Great Burger Joints in Atlanta, GA

This article pays tribute to one of my favorite foods, burgers.  I wanted to find some great burger places in Atlanta, Georgia and see what I could learn about them.  It is funny as I look up places then look at their website.  Some of them don’t even have a website.  My criteria to write about any restaurant is they need a good “About” section.  So many of them don’t.  In their “About” page, some only list their hours or that they serve one hundred percent aged beef.  The “About” page really needs to tell me a story of how the restaurant came to be and perhaps a little about the people who started it.  I love to find a building that has history.  One place I wrote about used to be a gas station.  Another got its floors from an old roller rink.

Atlanta, Georgie RestaurantGrind House Killer Burgers has several locations in Atlanta, one in Athens, two in the Atlanta-Hartsfield International Airport, and one in Decatur.  The first restaurant was open on 2009 inside the Sweet Auburn Curb Market, downtown.  Alex Brounstein, a former real estate lawyer, was instrumental in the revitalization of the historic public market.

Grind House Killer Burgers was situated amid produce, meat and seafood vendors.  It quickly became a favorite place and their burgers were get some amazing press.  Creative Loafing and Atlanta Magazine listed them in their “Best in Atlanta” publications.  They raved about their homemade brisket chili, hamburgers and even their vegan burgers got rave reviews.  People would come in to eat then stay for their silly B-rated movies or their Kung Fu flicks that were projected on the subway tile walls.Atlanta, GA Restaurants

2011 saw the opening of their second restaurant that used to be a gas station.  This place could seat over one hundred people and has a great covered patio.  The third location was built from the ground up in 2013 and the fourth locations in 2016.  Their burgers have to be good if they keep opening up new restaurants.  Just take a look at the over one thousand seven hundred posts on the web that rave about their food.

Atlanta, GA Restaurant mediaNFA Burger is located inside Galla’s Pizza Chamblee. Founded by Billy Kramer in 2017, NFA Burger was in the making long before that.  Billy used to travel a lot for his job as a sales executive.  He figures he ate more than five hundred burgers across the country.  He used Instagram to document each burger and now has over twenty-seven thousand followers.

Originally started as a pop-up inside Galla’s Pizza has now become a three-day a week business.  They are open Thursday through Saturday from eleven-thirty in the morning to three in the afternoon.  The menu gives you four choices for burgers, fries or tater tots oh and you can add an extra patty for $2.50.  Billy kept the menu simple because he wanted to be able to open a standalone business sometime down the road.

That doesn’t mean NFA Burger will always keep the menu small, Billy has a band of friends who serve as his taste testers.  Currently he is working on a Philly cheesesteak sandwich.  Not a lot of online reviews but the ones he does have give him four plus stars.

Bad Daddy’s Burger Bar is located on Church St in Decatur which is only twenty-five minutes from Atlanta.  There are also locations in Colorado, North Carolina, Oklahoma, South Carolina and Tennessee.Atlanta, Georgia Restaurant Photo

The first Bad daddy’s Burger Bar was opened in 2007 in Charlotte, NC.  It was an instant hit and by 2012 there were five locations.  That is amazing to think about because the height of the recession was in 2008 and a lot of restaurants were closing.

They have built a reputation in the burger world by using the philosophy to prepare simple foods with a culinary passion.  This has paid off because they now have over twenty-eight locations and are looking to expand in the future.  It is fun to read the posts on the web.

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Great Barbecue Restaurants in Dallas, TX

Dallas was first explored by John Neely Bryan in 1839.  He wanted to establish a trading post that would serve both Native Americans and settlers.  He surveyed the area then returned to home to Arkansas to put together his business.

Unfortunately, while he was home, there was a treaty signed which removed all of the Native Americans from Northern Texas.  Upon his return, he saw that half of his perspective customers were no longer there so he decided to create a permanent settlement which was created in 1841.

Today Dallas, Texas has a population of over one million three hundred thousand residents.  The median income in 2016 was $63,812 per household and they say you need $57,984 to live “comfortably” in Dallas.

The major industries in Dallas, Texas are information technology, telecommunications, life sciences, defense and financial to name a few.  There is an estimate that Dallas comprises about forty-three percent of the state’s high-tech workers.  This means there is a lot of extra spendable income for people to enjoy great food and when you think of Texas you think of barbecue.

Dallas RestaurantsLocated in the Deep Ellum part of Dallas, Texas, Pecan Lodge got its humble name from Justin’s grandfathers ranch in Abilene.  With strong memories of cooking with their grandparents, owners Justin and Diane started their first barbecue business at Dallas’s Farmer’s Market in Shed #2.

Both Justin and Diane had corporate jobs that caused them to travel weekly.  They decided to take the plunge and quit their jobs to spend more time as a family and open Pecan Lodge.  It quickly became a favorite of locals and tourists alike and was called one of the Top 4 BBQ joints in the world by Texas Monthly.Dallas Texas Restaurant

They made a decision to use time honored family recipes instead of using current trends.  They stuff their own sausage, make everything from scratch like their Aunt Polly’s banana pudding to their Southern Fried Chicken and keep their barbecue pit burning twenty-four hours a day.

They offer a mouth-watering catering service for any event.  You can rent their exclusive restaurant with patio access or they will cater to your event.  With the offer of a full staff and live music you next event is sure to be a success.

Not surprisingly they have over two thousand eight hundred positive posts on the internet.  This gives them a strong rating of four point five.

Dallas Texas RestaurantsAs with most of the barbecue restaurant owners, Todd David turned a life-long hobby of barbecue into a highly successful restaurant.  He took a gamble and after thirty years sold his disaster restoration company in 2010.  There he founded the Cattleack Barbeque, a North Dallas catering company.

Todd fashioned the name of the Cattleack Barbeque after one of the highest quality automobiles, the Cadillac.  Creating fall-off-the-bone smoked meats and a Special Reserve BBQ sauce, their goal is to have you come back again and again for the best darn barbecue ever.Dallas Texas Restaurants

They are open on the first Saturday of every month from 10:30 – 2:00 and Thursday and Friday from 10:30 to 2:00 or until they run out of meat.  Located on the edge of Addison, Texas and Farmers Branch, Texas-North Dallas, you should get there early as lines form fast!

Cattleack Barbeque was listed as one of the “19 Essential Dallas-Fort Worth Barbecue Destinations” by Easter Dallas.  They also featured an article on “How to Eat Your Way Through Dallas in 24 Hours” suggesting you visit them at 10:30am.  They recommend trying The Toddfather which is comprised of pulled pork, spicy hot link (sliced in half) and thickly-sliced brisket served with their Housemade sauce on a freshly-baked bun.

There are almost six hundred raving reviews of Cattleack Barbeque restaurant.  With the limited hours, be prepared to stand in line or get there early.

Dallas Texas Restaurant photoOff the Bone Barbeque on South Lamar Street is a place where you will find amazing comfort food.  Their tag line is “It’s as good as it looks” and you will back that once you bite into their off the bone pork ribs, beef sausage, beef brisket or smoked chicken by their award-winning Chef Dwight Harvey.

Named one of “The 20 Best Joints in Dallas” for barbecue, Off the Bone Barbeque strives to serve some of the best gourmet barbecue and sides.  Try the famous Deep Fried Whole Corn on the Cob or their three meat Charro beans.  Their homemade sides include coleslaw baked beans or potato salad.

Have an event that needs to be catered?  Think of Off the Bone Barbeque.  They offer three Pitmaster Packages.  The Two Meat package is fifteen dollars per person and includes two sides.  Their Three Meat Package runs nineteen dollars per person with two sides or their Four Meat Package is only twenty-three per person.Dallas Texas Restaurant media

If you look on the internet, you will see they have almost five hundred reviews that rate them over four stars.

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Three Great Gastropub Restaurants in Atlanta, GA

Back in 1836 the state of Georgia wanted to build a railroad to the Midwestern part of the United States.  Driving a stake into the ground in 1837 was the beginning of Atlanta, Georgia.  Homes and stores came onto the scene in 1839 which quickly became a settlement.  The railroad lines arrived in four different directions between 1845 and 1854.  This caused Atlanta to quickly become a rail hub for the greater Southern United States.  This caused the city to become a huge distribution hub when quickly caused it to become a target by the Union during the Civil War.  In 1864 Union troops invaded setting fire to everything but hospitals and churches.  Once the war was over, manufacturing was on the rise as well as the population.  One of the largest companies in the world was born in Atlanta and that was Coca-Cola who set up shop in 1886.

Today Atlanta is a mecca of eclectic restaurants, gastropubs and craft breweries.  I have three gastropubs that I looked into and want to share with you.

craft beerMarlow’s Tavern is located in Midtown, Atlanta.  They feature over twenty-five craft and local beers.  The alcohol by volume starts at four point two up to eight point seven!  There is sure to be a beer in there for even the pickiest of beer drinkers.  They even have three beers that are gluten free.  For those of you who do not care for craft beers they do offer the popular bottle and canned beer.

They don’t just offer beer, they offer crafted cocktails with free squeezed juices.  Their wines are hand selected from around the world and are available by bottle and glass.

While enjoying a craft beer or glass of wine why not start with a snack.  They serve crisp cheddar straws with a horseradish aioli.  The Ahi Tuna Poke served Hawaiian style with avocado, teriyaki, scallions and wontons.  Their Jumbo Lump Crab Cake is a favorite with blue crab, Old Bay, celery root slaw, carrot, radicchio and their famous horseradish aioli.

Order something to share like their Smoked Trout Dip with Ducktrap River Smoked Trout, olive oil, horseradish, fresh herbs and house-made Wheat Thins.  The Firecracker Shrimp and the Asparagus Fries sound very tempting.Brew Pub Beer

They offer sandwiches like the Chicken Salad Wrap, Infamous Fish Tacos or one of my favorites the Prime Rib French Dip.  Their burgers have a solid following among the Atlanta crowd.  Their Tavern Burger is classic and simple served with shredded romaine lettuce, thinly sliced red onion, roma tomato on a toasted sesame brioche roll.  Add their bacon jam for free.  The Black and Blue Burger includes gorgonzola, apple-wood smoked bacon on their famous rolls.

They do have some Tavern Favorites like Seared Jumbo Scallops that are simply seasoned and perfectly seared with roast jalapeno corn grits, Spanish chorizo, poblano roma tomato and roasted tomato fondue.  Or try their Shrimp and Grits with white cheddar grit cake, sautéed spinach, roma tomato, shallot and roast tomato berurre blanc.

No wonder they have a four and one half star rating on the internet with over seven hundred reviews.

Brewing craft beerTorched Hop Brewing Company was founded in 2016.  They have an indoor bocce ball game that is a favorite among the locals.  Founded by two Atlanta natives Chris and Stephen Bivins who decided they did not want to sit behind a desk forty hours a week.

Offering twenty rotating taps, they work to update their website regularly, so you can see what types of beer they have on tap prior to arriving.  Some of their craft beers are the Spongehop which is a pineapple IPA or their Bury the Sunlight with a five point two alcohol by volume Scottish Ale.

Their Small Plates include Pimento Mac and Cheese with bacon, ritz and aged white cheddar.  For those of you who loves wings with choices of buffalo garlic parmesan, spicy koren or superfreshlam.  Add the Wu-Fries that are served with buffalo, ranch, cheddar, bacon waffle fries.

Sandwiches are amazing starting with their Classic Double with ketchup, smoked mayonnaise, b&b pickles and American cheese.  Their Smoked Tofu BLT has house smoked tofu, heirloom tomato, arugula, pimento cheese and basil tofu mayo.  Try the T.H.C Sandwich with buffalo fried chicken, slaw, b&b pickles, tomato’s and mayonnaise.craft beer

Want to share a plate?  Try their Not as Small Plates with only two choices.  Shrimp and Grits with smoked tomato, roasted fennel, garlic, bacon, lardon and white cheddar grits.  Or their Fish and Chips with fresh Atlantic cod, hand cut bay fries and tartar sauce.

Torched Hop Brewing Company is famous for their pizza’s.  Their Charcuterie with Bresaola, fennel salami, prosciutto and bacon is sure to make you need an extra craft beer.  The Carnitas with adobo roasted pork, feta, sweet onion, avocado and salsa verde sounds like a taste bud treat.

Don’t want to cook breakfast on Sunday, head over to Torched Hop and Brewing for Brunch.  Their Full Atlanta Breakfast included buffalo fried chicken breast, two eggs, bacon, tomatoes, toast, cheese grits or potatoes.   The H.J.S. Donut Burger features Stone Mountain Cattle Company Ground beef, bacon, caramelized onion, American cheese and a fried egg.  The donut is locally provided Krispy Kreme Donuts.

You can follow them on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.  Add to their seven hundred plus reviews giving them a four point five rating

brewery beerThe Wrecking Bar Brew Pub is located in the historical Victor H. Kriegshaber House.  Kriegshaber instrumental in the economic and cultural development of Atlanta in the early 1900’s.  From 1929-1940 the building was a Centerary Methodist Protestant Church and from 1940-1964 it became the Jack Rand Dance Studio.  From 1970-2005 the house was known as the Wrecking Bar Architectural Antiques which was a place to buy items for old houses.  You could find anything from chandeliers to door knobs.

In 2010, Bob and Kristine renovated the building to create the Wrecking Bar Brewpub and The Marianna events center.  They put the brewpub in the basement and created an event space on the main floor.

Today the owners have a mad passionate about beer and food.  Bob Sandage started brewing beer in graduate school where his friends enjoyed not only his homemade beer and pizza.  They swore he would someday open a brewery and restaurant of his own.  Kristine has a graduate degree from Iowa State in structural engineering.  She worked at Bob’s engineering company and that is how they were able to envision the renovations. craft beer brewing

Their Chef Terry Koval worked in some of the finest restaurants in Atlanta.  The Sandage’s offered him a position at The Wrecking Bar and Brew Pub in 2010.    The Brewmaster is Neal Engleman started homebrewing in 2008 as a hobby.  His hobby became an obsession and he joined The Wrecking Bar in the spring of 2011.

The Wrecking Bar and Brew Pub has son several local competitions for their craft beers.  No wonder they have over nine hundred review online with four and one half stars.

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Brew by Numbers – Saison

BBNo – 01 | 10

Abv: 5.5%  Saison Classic

The Beer: Light, bready, flowery fresh aroma; opaque, light golden in colour with a white frothy head; clean, fresh taste, plenty of peppery bitterness with a clean aftertaste; some citrus flavours that combine well with a light, bready taste. Really great taste and mouthfeel seems to provide the right kick of bitterness but does not take over the mouth. Very enjoyable, and a great beer. This brewery seems to have an extensive catalogue, that includes a Triple, Baltic Porter, six types of IPA, and something I will need to check out.

Black Sheep Brewery – Yorkshire Gold

Black Sheep Brewery – Yorkshire Gold

Abv: 4.5%  Golden Ale

The Beer: Malty and nutty light aroma; Clear, golden-brown in colour, little or no visible carbonation, frothy head quickly goes; the nutty and malt aroma come out in the taste, light syrup taste; lighter bodied, smooth at first but tending towards a little too much carbonation.

Thoughts: I’ve been drinking fine Yorkshire beers for the last week, mainly on tap which went down smoothly and very well. This is a good effort and one of Marks & Spencer’s UK beers. I reckon I’ve had some Black Sheep Brewery beers before and rate them highly (we even went through Masham a few times last week). Worth having if you are stuck in M&S and in need of a beer to buy.

Beavertown Nectar Oil

Beavertown – Neck Oil Session Pale Ale

Abv: 4.3%  IBU: 45

The Beer: Deliciously hoppy, really clean aroma, some citrus and peppery elements; slightly opaque, light gold in colour, fluffy white head, plenty of bubbles rising up; delicious hoppy taste, some peppery edges, bitter along with the roof of the mouth; medium-light bodied.

Thoughts: Very good. Very enjoyable. Really love the artwork on the can and throughout the website. The beer is great, but I’ve only got one can. Oh, bum. Could drink loads of this. Simple as that.

Arundel Brewery – Smokehouse Porter

Arundel Brewery – Smokehouse Porter

Alc 6% vol

The Beer: Plenty of mild, smokey aromas, nothing much else to smell; opaque, very dark brown with a tan head; smokey, bitter taste, some malts, more complex flavours come out as the beer warms; plenty of alcohol warmth, some bitterness in the mouth, medium bodied. To be honest this is not my type of beer, reminds me more of a rauchbier and I have issues with smokey flavours repeating on me🙂 That said the other beer drinker in the house really enjoyed this, so I will ignore my opinion in this case and go with the other opinion that this was a “very enjoyable beer”.

Arundel Smokehouse porter beer review