My travels have taken me to Memphis, where I stumbled upon the Big Foot Lodge on a Sunday night in early January. Hungry from a day on the road and needing a little comfort food, I crawled in.
Don't let the restaurant's rustic decor fool you. This is a relative new entry to the Memphis eatery scene, but I think it's here to stay.
The menu is packed with takes on Memphis favorites -- with such eclectic delights as BBQ Egg Rolls (Memphis BBQ and slaw packed in an egg roll and deep fried for $5.99),
the Corn Brat (a bratwurst prepared like a corn dog, $4.99), and something called Poutine (a strange cheese covering big hand-cut fries topped with gravy).
Big Foot Lodge has a great bar with lots of monitors showing the big game, whatever the big game is. Draft beer here comes in 34 ounce glasses, big gulps for the hungry crowd. The place was packed with 20- and 30-somethings, checking out the Memphis nightlife.
There's even a jukebox, though not one of the traditional push-button and vinyl monsters. This jukebox is programmed for the Information age.
But it was the cucumber salad that really caught my attention. Rather than go the route of a stale dill pickle, the cucumber salad grasps the best of a bread and butter pickle and packs in a bit more sugar for a crisp, delicate touch. I was told the salad is made every day. It's better than most relishes I've had, and lacks the vinegary wang some offerings have included.
Big Foot Lodge isn't far from Beale Street -- it's catty-corner from the Peabody Place Entertainment Complex on Second Street, on the north side of the boulevard. The physical address is 97 South Second. It's open from 11am to 2:30am -- and the kitchen stays open late, so it's a good stop for late night wanderers. Want to find out more? Check out the Big Foot Lodge website -- or call (901) 578-9808. And they do offer carry-out orders at no additional cost -- though I doubt you could get the Sasquatch burger free on competition unless you stick around.
An update 8-13-09:
Normally, when a restaurant changes, it's going under or it significantly changes what it does. That's not the case here. When I visited this restaurant in January 2008, it was known as the Big Foot Lodge. Since then, it's made just one change -- and now it's the Kooky Canuck. Same owners, same great menu, with one change. There's now a 12 pound burger on the menu -- the King Kookamunga, six pounds of meat and six pounds of fixings. That's along with the renamed Kookamunga burger, the one featured in the article below. I haven't had the chance to make it to Memphis yet to try it out, but when I go I plan to bring a caravan. 12 pounds... that's even bigger than Ed Walker's famous burger. Anyway, check out the Kooky Canuck website for more information. ~Kat
UPDATE 9-30-10: Grav and I tackled this burger for Serious Eats.