I have more experience with HBO's Game of Thrones
than I do with these four burgers. Which I suppose is a good thing for I had no biases. I may be a Wildling
when it comes to the burgers I've been called to judge, but my judgements were as fair as and balanced Tyrion Lannister
(though perhaps a bit longer).
"Don't fight for a king. Don't fight for his kingdoms. Don't fight for honor, don't fight for glory, don't fight for riches, because you won't get any."
Memphis vs. Pee Wee's
|Taylor Hamby/OC Weekly|
|Memphis' Soul Burger|
I'm not sure how a burger can be described as "soulful" but the adjective fits Memphis' Soul Burger perfectly. The first bite proved this was not a misnomer. Memphis adds such complex seasoning to their patty that it has the grit and kick of an old soul musician's music. It has the weight too, with it's 1/3 pound patty. The second thing you notice is the crisp of the bun. It adds a crunch just as loud as the full slice of fresh onion (none of this three ring crap). One setback to this tall, fluffy, melt-in-your-mouth bun: it stops holding the burger together at the last quarter. You'll get light lettuce and I'd prefer extra aoli sauce. However, there is plenty of melted cheese. The pickle is sweet--no sour here.
I would compare their burger to Ned Stark: bold and badass.
Just like Edwin, I've never tried the Soul Burger at Memphis. I'm more of a Shrimp Po Boy, Shrimp Taco, Steamed Mussels and Buffalo Cocktail kinda gal. Actually, now that I think of it, I've never had anything that didn't have seafood in it beside the cornbread. After the first bite of the Soul Burger, I realized I was missing out on a broader facet of Memphis. Next stop: their Bison Burger.
|Taylor Hamby/OC Weekly|
While I lived just a minute away from Pee Wee's for about a year and a half, I never ventured into their tiny shop front burger and hot dog joint. My bad indeed--can't wait to try one of their "famous" hot dogs next.
The burger was delivered quickly. When I unwrapped the burger a smile grew on my face. It was a handsome looking burger if I ever saw one. There was a generous quantity of ingredients stuffed into a tightly-wrapped paper and arranged perfectly. After the first bite I was disappointed. I quickly took another bite, sure that it was a fluke. Nope. Pee Wee's was not even in the shadow of Memphis and it was apparent by the second bite. If this burger stood beside one less of a masterpiece then Memphis', it would have stood strong.
All of my attention was directed to the crunch of the onion at first bite. However, when sampling the onion solo, it tasted sour. In the burger it was just fine and added great texture. I waited for the meat to surface but waited in vein. The meat had a melt in your mouth quality when separated from the burger and a great charred crisp at the edges. Pickles were soggy and bland. The extra warmth of the burger invited you to keep eating however. Every burger should be so warm for so long. The structural integrity failed just past the halfway point but if you keep it in the wrapper you should be fine.
Long story short, there was no harmony in this burger. Here is your Rob Stark: an aspiring leader walking in the footsteps of his father, Ned Stark.
I'm sorry but matching Memphis up to Pee Wee's is just cruel. While I understand Memphis isn't a "Burger Baron" or "Gastropub Gentry" the Soul Burger is an artisanal slab of meat between a bun that will always hold its own against Umami, Slater's 50/50 or Haven. While Pee Wee's was not intentionally set up for failure, Memphis wins by a knockout.