Whether you’re ordering them at the counter or reading them silently to yourself, some of the names of menu items in Baton Rouge restaurants can’t help but make you laugh. We put our investigative caps on to get the stories behind some of the city’s most intriguing menu item names.
Billy Ray Cyrus at The Overpass Merchant
Nobody in the South is a stranger to fried chicken or sweet tea, and when you fuse them together on a sandwich and add a little Nashville-inspired hot sauce, you get a creation named after someone who is also no stranger to the South: Billy Ray Cyrus.
The Overpass Merchant co-owner Lon Marchand says the name of the sandwich was suggested by their chef, Jon Breaux, who is “a big fan of all things Billy Ray Cyrus.”
“He’s always playing Billy Ray in the kitchen and in his car,” Marchand says. So when they developed a “hot lacquer” sauce with Nashville roots to add to the sandwich, Breaux knew the perfect name for the dish.
“Jon immediately suggested that we honor Mr. Cyrus, who is also an on-again-off-again Nashville local,” Marchand says. “The name stuck.”
Brian 3.0 at Curbside Burgers
Brian 3.0 may sound like the name of a cartoon robot, but it’s actually the name of a burger at Curbside Burgers with pork-belly preserves, topped with gorgonzola cheese and fried onion strings.
Like many of the burgers at Curbside, this creation is named after the nickname of one of owner Nick Hufft’s college friends. “One of my friend’s nickname was ‘Baton Rouge Brian,’ so I called that one the Brian Burger,” Hufft says.
As in any creative process, trial and error is a large part of cooking. The 3.0 of Brian 3.0 was added because the burger has been reinvented three times since its inception.
The Bam Bam Burger at Fat Cow Burgers
Chef Doug Hosford let each of his business partners name a Fat Cow specialty burger. The name of The Bam Bam Burger was the brainchild of Barrett Nobile.
With twice the meat, cheese and bacon, The Bam Bam Burger is a hearty meal fit for only the hungriest meat lovers. “It was like a double shot of burger,” Hosford says. Hence, the Bam Bam.
Tell me more: Another item on the menu is the Wentworth Burger, named after the middle name of Hosford’s other business partner, Chris Heard. Hosford served the burger at Heard’s wedding to celebrate the special day in true Fat Cow fashion.
Jessica Rabbit Combo at The Velvet Cactus
With ceviche, a choice of half a Caesar or Tampico salad, and a grilled Diego’s fish taco, the Jessica Rabbit Combo weighs in at 425 calories, 14 grams of protein and under 7 grams of fat without salad dressing. It’s a lean, yet delicious option at the eclectic Mexican restaurant The Velvet Cactus.
The health-conscious combination called to mind the slender cartoon figure, Jessica Rabbit, from the 1988 animated film Who Framed Roger Rabbit. Thus, the name was born.
“We just wanted something unusual and also represented that it was a low calorie,” co-owner Herb Dyer says.
Know of a strangely named menu item at a Baton Rouge restaurant you’ve always wanted to hear the story behind? Let us know in the comments, and we’ll consider it for a future story!