Posts Tagged ‘ The South ’

Awesome Eats in Atlanta, Georgia: Ann's Snack Bar and The Ghettoburger

So here’s another exciting tale of adventure and unhealthy foodstuffs from my trip to Atlanta, Georgia a week ago.

While I was staying up there, I heard tale of a giant, crazy, greasy burger called The Ghettoburger, served at a small out of the way location called Ann’s Snack Bar.

Based on the name I looked it up on Google, and was quickly greeted with pictures of absolute horror, beef patties, cheese and grease arranged in was that would make even the most enthusiastic burger aficionado think twice.

I did some more research to find that it was named The Best Burger in America by a writer from The Wall Street Journal.

That was all I needed to hear, I had to put this burger monstrosity in my tummy box.

So I traversed the cross town drive to find Ann’s, it’s a tiny inconspicuous building off a road near I-20, in a neighborhood, that might be a little on the sketchy side. I got there before it opened, ended up having to wait around for a half hour or so. Thankfully the joint had a nice shaded screened in porch, cause it was a quite the warm day in the ATL.

The thing about Ann’s is that it’s really tiny, so only about 8 people can come and sit at the bar at any given time, and when you’re there, you’ve got to obey Ann’s rules. No Cell Phones, and No Swearing are two of the big ones. You don’t talk to Ann unless you’re spoken too, and you have to be ready to order when she’s ready to take it. It’s a little harsh, but Ann’s an old southern lady, so one can assume she just doesn’t want to take any shit from no one.

So I sat at the bar once the place opened, next to some Atlanta Natives who were also going to experience the Ghettoburger for the first time.

Ms. Ann took the orders in a very matter of fact way, writing everything down, taking names, and being a bit more intimidating that you’d expect for a tiny lady such as herself. She does all the cooking herself, with just one assistant, so she takes all the orders and then cooks everyone’s burgers at the same time.

I got my taste of Ms. Ann’s attitude when I ordered my drink. She serves lemonade and red drink, probably fruity punch, out of plastic jugs, and I requested to get them mixed half and half for my beverage. She gave me a look and said, “NO. We don’t mix them.” No reason, nor any argument, just NO.

The burgers consist of these giant patties that she plops down onto a grill, covers with onions, and once done she douses them liberally in a whole lot of seasoning salt, while you sit about four feet away having the magical aroma of coked meat fill your nostrils. So these are well made burgers to say the least, add cheese and bacon and these things get a little bit frightening, but when she adds the spoonful of chili as the final topping that’s when you know shit just got real.

So to be clear, my Ghettoburger consisted of two giant patties, two slices of cheese, a strip of bacon, lettuce, onions, tomato, ketchup, chili, and mayo.

So while my burger came out far more normal looking that some of the pictures I’d seen online, I still had to cut in in half to eat it, cause it was the sort of giant burger that you have a hard time even getting a bit into.

Now the thing is, I ended up not entirely caring for the chili, I thought it overpowered the burger flavor a bit, but aside from that The Ghettoburger was pretty badass. Giant, greasy, and tasty, along with various other artery clogging adjectives.

I wouldn’t call it the best burger in the USA, I prefer some sauteed onions and mushrooms, thousand island, and the occasional wacky ingredient, but I’d say it’s worth stopping by to try if you’re in the ATL. I can see myself making the pilgrimage to Ann’s Snack Bar the next time I’m in town. Cause the burger felt right. It felt down and dirty, and home cooked. It felt southern, it felt like a big FUCK YOU to the shitty, tiny burgers of fast food, and it felt like something special.

It’s the sort of thing you’d normally eat on a day when life’s got you down, and you have to say to the world “I don’t  care about these troubles of mine, grease and meat shall conquer all.”

Awesome Eats in Atlanta, Georgia: Gladys Knight's Chicken and Waffles

So this past weekend I went up to Atlanta to hang out with my friend Richard, and see The Pixies.

I made him take me to Gladys Knight’s Chicken and Waffles.

I had seen the restaurant on the travel channel, and knew that I had to go there while I was spending some time in the ATL.

The outside of the building isn’t overly impressive, it’s a little bit run down looking from the side, but the neon sign is pretty classy. It’s located on Peachtree in Atlanta, in the midtown area. It’s an easy enough place to get to, even if the parking nearby is a little bit on the expensive side at night. But that’s not even a big deal, cause when you’re going to a fancy restaurant that’s open till 4 am on Saturdays, it’s nice to not have to park far away in a big city.

That’s right, it’s a fancy place.

It’s really nice on the inside, with big comfy booth seating, and dimmed lighting that gives the whole place a wonderful feeling of class. I pretty much loved the inside, it just made you feel like you were eating at a respectable establishment, which is the sort of treatment that southern foods don’t get as much as they should. Which isn’t to say that southern foods aren’t respectable, as a southern boy myself I have a keen love for many things chickeny, and I love grits. It’s just most of the time you get such foods at places like Waffle House, which are sketchy to say the least.

I ordered the signature meal, the Midnight Train.

One giant waffle, and four giant fried chicken wings.

I also got a side order of cheese grits, cause like I said before I’m a good ole southern boy.

These were easily the biggest chicken wings I’d ever had. Honestly I’m used to the tiny wings that you get at wings places fore takeout, or the tiny ones you get as appetizers. But these were huge. I only managed to finish two.

They were pretty good, unbattered, the flavor was more natural than most wings I’ve had, there was a little bit of the seasoning flavor, but the chicken did a lot of the work. As you’re having chicken with your waffle it is custom to have syrup with both, and that’s what made the chicken really work.

While I liked the chicken, I loved the waffle.

I’d consider myself a connoisseur of waffles, I love Waffle House with all my heart, I love waffle cones, waffle fries, and consider the Belgian Waffle to be the best thing that has ever come out of Belgium.

So it’s no exaggeration when I saw that Glads Knights waffle was superb. The waffles there are malted, so they taste a little bit different than your average waffle, and it seemed a little bit more dense, but it was delicious. It was a soft and fluffy waffle, which I prefer to the alternate crispy style. Wonderful, and mouthgasmic with butter and syrup.

I can easily recommend the restaurant on the strength of their waffle alone.

But I don’t have too; cause they’ve got a great atmosphere, and good chicken, not to mention an entire menu of other appetizing foods and deserts.

I can easily say that I’ll be going back next time I’m up in the ATL.