Friday, June 6, 2014

There’s a Rule at Our House--

OK, it’s an RV but we have lived in it for almost six years and we think of it as our house—that he/she who gets the computer has to relinquish the remote control. This works well until someone who shall remain nameless falls asleep and leaves the other watching something like Pawn Stars or American Pickers. This offense results in loss of the remote.

But one afternoon Chuck is on the computer and I am channel surfing when I come to the eleventeenth rerun of Hamburger Paradise on the Travel Channel. And, of course, I then was craving a hamburger. A quick Google search for “best burger in Biloxi” led us to Mugshots for a Saturday lunch.
“Owners Ron Savell and Chris McDonald are friends who met while attending college. True Southern Gentlemen and side-by-side bartenders at a local eatery, they had big dreams. Their first big dream was to travel to Hawaii to work and to have a little fun. After college graduation, they hopped on an airplane…. They were traveling to Hawaii—to Wakiki. Here they worked side-by-side always dreaming of the future. One day, while relaxing at the beach on their day off, they dreamed of owning their own place, a place all would be happy coming to for great food, good drinks, and a fun atmosphere—at a fair price!

Ron and Chris opened Mugshots #1 in Hattiesburg, MS…. Having little funds, their family and friends gathered to work alongside Ron and Chris, and in no time the dream was a reality. They worked around the clock for ten straight days renovating an old building…. On opening day Father Tommy conferred the Irish Blessing upon Ron and Chris' grill and bar, and this sealed their dream…” (mugshotsgrillandbar.com).

Today, there are eleven Mugshots in Louisiana, Mississippi, and Alabama. Mississippi Magazine has named Mugshots as “Best Burger in Mississippi every year since 2007, and one year stated “There isn’t a larger or more diverse selection of gourmet burgers to be found in the Magnolia State.

"Yep, there’s a burger on the menu called ‘Anthony’s Peanut Butter Burger,’ and along with many other unique creations, there is something to please everyone. Each burger offers a half-pound of beef served on a toasted sourdough bun and a side of house-made beer batter fries.”

And, like so many casual restaurants, there is an eating challenge.
“The Mugshot challenge consists of 3 seasoned patties piled high with 6 strips of bacon, cheddar and Swiss cheese, mayo, mustard, lettuce, tomato, and raw red onions. It is served with Brew City’s beer battered fries, an onion ring, and a beer battered pickle. The whole meal needs to be eaten in 12 minutes or less” (mugshotsgrillandbar.com).

Well, we certainly weren’t up to the Mugshot Challenge. And neither of us felt like eating an entire eight-ounce burger. So we decided to get one burger and an order of wings and share each.
All burgers at Mugshots are—by order of the owners—cooked medium well. (It has to be that litigation thing again.) This gives them a nice crusty charred surface but also leaves them rather dry. And it is obvious that they were formed in a burger press that I think overly compacts the meat. The rolls are described as sourdough, but both Chuck and I thought that they were more sweet than sour.

I do give a thumbs up on the fries. The beer batter coating was thin and crunchy and the portion was generous.

We could get our wings, or as they call them—“wangs,” with either mild, hot, BBQ, sesame ginger, lemon pepper, caribbean jerk, teriyaki, or honey BBQ sauce, and we chose the sesame ginger.
If there was any ginger in this sauce, I couldn’t taste it. And the sauce was overly sweet and desperately needed some soy sauce. And while the burger was—to our taste—overcooked, some of the wings hadn’t been cooked thoroughly and had red meat along the bone. Not a good thing.

This was not a satisfactory outing and deserves no more than 2.5 Addies. Next time I have a craving for a burger, I’ll go to the nearest grocery store and buy a pound of ground beef and make them myself.

To review the role of Adler, Kitty Humbug, and the Addie rating system, read the November 14, 2011 blog.