Whole lotta hamburger going on at Hernando's Hide-A-Way.
I'm talking about the Ameripolitan burger. You get a lot of meat with this burger.
It's named after Hide-A-Way owner Dale Watson's Ameripolitan style of music, which is a mixture of rockabilly, Western swing, outlaw, and honky-tonk.
This burger is a culinary mix of two all-beef patties, special sauce, lettuce, cheese, pickle, and onion.
“I just thought it was a nice way to pay a little respect to have that on the menu,” says Hernando’s chef/owner Patrick Travato. “It’s my rendition of a McDonald’s Big Mac.”
Travato’s original hamburger is the “Big Smack,” which still is on the menu at his restaurant, Inferno, in Suffolk County, Long Island. Watson wanted to use Memphis-oriented names on the menu. So, in Memphis, the Big Smack is the Ameripolitan burger.
The Ameripolitan burger “rings of a more nostalgic time - in my time,” says Travato, who ordered Big Mac’s back in the 1970s. “It’s redolent to nostalgia from my childhood .A time when I was in love with Elvis and I listened to my dad’s country records. That burger seemed to make sense.”
I told Travato the Ameripolitan reminded me of the hamburgers I ate at the old dairy bars, where you got hamburgers along with vanilla custard cones back in the 1950s and ‘60s. Which makes sense in regards to Hernando’s Hide-A-Way burgers. “Everything is done on an old style flat-top," Travato says. "It’s done on a grill. That’s how I cook everything. I don’t use a char broiler.”
Along with the Ameripolitan, diners can try other Hernando’s Hide-A-Way burgers, including the Bluff City Slaw Burger. And the menu includes a lot more than burgers. “That entire menu is my concept solely. I’ve been producing it for 11 years.”
That giant Ameripolitan burger, as Patsy Cline might say, “falls to pieces” as you dig into it. It’s so big, you have to remember: “Don’t be cruel.” There’s enough to share a bite or two with a friend.
Note: If you’ve never been there, Hernando’s Hide-A-Way is in Memphis, not in Hernando, Miss. It’s very easy to get to. You can see it if you look West on Brooks Road if you’re driving South on Elvis Presley Blvd. Plenty of parking.
Hernando’s Hide-A-Way is at 3210 Old Hernando Road, (917) 982-1829