Saturday, December 25, 2010
Food That Makes You "Kooky"
After blogging about a burger joint in North Memphis recently and comparing it to Kooky Canuck, I realized that I never actually written anything about the place. As a burger aficionado, I enjoy a nicely cooked ground beef patty on a bun with a lot of fixings, and Kooky Canuck never fails to deliver. All of the burgers on Kooky's menu (including the 7½ lb. Kookamonga, which I can't eat more than a small slice) are delicious and I don't have a favorite. Regardless of which burger you order, you'll get it cooked to order along with fresh garnishes that is sure to satisfy the appetite.
In addition to burgers, Kooky Canuck also has an extensive menu of other food offerings, including steaks, sandwiches and various appetizers, including buffalo wings that are as good as any wing joint in Memphis. I especially like the Strawberry Jalapeño wings, a strange combination that somehow blends nicely into something that tastes wonderful. Also, the hot wings are just that, HOT! Eating a dozen of them usually make my eyes water, but I don't mind because I can usually wash it down with a 34 oz. mug of beer (which at $4 per drink, is a great bargain). Kooky also has a version of wings called "HOLY SMOKE!," but I doubt I'll try these wings given that they're hotter than "hot."
UPDATE: Since posting this, I ate one of the HOLY SMOKE! wings in the unofficial Kookamonga Challenge and it kicked my ass. However, I fared better with the HOLY SMOKE! Burger that wasn't nearly as intense but very good nonetheless. Although there is a glass of water in the picture, the burger pairs well with certain styles of beer like pumpkin ales and Saisons (or other beers with a sweet undertone).
Other menu items that I recommend are the Steak & Fries, the Deep Fried Cornish Hen and the Catfish Plate. The "steak" of the Steak & Fries is a hand-cut rib-eye (either 14 or 20 oz.) that is char-grilled to order, and it has a nice smoky aroma to it that really enhances the taste. The meat in the Deep Fried Cornish hen is full of buttery flavor that meshes quite well with the batter used to deep-fry it with (in my opinion, the batter tastes better than either KFC or Popeye's). The Catfish Plate tastes great whether it's deep-fried or blackened, but I personally like the blackened version because I can combine it with green beans and a salad topped with a sun-dried tomato vinaigrette which makes for a delicious meal for the health-conscious.
Lastly, Kooky Canuck offers a nice dessert menu that has something I especially enjoy, which is the Cookie a la Mode. The Cookie a la Mode consists of a 6" wide cookie that is an inch thick, served in a skillet with a huge, softball size scoop of ice cream placed on top of it. This "dessert" is more filling than entrées at many restaurants, which after a huge meal can be overwhelming but it is worth it. I particularly like the chocolate chip cookie with vanilla ice cream because I love the gooey chocolate mixing in with the cold stuff.
Because of all of the delicious food offerings of Kooky Canuck, it will rank high among the many restaurants in Memphis. In addition to the great food, owner Shawn Danko and the restaurant's staff provide a great atmosphere that make the dining experience quite enjoyable. My only criticism is the bar area, which I feel is a bit cramped, but considering that it is more of a restaurant than a bar, emphasis has to be placed on its dining priorities. Nevertheless, Kooky Canuck is a great, family-friendly place to dine that I highly recommend.