
I was tempted to get the BBQ Burger because I’ve been really craving good BBQ lately. I even considered the Mushroom Swiss Burger because that’s my favorite at the Slider Inn. Then I remembered the picture Michael Rice sent me. I had to have the Spicy Guacamole Burger and hand cut fries. The fries are pretty special and you can only get them with a burger on Tuesdays and Thursdays. After I ordered, I had the chance to introduce myself to Josh Belenchia, one of the owners. We spoke briefly and I of course tried to encourage him to get a team together for the upcoming Best Memphis Burger Fest.
Within about 10 minutes, Josh showed back up with my burger and fries. I poked it with my finger just to make sure it was real. It looked like something out of a magazine and almost too good to be true. But wow, I’m glad it was real and even more glad it was mine. I snapped a few pictures with phone, trying to get it magnificence to show with the best light behind me. Once I was done with pictures, I huddled around the burgers and for just a moment, I reminded myself of Daffy Duck from an old Bugs Bunny cartoon holding on to a magic lantern very tightly and yelling, “Mine! Mine! Mine! It’s all Mine!”
I’m just going to go ahead and give it to you straight. If Off the Hoof Burgers in Arlington is a 5 Star burger, Buon Cibo just rewrote the rules to the game. This burger was so good I dare not give it anything less than 5 Stars. I picked it up and I’m telling you, it had some weight to it. It was no less than an 8oz Claybrook Farms patty, topped with Swiss cheese, Sriracha Ranch and guacamole served on a bed of fresh romaine lettuce, applewood smoked bacon and roasted pico peppers. That’s a whole lot of YUM going on. The first thing I could taste was the Sriracha, but it wasn’t too hot. What I loved was the creamy flavor and texture of the guacamole combined with the buttery seasoned Claybrook Farms beef that was cooked perfectly medium. And just as I was loving on the flavors from the top half of the burger, POW! I got the smoked bacon and roasted pepper double punch from the bottom. In the meantime, my plate was just a mess of juices and avocado everywhere. For a minute I thought I was at Roxie’s Grocery with the juices running down my hands and forearms. The bun, which I later found out was a US Foods product, held together like a champ and really did a great job containing all those flavors. I found myself just not being able to stop eating this big burger. I was even a little sad when it was all gone. Of course, I still had fries left, and these aren’t just ordinary fries. They hand punch every potato and then blanch (cook) the fries at 300 degrees in a deep fryer for 3 minutes. After they’re done, they are cooled and held. When you order a burger, they are cooked at 350 degrees until they are golden brown and delicious. My fries were dusted with some kosher salt and seasoned pepper, and they were too good to ruin with ketchup. I ate them just as they were served.
Seriously, an awesome burger creation! Hats off to Josh and Katie Belenchia. That’s how you do a burger! I give the Buon Cibo Spicy Guacamole Burger all 5 Stars. It’s that good, and then some. Pick a Tuesday or Thursday and make a trip to Hernando to eat fresh and eat local, at Buon Cibo. I really hope we can get Josh and Katie to do Burger Fest. This is a competitor for sure!
Highland Court Shopping Center
2631 McIngvale Road
Hernando, MS 38632
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