Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Atlanta's Best Double-Stack Burgers (Part 2) - Grindhouse and H. Harper Station

We came strong out of the gates last week with the Meatstick from One Eared Stag, which will be tough to top. This week, we take a look at burgers from local chain Grindhouse Killer Burgers and Reynoldstown cocktail destination H. Harper Destination.

"The Beltline Burger" at H. Harper Station
(904 Memorial Drive SE)
Housed in the old Atlanta & West Point Railroad Freight Depot, H. Harper Station has a great vibe and is one of the better cocktail spots in town. And like other great cocktail spots, they have a double-stack burger, appropriately named the Beltline Burger. Although I've had drinks here several times before (Jerry Slater created the very awesome Bitter Southerner No. 1), this was only my second time ordering food. It was brunch, and I was desperately in need of a burger and a Guinness.

The Meat: Painted Hills beef per the menu, and roughly 4 oz. per patty. I'm guessing the meat is chuck, but our bartender didn't know and apparently couldn't find out. The patties had a good char at the expense of juiciness.

The Bun: The ubiquitous H&F bun. Hard to go wrong there.

The Cheese: Melty American goodness.

The Toppings: House-made B&B pickles, griddled onions (more like a sauteed onion relish), bibb lettuce on the side (which I didn't add), mayonnaise, and ketchup on the side.

The Verdict: 85/100. Everything about the burger tasted good. The meat was seasoned well, the cheese was melted nicely, and the toppings were good. The toughness of the meat, which was helped by copious amounts of mayo, puts this well below Atlanta's best, though. Pro Tip: skip adding bacon to the burger for an extra $2, which was overly crispy and otherwise ordinary (we pulled it off).

The "Apache Style" at Grindhouse Killer Burgers
(Sweet Auburn Curb Market location)
(209 Edgewood Ave)
With locations near my office and house, Grindhouse is on my regular rotation. I also spent several hours at the airport location on a recent layover. Burgers can be ordered as singles or doubles, and guests can add their own toppings or choose one of their pre-designed burger styles, which in my experience is the way to go. The "Grindhouse Style" is the most classic (lettuce, onion, American cheese, pickles, Grindhouse sauce), but my personal go-to is the Apache Style.

The Meat: Two 4 oz. patties, made with a blend of brisket and chuck from a North Carolina producer. The patties have a decent crust and are a bit thicker than some of the others around town (see Bocado), which helps keep them extremely juicy.

The Bun: Soft potato roll from a bakery called Martin's in Pennsylvania. Squishier than the H&F bun pretty much everyone else uses.

The Cheese: Pepper jack, not quite melted enough, but the spice works perfectly with the roasted chiles.

The Toppings: Roasted New Mexico green chiles and grilled onions.

The Verdict: 87/100. I'm going to like pretty much anything with roasted green chiles and pepper jack, and this is no exception. The burger itself is as juicy as almost any in town, but the beef lacks the beefy flavor that the best double stacks in town have. Head-to-head, though, the juiciness puts the Apache Style a step above the Beltline Burger.

Previous Ratings
"The Meatstick" - One Eared Stag (97/100)
"The Caboose" - Stationside (80/100)

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