Wow. You can really see the malaise creeping in everywhere. There really is a backlash against burger places in Atlanta. I think the hawt new trend right now is frozen yogurt places – Lord knows why – and so news like the opening of Grindhouse Killer Burgers’ second location is met with rolled eyes and collective yawns. The original is a lunch-only place on Edgewood in the Sweet Auburn Curb Market. I confess that I’ve never been there, nor to any curb market for that matter, but seriously, a good burger is worth celebrating, no matter how many burger joints this city has.
Tell me that Chicago foodies don’t act like this. Tell me that nobody in the Windy City acts like they’re too cool for school when somebody opens a new place to get an Italian beef. Marie and I, we get interested and excited when we hear about someplace good to eat. As should you. If it’s a good burger, it should be talked about.
Grindhouse’s burgers are indeed pretty darn good, but they are also kind of small and pricey. This might end up being a bit tricky.
They’ve opened in a great location, right next door to that ridiculous car wash on Piedmont with the occasionally animatronic gorilla out front. There’s a large outdoor patio that might have tempted us on a cooler day, but with Atlanta suffering a heat wave and temperatures in the mid-90s, we stayed indoors. Marie, the baby and I stopped by on a Thursday just as they opened and just before a giant crowd from a nearby office came in and took forever to place their orders and then occupied about a third of the table space.
I really like the interior. There’s one wall near the restrooms with a huge white “blood” spatter that serves as the screen for a loop of godawful ’70s exploitation films. When we were there, the movie of the moment was one of those Golden Harvest films where ninjas fight monks, and men argue in serious subtitles about the superiority of Shaolin kung fu over modern martial arts. Sadly, two of the other TVs were showing that dumb game show set in a taxi. It sort of dampened the mood.
The burgers were really good, but I was disappointed with the size. They’re about as big as the ones your middle school served, and for the $6.25 that I paid for my apache-style burger, it didn’t seem like I got very much. I was really hungry again a few hours later, anyway. I picked that burger based on a recommendation from our local alt-weekly Creative Loafing, who, last month, named it one of 100 Dishes to Eat in Atlanta Before You Die. With lots of oozy, melted pepperjack, onions and peppers, it’s sort of a patty melt on a hamburger bun. It was excellent, but too darn small. Nevertheless, I’m curious about some of the other concoctions on the menu. I might have to try the one with pimento cheese and fried green tomatoes sometime soon. Marie had a burger with cheddar, lettuce, tomato and avocado and was also pleased, and we shared some mighty good crinkle-fries that were perfectly crispy and salty.
But the thing that tipped it from “good but disappointing” into “we’ll be back again” was the chocolate malt. Marie was raving about that thing all day. She says, wildly, that it was an even better chocolate malt than the one she had the week before at Chapman Drugs in Hapeville. Hmmm. Yes, I wish you got a little more meat for your money here, but you can’t argue with a chocolate malt that good, I suppose. I guess that I’ll be having one of those Dixie burgers sooner rather than later.
Other blog posts about Grindhouse:
The Cynical Cook (May 18 2011)
A Hamburger Today (June 7 2011 – same day as this one!)
Atlanta Etc. (July 3 2011)
Fervent Foodie (Oct. 4 2011)
The Quest for the Perfect Burger (Nov. 23 2011)