Recently, on the persistent recommendation from my good friend Burger Beast, I spent a weekend in Nashville. Because he knows me well enough to understand that the promise of a good meal is about the only motivation I need to plan a trip, Burger Beast adamantly insisted that Nashville’s famous Hot Chicken is bucket list worthy. He’s never steered me wrong, especially when it comes to food. And let me tell you, his latest recommendation was no exception.
Still, good as it was, the iconic hot chicken isn’t what inspired me to write this post. It was a burger – one that I happened to find purely by chance while visiting Husk Nashville. I went in that night for the Southern specialties that made them famous. But as I was about to place my order, I veered off the script I had run through in my head, and instead opted to hear the waiter’s recommendation for the one thing on the menu that I absolutely shouldn’t miss. His response was immediate: “The burger, it’s amazing!.” I was as surprised by his response as I was with how quickly he came up with one, since I was expecting him to recommend a more traditional southern dish.
Noticing the doubt on my face, he added “Don’t take my word for it” and asked the question to a passing coworker. “If you had to pick one thing off our menu…” he prompted. And without missing a beat, the coworker responded “The burger” with a contagious enthusiasm and look that could only be described as genuine pride. I was sold.
A few minutes later, the parade of hits began and we noshed on country ham, red eye gravy, pickles and biscuit to start. (Insert at least two thumbs up emojis here). Following these hearty starters, we sampled the creamy deviled eggs, which went down so easily and were so delicious they’d be considered dangerous if I lived anywhere nearby. Then came the shrimp and grits, so intense in flavor they could easily make you forget all about any others you’ve ever tasted.
By now, we were feeling good about our meal and had even higher expectations for the much lauded Husk Burger. When the burger arrived, I quickly noticed it was the opposite of how I usually enjoy my burgers – no crisp lettuce, thick cut tomato, raw onion or pickles in sight. I’m a “salad-on-the-burger” kind of guy and almost always order (and have come to expect) my burgers this way.
I will say though, it looked incredibly appetizing just the way it came. With crunchy ends and melted cheese spilling out ever so slightly from the pillowy soft sesame seed bun. Maybe plain is better? I thought to myself. I picked it up and took a big bite to see for myself. Mmmmmhhhhhh, Yes!
Turns out, it can be wonderfully delicious to experience a burger in a simple, pure form. Just freshly ground Bear Creek Farm beef, onions that have been cooked into the patty as it’s smashed down on the griddle, creating crunchy edges while maintaining moisture at the core. Topped only with perfectly melted American cheese and voila- you have what I now believe to be a masterpiece burger. Turns out Husk hadn’t forgotten to stack other toppings on their burger – they purposely didn’t do it. True culinary satisfaction is accomplished when an expertly prepared burger allows you to appreciate the simple, and superb quality ingredients.
Below are just some of the pictures we took while dining at Husk Nashville.
A big hand to Sean Brock (Chef/Partner), Brian Baxter (Chef de Cuisine)