I started Best Memphis Burger in July of 2011. Since then, I’ve been rating burgers on a scale of 1 to 5 stars, but have never given any 5’s because I felt that would mean the search was over and the best burger had been found. For a year and a half, that’s remained the case, even while chowing on favorites found at Alex’s Tavern, Kooky Canuck, Roxie’s Grocery, Young Avenue Deli, Majestic Grille and even Stuffy’s which has since closed down. That is until now.We have our first 5 star burger. It’s from a burger joint just outside of Memphis, in Arlington, TN, called Off the Hoof Burgers
Off the Hoof Burgers is located on Hwy 70, just east of the Airline Rd. intersection. It’s about 10 minutes past the Wolf Chase exit on I-40, and really not a bad drive at all. Any thoughts that Off the Hoof Burgers is too far to go will soon be squashed when you taste the food.
Several months back, a friend and local SEO and Social Media Professional, Liz Jostes reviewed Off the Hoof Burgers on the site. She gave it good scores, but mentioned she normally enjoys their leaner Buffalo or Kobe burgers. However, for the sake of the review, she ordered a seasoned burger that was a little greasier than she normally prefers and probably would have scored her regular choices higher. Completely understandable. A good burger always comes down to personal preference. She and her family continue to dine there often and have recommended it to me more than once. I should have listened sooner!
A little over a week ago, my wife, eldest son and I finally decided to give Off the Hoof Burgers a try and arrived just before their big Saturday night dinner rush. When we walked in at 5:30, there were open tables all over the dining room. Ten minutes later, there was a line of people inside the doorway waiting to be seated. Apparently the word is already out.
We started off with an order of fried pickles, or Frickles as they appeared on the menu. Man those things were just delicious! They were lightly breaded with seasoned flour and bursting with crunchy flavor. They were perfect alone, just as they were served, but what really kicked them up a notch was the thick Ranch dressing they were sided with. What an epic combo, maybe only second to chocolate and peanut butter. I had to physically hold my hand back from eating every Frickle in that basket. I tried not to make much of a scene.
Off the Hoof Burgers has a burger lovers menu straight from heaven with something for everyone. They feature a regular seasoned patty available in 4, 6, 8, 12, and 16 ounce sizes. There’s a Salmon Burger, an Elk burger, an Ostrich burger, a Turkey Burger, a Buffalo burger, a Country Fried burger, a Bologna burger, a Kobe beef burger and a Black Angus burger. Additionally, there are several specialty burgers including Off the Hoof’s own version of a stuffed Jucy Lucy, with cheese melted between two 4 ounce patties. They also offer big burgers weighing in anywhere from one to four pounds and everything in between. Besides burgers, you can find, chicken and Portabella Mushroom sandwiches, crab cake sliders and foot long Nathan’s hotdogs.
My wife, who I call jokingly call Mrs. Best Memphis Burger, and I both ordered Off the Hoof’s signature burger. I’d never had a Kobe beef burger and was just about to order it until Alli, our server, proudly recommend that at least one of us try the chopped steak burger on the menu. She held up the menu and pointed to the Pat LaFrieda Chopped Steak Burger. There is was! Described beautifully and calling to us. Thank God for Alli and the 8 ounces of world famous Pat LaFrieda chopped choice Angus steak. It’s a mix of two way chuck and boneless short rib. Fresh and never frozen. Served on an 81 layer all butter croissant bun, and priced at $10.99. For $1.00 more, you can add a thick slice of Habanero Pepper Jack Cheese or Marble Blue Jack Cheese. We couldn’t order it fast enough. We both went for aMedium-Rare to Medium temperature, and I added the Habanero Pepper Jack Cheese to my burger. For sides we ordered Spicy Onion Straws and Swaffles with cinnamon sugar and Chipolte Ranch dipping sauce. My son got the 6 ounce seasoned burger and a side of hand cut fries.
Our food didn’t take long at all. I’d say no more than 10 minutes later, Alli was back with our dinner. The Pat LaFrieda is served open-face and I’m a firm believer that you taste first with your eyes and then with your mouth. At first I wasn’t completely blown away. After all, once you’ve been served the open facedPimento cheeseburger from Next Door, you know there’s no beating that presentation. It looked like a decent burger, however, and was served on a round croissant with tomato, onion and pickle. Besides the smell which was really awesome, visually I just wasn’t getting that WOW feeling. That all changed when I put it the Pat LaFrieda burger together. It was like a dramatic ray of sunlight bursting through the clouds. Like maybe I should have been kneeling or at least have taken off my shoes in its presence. A religious and magnificent burger experience if I’ve ever there was one.I’m just going to come out and say it. The Pat LaFrieda Chopped Steak burger at Off the Hoof Burgers is the best burger I’ve ever had. It was a juicy, mouth-watering 8 oz patty cooked perfectly to temperature, seasoned well and topped with that amazing Habanero Pepper Jack cheese. The buttery croissant was just about as beautiful as it was delicious. Check out those buttery swirls and how it majestically nests the burger patty inside it. Combined with the seasoned flavors of the patty and the spicy kick of the cheese, it was a better burger than any other I’ve eaten in the past 18 months. That includes Burger Fest winning food as well. There were just so many great flavors mixed with awesome textures going on that this chopped steak burger quickly won me over. It was better than homemade whipped cream on a Ben & Jerry’s Phish Food hot fudge sundae, surrounded by three reams of Thin Mints. Even Mrs. Best Memphis Burger, who loves a good thick Huey Burger, couldn’t put her’s down. We both smiled away as we ate ourselves into a food coma.The only time either of us stopped with the Pat LaFrieda burger was when we were loving on some spicy onion straws and swaffles. Both of those sides equally were a home run. Mrs. Best Memphis Burger loved the onion straws and the spicy Texas Pete based dipping sauce they were severed with. For onion straws, they were a bit thick. I would have called them more of an onion ring. Delicious though and perfectly seasoned. As good as they were, I preferred the swaffles and the cinnamon surgar. I love sweet potato fries and these were the best I’ve ever had. Crisp. Not at all greasy. Salty. Just divine! I’d go back there for those alone. Wait, who am I fooling? I’d have to get that same burger again to accompany those swaffles. My son, who was loving on his burger and fries too, stopped eating at one point and said, “Dad this isn’t Off the Hoof, it’s Off the HOOK!” He’s a funny kid and a burger lover too!
Just as we finished EVERYTHING on our plates, Alli showed back up and asked how our burgers were. I told her that I write the Best Memphis Burger blog and that the Pat LaFrieda burger could easily go toe to toe with any of the 50+ burgers I’d previously reviewed. She smiled and said her father would appreciate that. He’s the owner of Off the Hoof Burgers. I told her all about Burger Fest and gave her my contact info. This coming year we plan to add a restaurant-only category and I encouraged them to think about entering. Their burger is that good!
After a little more small talk, she asked if we wanted any of their homemade desserts? Of course my son was all about their caramel & marshmallow chocolate frosted brownie with homemade ice cream. My wife ordered something that could only be described as Ambrosia pie with a Lady Finger crust topped with fresh strawberries. It was crazy good. I was the odd man out for sure. All I got was a slice of New York style cheesecake that was as delicious as it was simple. All three desserts were rich and about as wonderful as the burgers we just demolished. Talk about rolling us out of there.
I give the Pat LaFrieda Chopped Steak burger at Off the Hoof Burgers 5 out of 5 stars. This is it folks. This is the game changer. If you’re anywhere in the area or just craving the best burger you can imagine, get in the car and go! I’ll be going back for sure! As for giving out 5’s, surely there is another burger out there equally as worthy.
As a side note and verification of the burger, four days after we ate there, Big Tim was driving by and he pulled in and ordered the same burger and the same sides for lunch. This is the text I got from him shortly after he finished eating. Have you ever eaten there? What do you think?
Thank you Seth for all your kind words!! Please visit his blog at www.bestmemphisburger.com