Cook Out

Welcome to Memphis

As you might have noticed, I haven't been blogging much this year. Because of other things that have been going on my life, Ken's Food Find has been a low priority. However, when I come across something that's exceptional, I'm blogging about it. Having said that, trying to find the time to highlight the best this year has been challenging, given various obligations that I couldn't ignore. So, other than a hot wing contest at my high school alma mater, this review will likely be the only one that I do this year.
In discovering Cook Out, I will admit that it wasn't on my radar. I wouldn't have noticed it were it not for the line of cars spilling out to the street from its Highland Street restaurant. When I saw that, I turned my car around and went to Cook Out.
Not sure about what to get, I got the Cheddar Style Burger with fries and chicken nuggets that was really good (the nuggets are almost identical to Wendy's). A few days later, I returned and got another Cheddar Style Burger with a corn dog and a hefty bacon wrap. I had all of this last spring and intended to blog about it, but again my lack of spare time got in the way of blogging about it. Fortunately, certain personal issues are coming to resolution so I now have more spare time. Also, Cook Out recently opened a third location on Union Avenue that's a lot closer to me, so I set out again to review Cook Out (the other location is on Stage Road in Bartlett/Cordova).

NOTE: To see the pics that I took during those visits to the Highland Street location, go to my "mini-blog" at

This time around, I decided to get the Cheddar Style Burger again, which I believe is Cook Out's best offering. I love this burger because the gooey cheese and grilled onions blend well with the tasty beef patties of the "Huge" cheeseburger (the size is smaller than the average burger). The burger toppings are modest compared to a typical fast food joint, giving way to a beefy burger that most associate with, well, a "cook out." Compared to its competitor Back Yard Burgers, it's my opinion that Cook Out's beef is juicier and better seasoned. If anyone is looking for a genuine "backyard" burger, I highly recommend Cook Out.

Keeping with the "backyard grill" theme, I decided to get another cookout staple, barbecue. For that, I got Cook Out's chopped pork BBQ plate with cole slaw, fries and hushpuppies. That last side item caught me by surprise, for I never had hushpuppies with anything other than seafood. The hushpuppies and fries were far superior to the main dish, a mushy scoop of pork that was bland and lacked smoke flavor. The topping of sweet barbecue sauce helped it to some extend, but overall the chopped pork tasted more like something out of a high school cafeteria than from a backyard grill. Compared to the burgers, the chopped pork falls far short of the quality of a genuine barbecue joint. However, the plate costs under four dollars (cheaper than Tops) so if you're looking for a cheap and quick meal, Cook Out might be the way to go. However, if it's quality barbecue (particularly "backyard" style) that you crave, I suggest that you go elsewhere like Cozy Corner.
Overall, I have been really impressed with Cook Out. Other than the barbecue, everything that I had from the restaurant chain was very good, with the burgers being exceptional. Looking at it strictly as a burger joint, Cook Out is definitely in the upper echelon of restaurants like local favorite Roxie's Grocery and national chains like Five Guys (by the way, Cook Out's service is quick, much faster than the aforementioned). I'm glad to have another excellent burger option in Memphis that I'm sure to visit a lot.

UPDATE: I recently got a milkshake from Cook Out's Midtown restaurant. After hearing rave reviews from my friends, I took it upon myself to see what all the hype was about. With Cook Out having a lot of flavors to choose from, I picked the first one that jumped out at me. I eventually got the Chocolate Chip Mint that was thick, creamy and very tasty. In terms of sweetness, the milkshake was on par with what most would expect, for it was smooth (even with the chocolate chips) and delightful. Eating the milkshake was like delving into ice cream after a good meal (which in this case was obviously a burger) that left me full. The milkshake is definitely worth it if you love sweet treats.


Cook Out Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

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