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30 Restaurants in 30 Days: Grindhouse Killer Burgers

grindhouse1Does the sight of this burger make you hungry? Do you just want to pick it up and kind of schlurmph it down in about three large gulps?

That’s okay. Schlurmph in peace, my friend.

Before we start obsessing over the particulars of this burger — and you know we will, from the grease-cutting tang of the pickle to the plasticky goodness of American cheese — let us just stop and admire this messy heap and think about the great hamburger paradigm shift of 2009.

A mere year or so ago, we worshipped the backyard burger — the fat, stolid pattie of firm pinkish meat that bulged to an inch or more on its bun. You had to open wide, wider, widest to fit one of these things in your mouth.

Then, along came Holeman & Finch with its thin, grey patties, stacked and cheese-slicked, with pickles and juicy condiments. This wasn’t a huge burger in width or girth but rather a satisfying one — something you really hadn’t considered since your last Double Cheeseburger at McDonald’s (or, better yet, Double Double at In-N-Out Burger on the West Coast).

Around the same time, Five Guys Burgers began popping up in every neighborhood, spreading the gospel of the thin, grey pattie.

And now? They are everywhere. We don’t want those fat meat pucks any more, we want to inhale the greasy goodness of thin burgers.

Grindhouse Killer Burgers has been a sensation since it opened several weeks ago in the Sweet Auburn Curb Market with a 20-seat counter and a simple menu of thin patties of beef, turkey or veg.

It’s a cool scene as, perhaps, this video shows:

I particularly like the tile wall on which the management projects old movies. I suppose it would be more in keeping with the theme if they projected horror movies, but zombies might put you off the brain-worthy dressing on the signature burgers.

By the way and as long as we’re on grossnesses, I have to admit I get pretty skeezed out by unidentified, ammonia-treated ground beef. So I usually make it a point to ask where the meat comes from.

I’m happy to report the staff says it is custom ground to order from trimmed cuts here in Atlanta at Buckhead Beef Company and not from some multi-cow vat in Nebraska. The burgers are a buck more than you would imagine, but well worth it, I would think, for the peace of mind.

The “Grindhouse style” single ($4.99) pictured above has lots of crisp and soft textures from the lettuce, grilled onions and tomato, and I did find it worthy of prime face stuff. the interplay of tangy pickles, mayo-based sauce and meat juices seems to push that “we’re all Americans at heart” flavor place.

AJC Staff

AJC Staff

I liked the “Apache style” ($5.99) even better, which has house roasted green chiles, grilled onions and pepper jack cheese. I ordered mine on a veggie burger, which was a little sticky, but nice enough to eat.

I also sampled a turkey burger, which was flecked with herbs and lightly moistened with mango chutney. Nice.

The hand-battered onion rings ($2.50), all greasy crunch, are a better choice than the watery Asian cucumber salad.

You can go heathy here, but why would you? They’re little flavor bombs, these burgers. Just try not to eat two.

7 comments Add your comment


November 7th, 2009
10:10 am

I am just dying to go check out the “Apache”. Top it off with some of the onion rings. A plus is the urban cool location.
Look foward to an upcoming visit.

baylor keese

November 7th, 2009
10:10 am

ah humm……the custom grind produced for the Grindhouse killer burgers is not made by the SYCSO’s monster Buckhead Beef. It is in fact, I’m happy to report, made by the family owned and operated Southern Foods out of Greensboro North Carolina. And yes, the blend is a secret.

SWAT Native

November 7th, 2009
2:08 pm

I’ve been there a few times (in fact, ironically, I see myself and a co-worker at the register in your video), and I think it’s great. I agree, the Apache burger is fantastic.


November 7th, 2009
9:55 pm

Hey Baylor, chill out on SYSCO. They simply own Buckhead Beef. BHB still operates their own cut houses, and yes Southern Foods does supply the beef and the secret isn’t all that secret.

baylor keese

November 7th, 2009
11:50 pm

chill out on conglomerate corporate giants? no thanks. i’m in support of hands-on attention to details and small businesses. and yes, the exact ratios of the components took us months. i doubt you could replicate it.


November 10th, 2009
12:47 pm

I’ve been three times in three weeks. Just can’t get enough of these burgers. Get the beef, with grindhouse sauce. (order an extra single to share, you will want another bite or two when done with your own)

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