A Different Perspective

Last week, I read Best Memphis Burger's review of Dyer's that featured the Triple Triple Combo. I was surprised that Seth (the blogger/reviewer) didn't like it. As a self-proclaimed burger aficionado, I have always felt that Dyer's made one of the best burgers in Memphis. Also, in all of the reviews I've read on Seth's blog, I rarely disagreed with any of them. One exception is Bardog Tavern, but even its owner (Aldo Demartino) believes I'm a little bit bias (maybe the hot wait staff clouds my judgment). Still, Seth's review countered my opinion of Dyer's, so I decided to see why that was.
To make it an even comparison, I got the Triple Triple Combo instead of my usual Double Double. The burger consists of three thin beef patties that are deep fried in Dyer's legendary grease that dates back to 1912. Once cooked, each patty is topped with American cheese (hence the name "Triple Triple"). To complete the burger, mustard, pickles and onions are added and sandwiched in an ordinary bun. The combo includes hand-cut French fries and a soda that are essential to enjoying the burger.
When I ordered the combo, I should've insisted for a freshly cooked burger. I usually don't need to ask for this, for in the past I've been accustomed to watching the kitchen staff cook my burger. Unfortunately, the Triple Triple I got came out a couple of minutes after I ordered it. It was lukewarm in the way that fast food at places like McDonald's and KFC are, which Dyer's is supposed to be better than. Even though I was disappointed, I went ahead with eating the burger combo.
In eating the Triple Triple, my findings were similar to Seth's. Like he said, the meat lacked seasoning and the burger's flavor came from the mustard, pickles and the residue of onions that I removed. Discovering the truth about the Triple Triple was an epiphany for me, because I always felt that this was a great burger. I hate to admit when I'm wrong, but this was a sobering revelation in more ways than one.
I'm glad I didn't get the Triple Triple by itself, for it would have made for a disappointing lunch. As I said earlier, eating the burger with a Diet Coke enhanced the experience of it by adding some pizzazz to the otherwise flavorless meat (beer also goes well with it). The fries were well cooked to the point that they were crispy and not overly salty, which made for a nice complement to the Triple Triple. The bun wasn't anything special but unlike with Seth, my burger's bun held together. In all, I'm in nearly complete agreement with Seth yet I still liked the burger, and now I know why.
Dyer's burgers are notoriously greasy, and the burger I had wasn't the exception. I believe that, along with the enormous amount of cheese, is what hooks most people into liking Dyer's burgers. With Memphis being known for its fatty foods like barbecue ribs and fried chicken, Dyer's burgers play perfectly into this theme. Also, because it's on Beale Street where a lot of alcohol is consumed, many of Dyer's customers might not be in the proper frame of mind when eating there. With all the partying going on, most are looking for good, greasy grub regardless of quality. I for one fell for the greasy gimmick, but I have seen the light after having a Dyer's burger sober. Unlike Seth, I will continue eating burgers there despite Dyer's slipping a few notches on my favorite burger list.
After eating the burger, I didn't encounter the physical difficulties that Seth did. In fact, I later went to work at FedExForum feeling pretty good, at least until the University of Memphis got upset by freaking Murray State 76-72. Even though I left the Forum depressed, my stomach was good enough to digest another meal the next day (the outstanding Somali Beef Stew from Salaama Market and Restaurant). I guess I have more stamina for greasy foods than my friend Seth.
However, we both need to step our game up to meet the Kookamonga Challenge at Kooky Canuck on December 14, 2011. Seth and I, along with three fellow food bloggers, will try to take down the 7½ lb. Kookamonga Burger in under 60 minutes. Will we be up to the challenge? Can't say for sure, but with friends cheering us on, we won't lack inspiration.

Website: www.DyersOnBeale.com

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