As spring closes and summer approaches, the season for burgers is only beginning. This month, David wanted to highlight some of our community’s best burger spots in hopes to provide you, our readers, with a new favorite spot while also helping these restaurants regain some of the business they may have lost during the pandemic.
LUCA BRASI - Bethelview Road
Traditionally known for their stellar pizza selections, this family-owned restaurant surprised David with their ability to also make a delicious burger.
Owner Richard Stanley has turned his restaurant into his passion and dedicates all his energy into providing his customers with a wonderful meal. Out of their many appetizing burger options, David opted for the Cadillac Charlie. This half pound burger is their special blend of angus chuck, brisket, and short rib. Then topped with smoked gouda, applewood smoked bacon, house fries, lettuce, tomato, onion, and ranch. Yes, you read that right, the fries are on top of the burger. The fries add a unique texture and flavor that pairs wonderfully with the other toppings, providing an overall exciting burger.
The patty itself was cooked to medium, and every bite was tender and flavorful. Luca Brasi’s menu is fun to explore and offers six other unique burgers for your tasting pleasure. Richard and wife Bridget’s dedication to their restaurant is evident through their fresh ingredients and carefully crafted dishes, which are sure to leave you wanting more.
TAM’S BACKSTAGE/ TAM’S TUPELO Ingram Ave/ Buford Rd
Owned by Brian and Kelly Tam, this pair of sister restaurants complement each other wonderfully. Tam’s Backstage provides a more upscale feel that “offers a flavorful blend of American cuisines punctuated with a northern Italian flare.”
On the other hand, Tam’s Tupelo offers a “Cajun meets Memphis,” cuisine and provides a “warm and breezy, slow and easy” atmosphere.David’s first stop was Tam’s backstage. He decided to try their traditional Backstage Burger, which includes a half pound of ground beef served on a fresh bun with lettuce, tomato, pickle, and onion. Cooked to medium, this seemingly simple burger did not disappoint, and left David wanting more. Tam’s Backstage’s scratch kitchen uses fresh and high-quality ingredients to produce high-quality meals, and their Backstage Burger is no exception.
Across town at Tam’s Tupelo, David opted for the Tupelo Brisket Burger. This burger is a combination of chuck, fresh brisket, and short rib. This was a flavorful twist from the Backstage Burger and provided a more dynamic flavor profile due to the blend of different cuts of meat. Topped with bacon, cheese, pickles, tomato and lettuce, this juicy burger sure hit the spot. The Tupelo Brisket Burger was cooked equally well and provided a grill cooked taste. Depending on if you are in the mood for upscale or casual, these sister restaurants are sure to satisfy your burger needs.
CHERRY STREET BREW PUB - Halcyon
Located at the Halcyon, this upscale tavern and brewery sure does know how to craft a burger. Upon arrival, David and fellow foodie, Caroline Howell, were informed by their server that the Brewers PB&J Burger is a fan favorite, so David knew he had to try it. This burger is made up of two, four-ounce chuck patties, topped with American cheese, bacon, creamy peanut butter, and house habanero peach jam. While this burger may sound a little crazy, the smooth rich flavor of the peanut butter pairs perfectly with the sweet and spicy twang of the habanero peach jam. David was extremely pleased with the flavor profile and said he would have to come back soon for another. David also ordered the Ultimate Cheat Day Burger- two, four-ounce chuck patties, topped with chorizo mac-n-cheese, chives, and beer-n-bacon jam. If you have not already experienced the Brewer’s PB&J, this may be an exciting new flavor to try out. David recommends getting extra of the yummy beer-n-bacon jam. Caroline decided to order the Turkey Burger and was also pleased with her meal. This turkey burger consists of a 6-ounce ground patty, formed with jalapeno, scallions, and cilantro, and topped with arugula, and pepper jack cheese. Sometimes turkey can come out a little bland, but Cherry Street Brewpub clearly knows how to spice it up. The turkey burger patty itself was packed with flavor and paired great with the arugula and pepper jack cheese. Each bite was flavorful and exciting as Caroline made sure to finish the entire meal.
HOBNOB - Halcyon
Just a few strides away from Cherry Street Brewpub, HOBNOB at the Halcyon continues to impress with their uniquely crafted food. Described as “refined tavern fare with southern flare,” this location offers burgers that David made sure not to miss. David opted for their American Burger, which includes American cheese, lettuce, tomato, onion, bread & butter pickles, and not so secret sauce. This seemingly simple burger exceeded David’s expectations. Crafted by Chef Quiana, the American Burger arrived with perfectly buttered buns that are sure to make your mouth water. David described the burger as “juicy and flavorful” and said that it left him wanting to try more of their options.
David’s fellow foodie friend decided to try out the turkey burger. Topped with provolone, tomato, arugula, pickled onions, and mayo, this burger was a pleasant surprise. Their Turkey Burger serves as a healthier alternative to their traditional burgers, but don’t worry, it still tastes great.
BUFFALO’S CAFÉ - Buford Hwy
Arriving at Buffalo’s café, David was promptly greeted and seated. Looking over the many burger options David decided to order the Hangover Burger- a half pound burger topped with crispy bacon, fried egg, fried onion straws, tomatoes, cheddar cheese, lettuce, and pickles. Although David did not test the hangover-killing properties of the burger, it sure satisfied his hunger. The crispy bacon and fried egg make this burger feel like breakfast, but better. With special attention from General Manager Erik Ehlers, David’s meal and service were both wonderful.
VICKY LOU’S BURGERS - Browns Bridge Rd
Vicky Lou’s Burgers is what pops into mind when thinking of a delicious local burger joint. The burger menu is small and simple, but do not let this fool you. According to David, their cheeseburger with bacon, tomato, and lettuce with a side of fries sure hit the spot. The burger was cooked to perfection and gave David a reason to return. Given their wonderful burgers and friendly service, this burger joint is definitely a place to try!
WORTH THE DRIVE
THE VORTEX - Atlanta
The Vortex is a special place if you are looking for unique burgers and a challenge. Upon arrival, David immediately noticed the framed picture of their different Coronary Bypass Burger selections. They offer a single, double, triple, and quadruple Coronary Bypass Burger, letting you decide the type of challenge you are willing to take on. David knew he wanted to try it, and decided the double was the perfect size. This burger is by no means simple, but the volume of this meal far surpassed David’s expectations. The top and bottom bun of this burger are replaced with two griddled patty melt sandwiches, and that is only the beginning. Inside the two patty melts, there is an 8-ounce flame-grilled sirloin patty, many slices of American cheese, 2 fried eggs, 12 strips of bacon, grilled onions, dinner relish, and mayonnaise- making one epic burger. As if this burger was not enough of a challenge, it comes with 10-ounces of fries and tots topped with cheese and bacon bits.
David described the burger as “too good to put down,” and was able to eat the entire Double Coronary Bypass Burger. Cooked to medium, David said the burger was extremely flavorful and juicy, and continued to taste great the whole way through. He may not have completed the challenge due to avoiding the fries and tots, but the cheese smothered, bacon covered, multilayered burger sure satisfied his appetite.
OLDE BLIND DOG IRISH PUB - Milton
After spending the day exploring the quaint and charming downtown Milton, the Olde Blind Dog Irish Pub is the perfect location to take a break and enjoy some remarkable food. As David first walked in, he was pleasantly surprised with the fun Irish décor. From Celtic signs to the life size mannequin of Scottish icon William Wallace, this Irish Pub sure knows how to keep the interior exciting.
Olde Blind Dog offers a “build your own” burger, allowing for complete customization for your perfect patty. David built his burger with cheddar cheese, fresh jalapenos, crispy onion strings, sauteed mushrooms, and bacon. The burger was cooked to medium and tasted wonderful. Between the crunch of the onion strings, the spice of the jalapeno, and the juicy flavor of the patty, this burger provided the perfect tasting experience for David. Their beef is locally grown from Stone Mountain Cattle Company, and their quality is evident as soon as you take the first bite.
FIGHTINGTOWN TAVERN - Blue Ridge
If you ever find yourself up around beautiful Blue Ridge, Fightingtown Tavern is a great spot to check out. Owned by Jim Carruthers, this location prides themselves on being a scratch kitchen. Their quality is evident in each dish that they serve, especially their burgers. Their beef is local, dry aged, grass fed, and ground inhouse daily. Referred to as grinders, these burgers make an exciting meal to try.
Out of their many tasty burger options, David decided he was going to go big or go home- he ordered the Megadeath Grinder. This burger sure lives up to its name as it is made of two ½ lb. burger patties, 2 fried eggs, 2 slices of cheddar, 2 slices of pepper jack, 4 slices of house cured bacon, grilled jalapenos, grilled onions, beer cheese, & sriracha all separated by a Krispy Kreme glazed donut. While the size of the burger makes getting the first bite difficult, once David got started, it was hard to stop. This mouth-watering burger provides an extremely unique flavor with the opposition of sweet, spicy, and savory. If you are looking for a challenge, the megadeath grinder is for you. If not, they offer many other fun burger options to please your palate.
The Monthly Food Adventure Continues with LAKE ACCESS LOCATIONS:
As the hot summer sun is here to stay for the season, Lake Lanier becomes a popular destination for summertime fun! We hope to share the best restaurants that can be reached by boat, so let us know your favorite restaurants on Lake Lanier!
Summits Wayside Tavern - The Rising Sun Burger
Village Burger - The Village Burger
Rooster’s Café - Bacon Cheeseburger
Shuckin’ Shack Oyster Bar - Breakwater Burger
The Burger Stop - Bacon Cheeseburger
SoFo Modern Cuisine & Cocktails - SoFo Burger