In keeping up with the tradition of writing about burgers I’ve eaten in other cities, this past weekend I ate at two restaurants in Atlanta that I must mention. Prior to my trip, Burger Boy had pointed me in the direction of two locations that I “needed” to visit based on some of his research, one of them being the much discussed Flip Burger Boutique. Sadly, between the wedding I went to and the holiday, I wasn’t able to make it there. Most of the locals I spoke to said it was a great ‘fancy’ burger, so I’ll have to make it back there one day. The second place he had mentioned to me is a place called Holeman & Finch Public House, and it just might be one of the best recommendations anyone has ever given me.
Before I went out to Atlanta I checked out Holeman’s website and read their little story about how they only sell 24 burgers a night and they sometimes sell out within two minutes. This sounded like a great tradition and event, and even something I’d like to experience, but I really don’t want to fight for a burger or risk not getting to eat it in my limited time there. Luckily as they mention on the site it’s part of their regular Sunday brunch menu so that’s what I had to do.
The place is almost impossible to find from the outside, there’s almost night signage aside from a rusted metal sheet with the abstract letters “H” and “F”. As an architect and designer I find this to be very cool, although I’m sure there are folks that don’t agree. The interior is equally cool; modern, clean, slightly industrial. The wine display is very neat, as is the front bar area. Brunch is from 11:30-3, I think we got there around 2ish and it was quite packed still for New Years day. After a 25 minute wait we were seated in a booth that was minimal yet cozy for the three of us. Based on the info from the website the brunch menu is much simpler than the dinner one, and there seems to be some really great offerings, but we were really there for only one thing…
And that one thing is an absolutely fantastic burger. We got the last three burgers to come off the grill that afternoon, but that had absolutely no impact on quality from what I can tell. The presentation is fairly simple; a big juicy double burger, a small offering of some great looking fries, and a small cup of both homemade ketchup and mustard. Upon first bite of the burger I was presented with a crunchy layer of burnt cheese and burger grease that was amazing. The meat had great flavor, the brioche-type bun was perfect, and just the right ratio to the tremendous amount of meat. There were very small slices of red onion between the two patties that added great flavor, and the sweet pickles added another welcome flavor and nice crunch to contrast everything else. All of this added up to what is one of the tastiest burgers I have ever had.
The fries were equally great; thick, soft ‘natural’ cut fries with the right amount of sea salt chunks and great flavor. The homemade ketchup was very sweet and delicious, and the homemade mustard was sharp and equally great. All three of us were tempted to spread some on the burger, but it was so good on its own that we didn’t want to taint it. I can’t recommend this burger any more; if you’re ever in Atlanta you simply must go.
The second place I went to is a bar called The Vortex. After discovering that Flip closed at 5pm on New Year’s Eve I scrambled to find an alternative, and was quickly given their name by four different people at the wedding reception. There are two locations, the one I went to was loud, fun and seemed like a great scene for a few rowdy drinks or to get a bite to eat with a bunch of friends. Their menu includes a number of burger choices which I really liked, but I had to go with a basic burger so I could really see what it’s all about. I probably should have ordered something a little more elaborate, but the one I ate was still very good even though it doesn’t look like anything special in the picture.
The meat had great overall flavor and a nice char flavor on top of that. For my local Vegas readers, it kind of reminded me of the Henry’s burger I ate a little while ago. My medium-rare burger was cooked perfectly, and was pretty raw all the way through which I loved. The sesame bun was simple but had good flavor and was sized perfectly for the burger. I don’t typically care for tater tots, but all of the locals told me that was the way to go and they were also surprisingly good. This was not nearly as fancy of a location as Holeman, but could be more of the scene some folks are looking for and still a really great burger. Two successful recommendations in one trip, who would have thought?!