Trouble With Toast

Grindhouse Burgers: I Can Haz Franchise? Kthxbai! | October 2, 2009

Every time my sister and her fiance come to the East Coast, they can’t wait to get to Five Guys.  I have never understood this.  Five Guys is just okay.  I find other burger chains (In ‘N Out and Whataburger come immediately to mind) to be vastly superior.  And now, Five Guys has even more competition in the Atlanta area with the opening of Grindhouse Killer Burgers in the Sweet Auburn Market.

My husband and I decided to try Grindhouse in celebration of our doggie passing the Canine Good Citizen test (truthfully, we should have given the DOG a hamburger, since he did all of the hard work, but he seemed to be content with a bone and a belly rub).  We showed up at the market at about 1 PM, and there was a nice line in front of the counter.  We waited.  And waited.  And waited some more.  It probably took about 20 minutes to actually get to the register to order, which was due in equal part to a large to-go order and a VERY slow and confused cashier.  Hopefully such service issues will be worked out quickly.

The menu is set up so that you can order a la carte or go with certain pre-fab combos called burger “styles.”  Single-patty styles range from $4.99 to $6.25, doubles range from $6.99 to $8.25, and adding sides/drinks generally runs $2.50 or $3.00.  The a la carte starting prices for singles and doubles are $3.99 and $5.99 respectively, but their relative cheapness is deceptive once you start adding toppings and extras.  So, hubby and I each went for a different “style” combo.  I opted for the traditional Grindhouse style (single), which had lettuce, sauteed onions, pickles, American cheese, and Grindhouse sauce (which I found very similar to the sauce on the In ‘N Out Animal Style).  For my side, I started with the basics–fries.  Jason went with the single Cowboy style, with bacon, fried onion strings, cheddar cheese, and BBQ sauce, and he chose the sweet potato chips for his side.

In terms of seating…well, there isn’t much.  There’s a counter that surrounds the relatively small space, and in an ideal world, people wouldn’t sit there until they had ordered their food (so that the cycle would basically work itself out).  However, there was a large and inconsiderate group of girls who were gathering for some sort of celebration, and they draped their gifts and raincoats and umbrellas all over about 6 of the maybe 16-20 seats.  Luckily, after waiting for a few more minutes, we found two seats together, and our food found us shortly after that.

The crinkle-cut fries were hot and well-seasoned, if a bit pedestrian and unexciting.  The burger, however?  AWESOME.  The bun was of the potato variety, and it was simultaneously fluffy and sturdy (being toasted helped with the latter).  The meat was very tasty and stood up flavor-wise to the cheese and the sauce.  The ingredients tasted fresh, and the whole package was satisfyingly messy without spilling all over my lap.  Jason’s burger was similarly yummy, though I felt like his stronger toppings overpowered the meat just a bit.  The sweet potato chips were good, though I felt like they needed a tad more salt.

Next time, I will skip the side item and get a double burger and a milkshake.  In fact, when the owner came over to ask us if we wanted refills, I said, “Yes, please…of my burger.”  They’re not small, but they could definitely be bigger, especially if you work up an appetite waiting in line.  All in all, though, I think Grindhouse is a wonderful addition to the Sweet Auburn area and a great, local alternative to the myriad of fast food burgers out there.

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