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Burgers for Labor Day

Alex's Tavern Burger.jpeg
The Commercial Appeal

I can’t think of better way to celebrate Labor Day than with a juicy burger!

I asked my friend Rocky Kasaftes for tips on how to make killer burgers. Rocky owns Alex’s Tavern. Time and time again, Alex’s Tavern makes the list of best burgers in Memphis with Rocky’s famous Greek Burger.

His first tip is to use the right meat.

Rocky says to use 80/20 fresh ground chuck. Never use frozen ground beef. He gets his ground fresh at Highpoint Grocery’s butcher counter.

Prepping the burger is next.

When forming the burger, do not over work the meat. The perfect size patty is 6 to 7 ounces.

Rocky seasons both sides of his burgers with Greek seasoning and pepper – hence the nickname “Greek Burger” on his menu.

So, how to cook the burger.

Rocky skips the grill and cooks his in a good ole cast iron skillet.

Rocky’s trick to keep the burger flat is to put a thumb print in the middle of the patty. “That way it won't bubble up on you,” he said.

One main thing he says to never forgot. Never ,ever press down on a burger with your spatula. That presses all the juices and flavor out of it.

Also, try to cook your burgers slow to keep the juices in the patty.

And, the finishing touch? The cheese.

Rocky says to make sure the cheese is melted. “No one likes cold cheese on their burger,” he joked. To help the cheese melt, he puts an old timey metal cake dome over the top of the burger until the cheese is perfectly melted.

This is Jennifer Chandler with The Weekly Dish. Happy Labor Day!

Alex’s Tavern is located at 1445 Jackson Ave. in Memphis, Tennessee.