Monday, July 21, 2014

Atlanta's Best Double-Stack Burgers (Part 3): Gunshow

Kevin Gillespie's Gunshow is probably my favorite restaurant it the city right now. The small plate dim sum style service jives perfectly with my desire to try a little bit of everything on his menu. Gillespie and his staff basically make whatever they feel that particular week, which means you can and will transition from elegantly plated foie gras to equally delicious casual dishes like the "West Coast" burger.

This burger is Gillespie's take on the "secret" menu item from In-N-Out Burger, the Double-Double Animal Style. This burger came in the midst of a fast-paced meal, so I didn't get a lot of the specifics about sourcing, etc.

The Meat: The patties are 3-4 oz. each and expertly seared.  I'm not sure what cut is used, but it's probably 80/20 chuck. The beef is tender and extremely juicy.

The Bun: Perfectly soft and crisp on the cut side, which helps it stand up to the toppings.

The Cheese:  Standard American, as it should be. 

The Toppings: Grilled onions, pickles, and house made thousand-island smear. The extra sauce and nearly caramelized onions make for a very messy burger.

The Verdict: 95/100.  This burger is downright slutty in all the best ways and is a must order (if it's being offered, which it isn't always), no matter how many courses of foie gras or seared scallops you've already had. Order it, clean yourself up, and take the walk of shame to your car knowing you've had one of the best burgers in the city.

Previous Ratings:
"The Meatstick" - One Eared Stag (97/100)
"Apache Style" - Grindhouse Killer Burgers (87/100)
"Beltline Burger" - H. Harper Station (85/100)
"The Caboose" - Stationside (80/100)

Friday, July 18, 2014

Friday Cocktail: Champs-Élysées

And we're back!  I've been pretty delinquent in posting Friday cocktails here, and even more delinquent in food-related posts, but forget all that and make this drink.  Today's cocktail, the Champs-Élysées, is very similar to the Sidecar but uses Green Chartreuse for some added complexity (and kick), rather than Cointreau. This one manages to be both complex and refreshing at the same time, a perfect drink for the unusually cool July weather we've had this week.  Santé!

Harry Craddock, The Savoy Cocktail Book (1930)

- 2 oz. Cognac (Pierre Ferrand Ambre)
- .5 oz. Green Chartreuse
- .75 oz. Lemon Juice
- .25 oz. Simple Syrup
- 1 dash Angostura Bitters

Combine ingredients in cocktail shaker with ice and shake vigorously.  Double strain into chilled coupe glass and garnish with lemon twist.

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Bourbon Review: Abraham Bowman Double Barrel Bourbon

The Sazerac-owned A. Smith Bowman Distillery has released a number of finished whiskies, which have ranged from mediocre to very good. I really enjoyed the port finished bourbon they did a while back, though I did not much care for the gingerbread stout beer cask finish they did last fall. The latest "limited edition" release (and doesn't it feel like everything is a limited edition these days?) is a "Double Barrel" bourbon. For this one, they took six year old bourbon and re-barrelled in in more new charred oak barrels for an additional 11 months. Although the total barrel time is just over seven years, you would expect the re-barreling to impart a lot more wood. Let's see.

Price: $79 (which is a bit over MSRP)
Proof: 50% ABV (100 proof)
Age: 7 years, 2 months
Mashbill: Reportedly Buffalo Trace Mashbill No. 2 (high rye)
Color:  Sweet Tea

Nose: Pronounced wood but balanced by toasted marshmallow, maple syrup, and 'Nilla wafers. There is a lot of alcohol on the nose, even after considerable air time.
Palate:  Dry and oak forward, but there is some sweetness to help keep the wood in check. The toasted marshmallow is in the background along with clove and white pepper. 
Finish: Medium length, dry finish that leaves the clove and pepper on the tongue.

Overall:  B

This is a nice enough bourbon, though a bit dry for my taste. It is not an oak bomb, to be sure, but there are several bourbons for half the price that I would prefer. I suppose that in today's market, all you have to do is call something a "limited edition" or "special release" and you can charge $70+ for it. Oh well, I guess I can't blame them when people like me buy these whiskies before they even hit the shelves.