Best Bets: Cheeseburger quesadillas

Mike Robilio and his cheeseburger quesadilla at Robilo's Sidecar Cafe.

Photo by Michael Donahue // Buy this photo

Mike Robilio and his cheeseburger quesadilla at Robilo's Sidecar Cafe.

I like cheeseburgers and I like quesadillas. So, why not combine them into a cheeseburger quesadilla?

Mike Robilio did just that at his restaurant, Robilio's Sidecar Cafe. He described his cheeseburger quesadilla as "a thick juicy patty of meat loaded with cheese, pickles and onions." The whole thing -- the meat is chopped up -- is served in a tortilla. You can get it with American, pepperjack, Swiss or Cheddar cheese or a combination of all of them, which really sounds good.

Robilio came up with the idea to do the cheeseburger quesadillas three years ago. He brought the idea to his general manager, Teri Willis, and they worked on it together. "We experimented in the beginning," Willis said. "We threw it together, tried it, played with it."

The third time was a charm. "The trick is keeping the flavors all blended together," Robilio said.

Robilio was going to offer it as a blackboard special, but his customers said, "No, it has to go on the menu every day."

I ate them so fast I forgot how many quesadillas I got. Rodney Shelton, kitchen manager, and Kevin Burns, the assistant kitchen manager, reminded me: four slices. They take a 12-inch pie-shaped tortilla, fold it over and slice it up.

You can order the regular cheeseburger quesadilla, which is the equivalent of a large cheeseburger, or you can get the Fat Boy, which is about a 1/2 pound of meat.

"A fat boy like me is going to come up with good food," Robilio said.

Nathan Griffith, a bartender/server at Sidecar Cafe, is a fan of the cheeseburger quesadilla. "I order it all the time," he said.

Thanks to the cheeseburger quesadilla, Griffith now likes a particular condiment that's on the sandwich. "I used to not like mayonnaise. I do now."

Justin Miller stopped by Sidecar Cafe to eat during his lunch break. I couldn't induce him to try a bite of the cheeseburger quesadilla. He knows from experience what happens when he eats a Sidecar Burger for lunch: "On a hot day I get in the car, put on the air conditioner, I'm done. I don't want to do anything."

Robilio's Sidecar Cafe is at 2194 Whitten Road; 388-0285.

Michael Donahue: 529-2797; donahue@commercialappeal.com

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