Driving home from “the bluegrass”, after spending the night near Little Rock, we rolled into Tupelo for a late lunch. As I had nothing in Tupelo on “the list” and nothing in mind, I searched for “best burger” in Tupelo and several links led me to the Neon Pig. The Neon Pig began in Tupelo and opened a second location in Oxford in late 2015.
This isn’t a chain restaurant – each location is, at heart, a butcher shop and fresh, never frozen, seafood shop with a food market attached. They break down locally sourced whole animals, specializing in in-house cured meats. To the left of the butcher shop and bar is the cafe area, where you grab your drink and head to a table to place your order.
Thrillist.com named their Smash Burger the best burger in Mississippi (then won their voting as the best burger in America in 2015), so I knew what I would be ordering. The smash burger is a blend of ribeye, aged filet, sirloin and Benton’s bacon, served on a ciabatta bun with (more) Benton’s bacon bits, cheddar cheese, quick pickles and pickled onion, with hoisin and comeback sauces. My beloved ordered the slaw burger,
which was the house ground burger, topped with curry slaw and a jerky sauce, on brioche. She questioned the server about the heat level in the slaw and was told that it wasn’t ‘too’ hot – and found that to be an accurate description. The heat, combined with the crunch of the slaw and the unique grind made for a burger that was excellent, by her slaw-loving account. I had a simple smash burger, holding off on the quick pickles and pickled onions.
This was a fantastic burger – the hoisin sauce added a smoky caramel-y flavor to the mix. Every bite was over flowing with flavor and it was cooked to a perfect medium-rare. I haven’t had a burger that I enjoyed this much in quite a while. If you’re in Tupelo (or Oxford, for that matter) do yourself a “flavor” and see if you agree.