May 12, 2009 Tiny Taste of Memphis – part 2 (finally)
Memphis, TN – day two
My second day in Memphis was spent dawdling around, as I tried to hit at least one museum-ish place before I had to leave. And by “dawdling”, I mean walking around, taking pictures, and hanging out at the local Starbucks for breakfast. While enjoying my chai latte, I decided that the Rock n’ Soul museum was an absolute “must see” for me, being the music lover that I am. For any of you fans of blues, rock and… well, soul, I HIGHLY recommend that museum.
After spending what I think was two hours or so at the museum, my appetite was worked up. I remembered passing by a place called Dyer’s as I was “dawdling” and also recalled the reputation it has. Cable television told me that within its walls, there’s something that keeps people going back there. What is this secret, you ask? Brace yourself. Ready? Dyer’s hook is the oil they’ve been using since… 1912! They form the patties and cook them inside a hot vat of the oil, much like how you would cook fries, then they strain the oil daily. Oh… now I knew I had to go there and try it for myself. Afterall, I haven’t heard of any fatalities resulting from a visit to the “World Famous Dyer’s Burgers”.
As I sat down, I immediately recognized how friendly the people are there and the “old-fashioned burger joint” feel of the place. Also, it wasn’t crowded at all. I was having a late lunch, though – probably off peak hours. I told them it was my first time there, but I’ve heard about what they do. The cook invited me to come take a look at, and even take pictures of, the legendary oil. Hmm… no thanks. I think just trying out the end result was enough for me.
Before I go on, it must be said that they offer more than just burgers n’ fries. Just so you get an idea of what kind of burger joint this is, they also offer soda floats, shakes, hot wings, chicken tenders, and hot dogs cooked in the “special oil”. This being my first time there, I just had to try the special burgers.
I asked the cook what he would suggest, since I was a Dyer’s noob. He kindly told me that most people get the “double double”, which is two patties and two cheese. So I got that with fries and a drink. When the highly-anticipated burger arrived, I was wondering if I should put ketchup in it. I know some places serve them without ketchup because they want to preserve a certain, defining flavor. I can respect that. It did have mustard, pickles and onions in it however – good enough for me. There was ketchup available at my table, but I just poured it on the side for my fries.
I would describe the taste of the burger as… slightly tangy. It is unique and delicious. Not the best I’ve ever had, but juicy and yummy. Totally hit the spot and cured my hunger. The fries were really good too, by the way – served hand-cut, almost shoestring style. They were a great complement to the burger. I can see why people come back – the flavor is unique and the prices are just right.
Also… they probably want to say they’ve tried “nearly 100 year oil” and lived to tell about it. I’m still okay… so far.
What unique burgers have you come across? Any favorites I should really try?