Dyer’s Burgers: Home of the 100 Year-Old Grease Burger
Yes, you read that correctly! Dyer’s Burgers is a Memphis staple, located on world-famous Beale Street, and they use 100-year-old grease to cook their burgers! While Memphis, Tennessee may be synonymous with barbecue, if you’re looking for a great burger, look no further than Dyer’s!
Elmer “Doc” Dyer opened his restaurant and began cooking burgers in his famous grease in 1912. The grease, strained every day, is still in use today. Doc perfected his burgers over a hundred years ago, so there’s no need to make changes, right? Why mess with success?
See Related: Our Favorite Restaurants in Memphis, Tennessee
For my birthday this year, we had a little one-day-getaway to Memphis. Even though we’ve lived in this area forever, we are constantly finding new things to do and places to go. I couldn’t tell you how many times I’ve visited Beale Street, but never knew about Dyer’s. And you KNOW I woulda been in there ASAP if I knew the story of the grease!
While reading through restaurant reviews online, I came across the story of Doc and his grease. Did you know that when the grease has to be transported, they use armed guards? It is that serious. And that’s when I knew this restaurant had to be added to my Memphis To-Do List.
Arriving on Beale Street just before lunchtime, we headed straight for the restaurant. I knew that with its glowing reputation, there would probably be a line out the door for these burgers.
Surprisingly, we walked in and were able to sit at the bar, which was totally perfect. Why? Because we had a front row seat to watch the burgers being cooked up in the famous grease.
We watched as the cook patted out each piece of meat and dropped them, one by one, into the huge skillet. Huge skillet. HUGE. He just kept making them, dropping them in, and taking them out in this rhythm that showed he’d been mastering this process for awhile. I noticed he had earbuds in and wondered if he had some kind of burger-making-beat going.
I’ve found that with these homegrown local places, the simple, straightforward order is always the best option for me. What’s the specialty? That’s what I’ll have, thank ya very much. So, I opted for the Dyer’s Single Combo: One burger patty with mustard, pickles, and onions, served with a generous helping of hand-cut fries (and a drink of your choice). The burger was quite tasty, fresh and juicy. I expected a super-greasy or burnt-grease type flavor, but that was not the case at all.
The patties themselves are slightly small, so Mark opted for a Double-Double, which is two pieces of meat with two pieces of cheese. I gotta admit that I was a bit jealous of the cheese, all gooey and drippy. The cooks were dipping the slices of cheese into the grease quickly, then adding it to the burger. I suppose this added flavor and helped with the melty-ness.
The service was outstanding. The sweetest lady took care of us, always making sure we had plenty to drink and keeping us updated on our orders. I absolutely loved how no-nonsense she was as well. When some customers yelled to others to “SHUT THE DOOR” because cold air was coming in, she told them REAL quick to “LEAVE THEM ALONE.” This was at the point when the line to get in was out the door. We also loved their slogan: “HAVE YOU HAD YOUR VITAMIN “G” TODAY?”
See Related: A Neon Night on Beale Street in Memphis, Tennessee
We definitely recommend giving this place a try if you’re in the Memphis area. It’s in a great location to do other sight-seeing nearby, to check out some of the blues clubs, or even see a show at the Orpheum or FedEx Forum. Go for the story of the 100-year-old grease, but be prepared to actually love the food. Still hungry after your burger? Try a hand-dipped float or shake. Or, be even more adventurous with a Deep-Fried Twinkie or Deep-Fried PB&J!
Thoughts on 100-year-old grease? Would you eat it? Have you eaten here before or at any other unique restaurants? Let us know in the comments below!
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Jennifer is the founder of Just Chasing Rabbits travel blog. She lives in Mississippi with husband/travel companion, Mark, and three fur babies. After obtaining a BA degree in studio art and working in the field of photography for years, Jenni has combined her love of travel and photography to form this blog. Mark and Jenni share their experiences in hopes of inspiring others to have wonderful adventures and see the world.
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