This blog is devoted to highlighting restaurants of Memphis, Tennessee.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

The Battle of the Downtown Memphis Sliders, Part 2

Chic Critique

When I posted my first comparison of ground beef sliders from two of Memphis' prominent Downtown establishments, Bardog Tavern and Bar None (which recently closed), I thought my work was done. Since then, I discovered that two other restaurants (not including chains such as Hooters) also make them, which are The Silly Goose Lounge and Flight Restaurant and Wine Bar. Because of the different demographics that each restaurant caters to, their approach in making the slider is vastly different, as I will explain.
The Silly Goose's cheeseburger slider consists of a thick piece of ground beef cooked medium and seasoned with tasteful spices. Combined with pepper jack cheese, a mix of onions, red and green peppers (all sautéed) and bacon bits, the slider has a nice juicy flavor that isn't too spicy. Compared to other sliders that I've had recently, Silly Goose's version could be considered a "gourmet" item because of the uniqueness of it. In order to get the slider, you have to get it as part of a combo plate consisting of two sliders and French fries at a cost of $9.00, not including tax. As a meal, it hits the spot. However, if I was really hungry, I would love to have three sliders as opposed to two. For most people, especially those conscious of gaining weight, two sliders is more than enough.

The Silly Goose on Urbanspoon



As for Flight, it took awhile for me to try it because it is only served during lunchtime, and not competing with Silly Goose which opens at 4 PM during the week. The cheeseburger burger slider "flight" that I had consisted of three sliders, with each one cooked slightly different from the others. To get a true sense of the slider, I order one medium rare, another medium and one cooked well done. What came out were three sliders that at first glance looked ordinary, consisting nothing more than thick beef patties topped with lettuce and tomato. With the meal costing $12 (including fries), I expected a lot. However, I was underwhelmed with what I got. None of the sliders had that "WOW" factor that I got from the other three places I visited. Rather, all three of the sliders were average burgers that anyone could make. That said, all of the sliders were properly prepared and fresh off the grill, so I had no complaints about that. However, I expected more from a place that considers itself an upscale restaurant. In its defense, it could be argued that upscale restaurants shouldn't specialize in making cheeseburgers. But if that's true, then why do it at the risk of the restaurant's reputation. If this was my first experience at Flight, I might not be inclined to eat there again. Anyway, the cheeseburger sliders are on par with places such as Back Yard Burgers, but because of the unjustifiable high price, I will not order them again.

Flight Restaurant and Wine Bar on Urbanspoon



Of the two places I visited, The Silly Goose is clearly the better when it comes to sliders. The Silly Goose has put a lot more effort into developing a slider burger that is unique and delicious. While Flight's slider isn't nearly as good as Silly Goose's, overall it is an excellent restaurant. Based on my one other experience at Flight where I had a poultry-based entrée (it might have been the Feathered Flight), the food and service at the restaurant is first-class. Of course, The Silly Goose isn't a slouch either, for the menu has a lot of great items on it like the Seafood Mac and its various flatbreads (or "pizza" to the uninformed). Although both restaurants are great places to dine at, they're not one in the same as far demographics are concerned. The Silly Goose caters to a younger audience by offering a causal place for socializing and partying, while Flight is more refined which appeals to an older audience who might want more than a mere burger. Those differences might be the reason why Silly Goose's slider is better than Flight's, but both restaurants are excellent places to dine at. That said, Silly Goose wins this battle of sliders, but a person can't go wrong in choosing either restaurant.

NOTE: I just learned that the Silly Goose will phase out the Seafood Mac dish from its menu. If anyone wants this kept on the menu, let the restaurant's management know about it. I think it’s one of the best entrées on the menu and I would hate to see it go away.


LabelsBurgers, Downtown, Upscale



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