We've been discussing burgers on Whining & Dining and last week a blogger suggested we give the burgers at Ubee's a try. They're supposed to be fried in the same grease as Dyer's burgers, he wrote.
I'd never given it much thought, but Ubee's is owned by Sandy Robertson, who also owns Dyer's on Beale, Alfred's and is the new owner of Automatic Slim's. So, sure, it seemed possible and after biting into one I'll say this: I don't know if we're dealing with legendary grease here, but Ubee's burger is certainly very close to Dyer's (though perhaps not quite as greasy). It's a thin patty, best served with cheese, mustard, onion and pickle -- yet I declare it inferior to its cousin, Ubee's excellent patty melt. Back to that.
Ubee's is on Highland (it sits a bit back, though), just a few doors down from Newby's -- surely that's never caused any confusion! My daughter discovered it and we've been partaking of the to-go salads for a while. But I'd never looked at a menu and was missing out.
Whether you dine in or get your food to go, start with an order of Yummus,
Ubee's hummus that's much thicker than you'll find in Middle-Eastern restaurants. I like the texture -- it's coarse enough for you to know that it was made right there and with a light hand on the oil, yet there's plenty of garlic and lemon to lend authenticity. Lightly seasoned pita wedges come with it.
Six sandwiches are on the menu, starting with a $3.99 Cheese Monster and going to the $4.99 Dirty Hippie; the rest are $6.99. You can also pick your bread, meat, cheese and all the toppings you want for $6.99. They'll ask if you want a slurp and a side for $2.25 and yes, you do. In particular, you want Ubee's fries.
These fries are as good as it gets. Hand-cut -- you can see a big bucket of them behind the counter -- served hot, some crisp, some softer, with a dash of seasoned salt. I tried them twice. Once they were long and light and the other time they were shorter, darker examples. They were equally delicious, and paired with the superb Mid-term Meltdown (the patty melt), it's a combo surely responsible for at least part of a Freshman 15 or two.
The Dirty Hippie, a garlic roasted portobello, roasted red pepper, feta and artichoke panino on ciabatta, probably isn't much healthier, but it and the patty melt were my favorite sandwiches.
You don't have to pack on the pounds eating at Ubee's, though. I've been a fan of the Go-Go Granny salad for a good while. It's a generous pile of greens topped with blue cheese, thinly sliced Granny Smith apples, walnuts, red onion, and cranberries. It comes with a honey-lime vinaigrette, which is much too tart for the already sprightly salad. I always request the balsamic vinaigrette instead, and will likely give the sweet Vidalia dressing a try next time. The I Heart U salad, with hearts of palm, tomato, bacon, and bleu cheese is another excellent choice.
I don't know what I expected when I walked into Ubee's, but I was surprised. It's more spacious than I anticipated, with booths, tables, an area of soft seating for watching the game (there are televisions all around), and a full bar, too.
Give it a try. Go for the food or even make a date of it and go for a theme night. Tuesday is board games and movie night; on Wednesdays you get karaoke and $2 pints. Every night is something new; check the Web site (ubeesmemphis.com) for more information.
Address: 521 S. Highland
Telephone: (901) 323-0900
Hours: Daily 11 a.m. to 3 a.m.
Handicapped access: Yes
Alcoholic beverages: Full bar
Don't miss: Yummus, Dirty Hippie, Mid-term Meltdown, Go-Go Granny salad
What's hot: 3-for-1 happy hour daily from 9-10 p.m.
--Jennifer Biggs: 529-5223