Legendary Pizza Burger

What’s Cooking in Gail’s Kitchen? Food With Soul: Legendary Pizza Burger! I’ll never forget my first experience eating a pizza burger. I was probably 16 years old at the time. I worked in a ladies retail clothing store downtown. On my dinner break, I walked across the street where a drugstore had a lunch counter with a grill and fryer. Being a crazy kid who loved anything pizza, I ordered it off the menu. Upon first bite, this white goo began to overflow across my hands to the plate below. My first thought was, “Ohmygosh, this burger is rotten with a slimy white stuff running out of it!” Fortunately my brain kicked in and I realized what I was actually tasting was mozzarella cheese. From that day on, I was a champion for anything pizza burger. And the remarkable afterthought is, now I compare every other menu item pizza burger to it. Unexpected, but true.



1 pound lean ground beef

1 teaspoon Italian seasoning

1 teaspoon sea salt

1/2 teaspoon black pepper

4 slices fresh mozzarella cheese

4 brioche buns, split and toasted

1/2 cup prepared pizza sauce, warmed

Fresh basil, for garnish


Preheat gas grill to 350°. In a large bowl, combine lean ground beef, Italian seasoning, sea salt, and black pepper. Form mixture into 8 patties. Place one slice of fresh mozzarella cheese into the diameter of a patty. Press another patty on top; pinching together to seal. Repeat until all four patties are formed. Cook directly on the grill. Close lid and grill for 6-7 minutes per side. Transfer pizza burgers to a platter. Serve between brioche buns. Top each pizza burger with a dollop of pizza sauce. Enjoy.

Dining Outside the Home: Ernestine and Hazel’s in Memphis, Tennessee

Dining Outside the Home: Ernestine and Hazel’s in Memphis, Tennessee! Housed in a building steeped with southern history lies a gathering place where the burgers are greasy, the music is hypnotic, and the liquor is smooth. People connect with the heart and soul at the mere thought of Chuck Berry or Ray Charles, listening as the jukebox plays on. Upstairs an aura of mystique practically oozes from the heavily color-draped walls. That’s no coincidence, especially after hearing murmurings of shadowy figures and other unexplained phenomenon based on the dozen or so tragic deaths that occurred there. Perhaps that is why the seasoned bartender keeps his head down, humming under his breath, and serves up a stiff one.