My first time visiting Memphis and seeing where my then-girlfriend worked meant walking around downtown. I remembered seeing the exterior of Bardog and asking what it was. She knew it was a bar/restaurant, but that was about it. We didn’t make it there on my first trip, or my second. This time I finally got to see the interior of Bardog and taste their delicious food!
#52 on 100 Things to Eat in Memphis Before You Die & #96 on 100+ Things to Eat in Memphis – The “Amazing Island Club Sandwich from Bardog Tavern
This story takes place on February 1st, 2013.
My wife’s company is moving buildings. It’s not too far away, still downtown, but a bigger space. They get an entire floor to themselves, rather than a section of a floor. This is to reflect their doubling in size in the last year or so. The people doing construction and paint and such on their floor were out for the day, so everyone decided to take a trip to see how it was looking. I, as usual, tagged along.
We got a quick tour, and everything is looking fantastic. It’s a very open space, and there are already plans for a MAME cabinet, foosball table, and sleeping area. After the tour, it was lunch time, and the bosses decided to shout everyone lunch. Opinions were asked, and somehow it eventually ended up that Bardog was the consensus. I was secretly excited because I knew it was on one of the lists at least, so I checked them to see what I’d be eating.
The “Amazing” Island Club Sandwich has a reputation in the office of being something one can’t (or shouldn’t) eat in one sitting. I was a bit nervous because I can eat anything in one sitting, and I didn’t want to look like a pig…
We made it to the restaurant and headed downstairs. It felt like we were headed into some VIP area, or a dungeon. Either way it was awesome. It was dark and relatively small down below. I honestly don’t know what I was expecting, but it wasn’t this. We ordered drinks, waited a little while, and soon ordered our food. I tried to pay attention to what others were ordering because I didn’t want to be the only one who ordered the Island Club. Thankfully Troy, one of the devs, stepped up.
And there it was. A masterpiece of culinary stackery. This was a BIG sandwich and I can understand why some people wouldn’t be able to finish it in one sitting. According to their menu, the “Amazing” (I don’t know why they have that in quotation marks, because it literally is amazing) Island Club sandwich consists of:
grilled chicken cutlet, ham, fried egg, bacon, provolone, white American, avocado, onion, lettuce, tomato, spicy mayo
Holy wow, what a combination of delights! And you can taste EVERYTHING (well, apart from the white American cheese). I didn’t read the menu before eating this, and every flavour came through. And as you can see by the photo above, it wasn’t exactly easy to examine this thing either. The chicken was SOOO good. It was coated in ground black pepper which just made it sing. I’m salivating just writing this out, it was so good. Bacon/ham and eggs, a classic combo. Cheese goes good on everything (except fish). Avocado for more creaminess, and the mayo was this warm backnote.
The fries weren’t the best thing I’ve ever had, but I did like the aioli they provided (I’ve never been a huge fan of ketchup on fries, much prefer aioli). But, save the fries, I finished that sandwich! As did Troy, so thankfully I did not feel like a pig. I did, however, feel incredibly sleepy afterwards and required an immediate injection of caffeine!
I had a fantastic time at Bardog Tavern. I should mention that we had a fantastic server, too. She was so sweet, I wish I had caught her name. I loved Bardog and will definitely be back! Go head down to 73 Monroe Ave and grab yourself a truly Amazing Island Club sandwich.