Thursday, March 5, 2015

Burger Tasting On Location in Tupelo, MS

Sometimes for funsies we eat burgers in other places than Oxford, Mississippi. Thanks to Susan Wang for this detailed burger adventure to Tupelo, MS for the Uptown Burger.

Location: Fairpark Grill on 2/16/2015

What google told me about this restaurant: It's "an upscale-casual tavern serving American eats in a modern space with dark woods, big bar and patio." 

Ummm... Tavern? Dark Woods? Big Bar? All I can think of is the movie Cabin in the Woods by Joss Whedon. I want to feel a little bit terrified, but it's most likely this rustic, neighborhood-atmospheric kind of bar. Minus Sigourney Weaver. PAUSE. What is upscale-casual? How do you dress for that? Are jeans too casual? Is a cocktail dress too much? WHO WEARS A COCKTAIL DRESS TO A TAVERN? So many questions...

17 Reviews on google scored this location: 4.2 / 5 stars. I mean, the beer is cold, right? I'd go there. Let's get to the burger.

Style: 4
The burger looks appetizing, and the bacon presentation is very appealing. Susan was excited to take a bite!

Taste: 3.7
The burger was cooked medium-well, when she asked for medium (there was no pink). Though the amount of beef was appreciated, as were the thick cut slices of bacon. Susan rearranged her toppings (lettuce, onions, bacon, mushroom, cheese, patty, and tomatoes) on her burger to prevent ingredient slippage. The coarsely-chopped onions were a tasting surprise, but the mushrooms might as well have not been present. 

Content: 3.6
Brioche-style bun was crumbly, disappointing, but the slightly toasted helped. The bacon was, by far, the most celebrated ingredient on this burger. Susan had Mozzarella cheese, but she feels that they probably have a wider selection in cheese toppers than that. The ratio of bun to meat is a little off kilter for Susan's liking, but the use of FRESH ingredients was ON POINT. *High five* for freshness. 

Satisfaction: 4
It's a "very juicy, enjoyable burger, mostly due to the bacon, but I probably won't be ordering it again because their Caribbean Rib-eye is just so delicious," words from Susan Wang.

Price: 4
$8.99 with fries. Their "shoestring" fries were similar to the McDonald's french fry persuasion. She washed it down with an Abita Andygator from the tap! (A solid beverage choice.)


Lastly, a special shout-out to the Panko-Crusted Fried Cheese. Special shout-out indeed.

Have you ever eaten at Fairpark Grill? Where do YOU think the best burger is in Tupelo, MS?

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Burger Revival

It’s been 3 years since our last Burger Blog entry. WE KNOW YOU HAVE ALL BEEN WAITING ON THE EDGE OF YOUR SEATS. The truth is that traveling, babies, and new jobs are life game changers.
Thank you to those that have asked about the Burger Blog—we appreciate your diligence. One thing has always remained: our appetites for scrumptious burgers. And so we’re back!

Our first stop back on Burger Boulevard is Lamar Lounge. If you've never been to Lamar Lounge, these are reasons enough to go: 1) the bar is a restored 14-seat 1800’s Brunswick bar which was once owned by legendary actor Eddie Fisher, and 2) all profits from Lamar Lounge are donated to Mississippi not-for-profit organizations.

That being said—Lamar Lounge does a decent burger.
The burger is appetizing to look at, (shout out to the French fries for being delicious). What’s nice is the waiter/waitress will ask how you want your burger cooked—to which most of us responded with medium, while one lived on the wild side and went medium rare. We all got medium or medium well done burgers. It’s not a steak, so we will let this one go, but I've never had a burger here that was perfectly cooked the way I wanted it. Such is life.

Cheese does not come with the burger; you have to ask for it. They have your standard choices of cheddar, Swiss, and American. Then it gets crazy – they offer PIMENTO CHEESE for a cheese on a burger. Ummm, how cool is that? Respect, Lamar Lounge.

It was mentioned that it would be nice to have had a fully constructed burger. Our toppings (mayo, mustard, ketchup.. etc.) were not already built together. The condiments were placed on the side and we had to put it together ourselves.

The absolute biggest disappointment of all was the price of the burger. $12. Pick your jaw up off the ground. Okay, it’s a really tasty burger, and the fries are worth the trip alone, but that’s the SAME PRICE as a burger you would get at Snackbar, a way more upscale restaurant. And the Snackbar burger includes the frites covered in parmesan magic with some kind of heavenly mayo concoction. To be fair, they may have just recently raised their price $2; which could be related to the increase in beef pricing, yadda yadda. You get it.

Sidenote: The Lamar Lounge burger also has an Econo Burger available on their menu. This is a smaller portion size and can hold the same ingredients. A perk for those trying to eat less, or eat on a budget.

Bottom-line, good burger, we all agreed we would eat it again. We gave it a cumulative score of 14.5 out of 25.

Curious on how we score a burger? Brief breakdown on judging: burgers are judged on a scale of 1-5; 1 being the lowest, five the highest. Five categories: Style, Taste, Content, Satisfaction, and Price – max points a burger could receive are 25.

A special thank you to our guest judges Susan and Will for joining us in our Burger Revival. 

Tell us your thoughts! What do you think of the Lamar Lounge burger?

Wednesday, January 11, 2012


Happy 2012, everyone! Sorry the Burger Bloggers are slackers to the -nth degree. We all got really busy, but now we’re back, and we’re hungry. It’s basically our New Year’s resolution to eat more burgers. Who doesn’t love a juicy slab of cow? I digress; sorry, vegetarians. I’d like to throw out an honorable mention to the veggies that help make burgers so dang delicious.

And just as an FYI, I’d like to let you know that the burger bloggers DID get a chance to try Ferdinand’s burger, (when it was still around), and it was delicious. Actually, the burger was fantastic, thanks to Oxford local Kyle Sanders who made it, but the service was, let’s just say, less than pleasant. That experience left us with a bad taste in our mouths, and we did not go back.

And on to our AJAX review. It has to be said that most of us agreed the burger is delicious (except Jill, who just thought it tasted like meat on a bun.) It is a burger that is worth eating a second time. Ajax uses cabbage as a side compared to most restaurants that normally use lettuce. I like that about Ajax, it’s different. However, the sides don’t expand much past cabbage, onion, pickles, tomato, and mayo. And all of our burger buns were cold. Not icebox cold, but you could tell it had been chilling in a fridge. Those of us who asked for onions noticed that they were not only lacking, but were thrown under the burger. It was a little of a disappointing arrangement of burger content.

Overall, we did enjoy this burger. We gave it a cumulative score of 18.2 out of 25. The burger costs $6.50 and that’s not including the cost of cheese at $0.50. The only real disappointment we faced was the bun.

Ajax, as a whole, does few things wrong as an establishment, which is why it’s such a local favorite. You can order cheese fries and get a side of gravy with it. Whaaa? If Ajax ever became a late night munchie place, I know Rebel Ride would have to change its drop off location. 

Ajax Burger Judges: Greg, Jill, Beth, and mystery guest

Breakdown of Average Scores:

Style: 3.75 / 5
Taste: 3.75 / 5
Content: 3.1 / 5
Satisfaction: 3.7 / 5
Price: 3.9 / 5

How was your Ajax burger experience? Try it for yourself! Let us know how it went!

-Beth Ziegenhorn

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Vegetarian Review: Tacky Shack

Welcome to the vegetarian corner of the Oxford Burger blog.  I will attempt to highlight the best vegetarian options at the burger joints my carnivorous companions frequent.  When a veggie burger is an option, I will order it and review it.  When a veggie burger is not an option, I get to order and review whatever the hell I want.  You see, as the token vegetarian in the group, I am a majority of one and get to make up my own rules.  

Also, a note: this review is written for an audience of vegetarians and pescetarians.  If you like meat, you might not like veggie burgers.  Because they’re not very meat-like.  They’re not supposed to be.  Many vegetarians actually don’t like the taste of meat.  For some of you, that statement sounds insane, and I understand if you don’t read further.  For those willing to concede that point, let’s continue.

I should start with a review of the veggie burger at Proud Larry’s because I ate there first, but I won’t.  Why?  Because I had the veggie burger at Tacky Shack before I bothered to write up the review of the one at Larry’s, and I can’t hold out on you.  The black bean and corn burger at Tacky Shack is, hands down, the best veggie burger in town.  I used to drive to Memphis just to get the black bean burger at Huey’s when I was craving a gut bomb, and now I don’t have to.  The one at Tacky Shack is just as good; it might even be the same exact commercially made patty.  I don’t hold that against the owners, though.  I’ve had dozens of terrible homemade veggie burgers.  I much prefer a solid Sysco option to a gummy, tasteless homemade one.  

Tacky Shack grills the patty up so it’s nice and crunchy on the outside.  Not only is the black bean patty toothsome and flavorful, Tacky Shack offers a huge array of toppings.  Some are free and some cost a little extra, but a vegetarian can really have a ball here.  I got grilled onions, tomato, avocado, lettuce, ketchup, jalapenos, and mustard.  I got all those toppings assuming that the patty would be a flavorless Morningstar patty.  When I discovered that the black bean patty was fabulous all on its own, I realized I probably didn’t need all those toppings.  But they were excellent, and I’d probably get them again anyway.  For a side item, I got the onion strings.  As an onion ring fan, I love any form of fried onions.  These onions are good, but after a couple handfuls, they start to seem really oily.  My advice: order them if you’re an onion fiend, but eat them while they’re still nice and hot.

I didn’t take good notes on the burger bun, which probably means it neither added nor subtracted from the overall burger experience.  I remember it being vaguely wholesome: whole wheat or honey wheat or something beyond mere Wonder bread.

Tacky Shack offers a reasonable assortment of beer.  They also have a nice selection of ice cream, and they make milkshakes.  I didn’t order one last time I was there, but I thought it was an ice dessert option.
Now, for a few complaints.  One: the black bean burger is not on the menu.  I find this really strange.  Are they afraid they’ll piss off the meat-eaters?  Is there really not room to write “black bean burger” on the menu?  Anyway, I almost didn’t join my friends for this excursion because I didn’t think there was anything for me to eat.  Luckily, Greg called ahead and asked if they had anything for me, and I’m glad he did!  Two: the black bean burger costs more than the beef burger.  I don’t remember by exactly how much, but it’s a dollar or two more, and that always irritates me.  You’d think plant material would be more affordable than an all-beef patty.  The burger is so good, though, that you’ll forget you’re being gouged on the basis of your self-imposed dietary restrictions.  Three: the ambience at the restaurant is a little silly.  A lot of the signs on the wall seem like corporate-mandated “flair” and some of it is just really strange to display in a restaurant.  For instance, one sign reads, “I don’t swim in your toilet; don’t pee in my pool.”

In short, this one is a winner with a few small drawbacks.  I highly recommend Tacky Shack. 
- Meaghin Burke

Friday, July 8, 2011

Americans are eating more burgers.

The Huffington Post reports that Americans are eating more burgers and burgers of better quality. Half of us are eating burgers once a week! Check out the full article here.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Help out a burger blogger!

I, Jill, may be a burger blogger, but I'm also a burgeoning filmmaker. And I could really use some help. I'm doing something known as crowdfunding. Basically, I am begging people to donate money to me so I can make a film. Actually, three films. Go big, or go home, or something like that! Here's a synopsis of what I propose to do:

The first three films in this series will be:

Things Street People Say
Anyone that has lived in a city has been panhandled. It seems that a panhandler will say almost anything to part their victim with a few dollars, with such excuses as "my baby needs food!" to "my car has broken down!" This film will cover the different techniques panhandlers use to part people with a dollar.  We hope to discover if there is a time-tested patter that is universal to all panhandlers.  By the way, sir, could you spare $750 for us to make a film?

Abandoned Building 
The homes and buildings we live and work in have stories just as interesting as the people that lived and worked in them. Urban sprawl, our aging population, and migrating populations have left behind buildings.  Homes, businesses, and public buildings slowly decay as their stories are lost.  This film will uncover the story of an abandoned building.

That Strange Thing on the Grocery Shelf
Once the local grocery was just that: a local store that carried regional foods which appealed to the resident culinary heritage. The local grocery stocked foods and preserved the regional diet.  The rise of the national grocery store chain has decreased region foods on the shelf and homogenized our diet.  The reason for sauerkraut juice and other regional foodstuffs is being lost as the last cans of these items disappear from store shelves. In "Strange Things on the Grocery Shelf," the 10 Minute Film team will discover the history behind regional food products and taste them to understand the why they are a part of our disappearing culinary history.  We will be eating some weird stuff, and we will need some Tums, so please donate!

If you are interested in helping out in whatever capacity, you can check out my indiegogo page!

Saturday, June 25, 2011

LB's Meat Market

The Judging Team (Beth, Greg, and myself), Guest Judge Melanie Addington, and Mystery Guest Judge decided to hit up LB's Meat Market, located on University Avenue across from Kroger, for the third installment of burger judging. Seeing as they only serve lunch, that's what we had.  LB's only does take-away, meaning no seating, so Greg and I went to pick up lunch for everyone. We ordered five filet burgers, as opposed to the house burger. I know this slightly goes against our "only get the basic burger" rule, but who can resist a burger made of FILET MIGNON? I certainly couldn't. We ordered and were told it would be about ten minutes. Ten turned into about thirty. I got restless and cranky, mostly because I was hungry, but I couldn't get too angry. The thirty minutes included freshly grinding up a steak to make my burger. We got our burgers, grabbed some chips and sweet tea, and we were off.

Menu at LB's
We took our food to a secret, undisclosed location for eating, judging, and general merriment. Upon first unwrapping our burgers, we all noticed how appetizing they looked. They were very homestyle, very beefy, and the cheese could only be described as gorgeous. They had a good variety of condiments, and all were fresh. I bit into my burger and thought it was really good, yet oddly peppery. Everyone agreed. At first it was an interesting taste, but as I finished my burger, it became a bit distracting and overwhelming. Other than that, I thought it was a great burger. Greg and Beth felt theirs were a bit dry, but mine wasn't.

My burger from LBs Meat Market

Overall, we really liked this burger. We gave it a cumulative score of 19.5 out of 25. It looked appetizing, tasted good, had a good variety of condiments, and only cost $4 plus $0.50 for cheese (which was freshly sliced, local red hoop cheddar). Here is a breakdown of the average scores:

Style: 3.7/5
Taste: 3.9/53
Content: 3.4/5
Satisfaction: 3.9/5
Price: 4.9/5

All in all, a good burger. Try it for yourself and let us know if you like it!

Nota bene: LB's does not serve burgers everyday. You can check their Facebook page to see the daily specials.

-Jillian Pecoraro