Photos by Justin Fox Burks
Downtown’s Oshi Burger Bar puts a fun, modern spin on American shake shacks.
For Downtown Dining Week, which continues through Saturday, Oshi Burger Bar is stacking a 7-ounce patty made with Wagyu American Kobe beef, truffle cheese, cognac truffle aioli, arugula, and shaved fresh truffles inside a sea-salt brioche bun, upping the ante for Memphis burgers both in glamour and price.
“How crazy is that to import Italian truffles for a burger?” asked owner Jeff Johnson, laughing. “We know a truffle burger is high-end to make, but we wanted something special.”
Inventive ingredients also give modern play to Oshi’s more standard menu of burgers, hotdogs, malts, and shakes. To start, burgers and hotdogs use natural hormone-free beef and brioche buns made locally by Bluff City Bakery. From there, flavor combinations veer in many diverse ways. Consider the Thai Kwon DOH, for example, which packs pickled veggies, chili aioli, cilantro, and a sunny-side egg on a locally made chicken sausage, or the Oshi burger made with Kobe beef, soy glaze, shiitake tapenade, Swiss cheese, and umami mayo. (Contenders for what’s next: burgers made with kangaroo or bison or maybe a lobster dog.)
For drinks, craft and import beer abounds at Oshi, as do lovely cocktails built around sake. But this is a burger joint, albeit a fancy one, so don’t skip the shakes, especially an alcohol-infused Tune in Tokyo made with coffee vanilla ice cream and chocolate pop rocks.
Located on downtown’s South Main Street across the mall from Local, which is also owned by Johnson, Oshi’s design, plating, and accoutrements reflect a hip Asian vibe and an appealing eye for small details. Cute red food picks secure sculpted burger towers, small butcher blocks serve as plates, and oversized paper lanterns swing from the outside awning.
Oshi Burger Bar
94 S. Main Street (901-341-2091)
Dishes to try: Kale Caesar salad; Tora Toro Ahi tuna burger; Seoul Patrol hotdog with Korean BBQ and kimchi slaw.
Prices: Reinventions of American classics, including snacks ($6 to $12); burgers ($8.50 to $12); and hotdogs ($9 to $11).
Drinks: Sake-based cocktails; unique imports (Hitachino on draft!); and shakes spiked with spirits.
Extras: Gluten-free buns by request; $10 daily chef’s special with fries; and covered patio seating.
Atmosphere: Asian-industrial chic; flat-screen TVs; and window booths upholstered to look like Holstein cattle.
Open: Sunday through Thursday (11 a.m. to midnight); Friday and Saturday (11 a.m. to 2 a.m.)