Burly’s: The New Best Burger in Memphis? (Closed)

Posted by Holly Whitfield | June 22nd 2011 1652 0

Ed. Note: Burly's is closed.

I've heard all sorts of things about Burly's Burgers since it opened a few months ago, but the general consensus is that the burgers could give Huey's a run for their Best Burger title come readers' poll season.

Burly's Burgers' Madison Ave. storefront is a simple place. There are only two menu items: a 100 percent black Angus beef burger, cooked 11 different ways and fries (regular, spicy, garlic, barbecue or chili cheese). The decor is equally utilitarian – just some plain tables and chairs against red and black walls.

Inside Burly's Burgers and Fries, Memphis, Tenn.

Intern Jerel and I stopped by for lunch today, and here's what we found:

Intern Jerel

Order: the Heat Burger combo ($9.25)

Winston Churchill once said, “If you are going through hell, keep going.” Sound advice for both life and eating/enduring the Heat Burger. This beast of a burger didn’t look like much at first glance, but from the first bite I knew that I was wrong.

Heat Burger from Burly's Burgers, Memphis, Tenn.

Eating this burger is like eating your way through nine rings of spicy. The outer parts were definitely hot, but nothing I couldn't handle – it was the center of the burger that hit me the hardest. Eventually,I tamed the burger of a thousand flames, and when all was said and done, I felt a strange sense of accomplishment, as though I had just gone 12 rounds with Mike Tyson and lived.


Order: Down South burger combo ($9.50)

I wouldn't have had the moxie to put guacamole on a burger, but I'm glad someone did. On the Down South burger, it's slathered on the bun where mustard and ketchup would normally go, adding a cool, avocado-y kick to the huge, blackened burger.

Burly's Down South Burger, Memphis, Tenn.

The Down South burger isn't so much Southwester as Southwest-ish – in addition to the guacamole, the burger is topped with white cheese, a tomato, mayo and grilled onions. While the meat is generously seasoned, it's not overly spicy. The burger's texture was perfect, crunchy in all the right places and cooked all the way through without being overdone.

If you're torn between the plain burger and a combo, get the combo. It's only about a $1.50 more expensive, and it means that the burger comes with a pile of lightly seasoned Burly Fries. They were perfect – hot, crunchy on the outside and soft in the middle.

Burly's is open Monday – Thursday from 10:30 a.m. – 8 p.m., Friday and Saturday from 10:30 a.m. – 10 p.m. and on Sundays from 12 p.m. – 8 p.m. If you don't want to dine in, they offer delivery. While the restaurant is perfectly kid-friendly, the only vegetarian option is the kids' menu grilled cheese.

Go there:

Burly's Burgers and Fries

662 Madison Avenue
Memphis, TN 38103
(901) 521-9200

Burly's Burgers Fries & Shakes on Urbanspoon

Author: Holly Whitfield

I write about what’s going on with Memphis music, food, arts, events, sports, people, and culture. Memphians love Elvis and barbeque with a passion that must be seen to be believed, but there is so much more to this place.

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  1. aundra says:

    Best in Memphis?

  2. Emily says:

    How can a place that advertises milk shakes be out of ice cream on a Wed??? You seriously can’t send someone to Kroger to pick up ice cream when you notice you are low?? A friend had this happen to her when she went. I am NOT a happy pregnant woman at all…

  3. Deby says:

    I kinda think Hueys doesn’t have anything to worry about…

  4. christy says:

    Huey’s vs 5 Guys vs Camys vs Burly’s. This calls for a throwdown.

  5. Diane says:

    I went with my daughter. The place was hot. It took 45 minutes to get our food which we then had to take it to go. Was not impressed at all.

  6. Janet says:

    Sure does look good! 🙂

  7. Brett says:

    Veggie burgs or bust!

  8. MemphisBen says:

    Tops BBQ has INCREDIBLE cheeseburgers. I’m a huge fan of Burley’s too. Huey’s is still good, but isn’t king of the Memphis Burger Mountain anymore in my opinion.

  9. Chase says:

    I need to try it because I think 5 Guys may dethrone Hueys. Im curious about Burlys. Never heard of Camys?

  10. L. says:

    It was hot when I went too and there was a wait but to me this meant they were cooking burger fresh. (Agree, though, that 45 mins is waaay too long.) The ambiance is more burger joint, not casual dining or place you would necessarily even want to stay to eat.

    I think Burley’s burgers are better than Huey’s and Five Guys. Burley’s burgers taste like someone actually cooked them on a grill – and knew what they were doing, not overcooked, not all well done. The burger outside has grill flavor and they aren’t a perfect burger shape. Huey’s burgers seem to be made from a mold – no matter how I order (at least the downtown location) it’s always well done. Five Guy’s seems greasier than Burley’s.

    The fries were cold when I ate at Burley’s so no love there, but if I’m craving a great casual burger, will go there. (The Local burger is my favorite more upscale burger.)

  11. Allie says:

    I tried Burly’s for the first time this week, and while the burger was definitely good (I got the BBQ burger with jalapenos) and the garlic fries were delicious, $10+ for a burger and fries is still a bit much.

    Also, you left out the best part: the random wall art! The painting of cats on a hotdog was my favorite.

  12. Amber C. says:

    The food was great the first and, admittedly, only time, I went there, but I waited an HOUR, they forgot my milkshake, which then took another 15 minutes to make, and the whole system was so disorganized I’m not sure I could make myself go again. The burger was good, the fries were great, my milkshake would have been good if it hadn’t taken so long and wasn’t overflowing the cup (seriously, wiping a cup down is not hard), but I just can’t deal with incompetence in the food industry at that level.

  13. sj says:

    I’ve been a huge Burley’s cheerleader ever since the owner was passing out fliers downtown introducing his business. The burgers are really good, but they have got to step up the atmosphere. It is soooo quiet in there, they need to turn on a radio or something. I missed the cats on a hotdog picture, it must be new! I’m just glad they finally have a picture! And, it wouldn’t take much to make the menus in the restaurant look a little more professional. Seriously, handwriting on the menus just doesn’t send the right message. What keeps me coming back? The burgers and the fries… yumm.. Although, I really prefer picking it up and taking it home.

  14. Zhalih says:

    Camy’s in Midtown (Madison and Barksdale) has great burgers! I haven’t tried Burly’s yet, but I plan too. One thing I like at Camy’s is they’ve added a small dining room with a flat screen and serve BEER now! It’s good beer too and at a great price. 3 bucks for a Magic Hat or Fat Tire? Yes, please! Great place to start off a night of bar0hopping on Madison.

  15. Cathy says:

    I chose to go there on my birthday solely based on the reviews I found online. We arrived about 6 pm on a Friday afternoon and there was not a single other customer in the place. Kinda made me nervous about where I had chosen to eat but we were going to give it a shot, anyway. We chose cheeseburgers, plain burgers, and the farm burger (fried egg on top). Delicious!! I loved that the patties were irregularly shaped (definitely not formed in a mold) and thick. Well done throughout (which I prefer) but in no way dry or overcooked. We each enjoyed our choice of burger though the fries were not my favorite. My husband chose the plain/regular fries which were good. I had the garlic ones and my son chose the BBQ. Those fries are tossed in a sauce which made them a little soggy. Not bad on flavor, just not my favorite. The waitress was friendly, the cook came through and asked us if the burgers were to our liking and the owner chatted with us a moment. I would definitely recommend you go try this place!

  16. Molly says:

    My burger was great. I got the buffalo sauce fries which were phenomenal. The wait was a little ridiculous, and they were out of ice cream. I heard from several other people that they experienced a similar lack of ice cream in an attempt to try a shake. It’s kind of hard to feature an item so prominently on your menu and be constantly out of the key ingredient.

  17. mj says:

    Went the recently with my wife and we got the burger combo. Both our fries were cold and the burgers had about 3 tablespoons of black pepper on each side. We could not finish them. It took around 45 mins to get our order and there was only one other couple in there the whole time. The experience cost us $23 plus tip. We will not be going back.

  18. Michael T. Ray says:

    It took 55 min. to get our food and there were only 4 other people in the place! Out of ice cream for shakes ( AGAIN) Brought my patty melt out on untoasted ungrilled bread.

  19. l colbert says:

    have you tried ” Stuffy’s?…it’s the bomb! 786 Echles Street.. They got it!

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