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Burger of the Week: Serpas True Food

Double Beef PattyThe “Double Beef Patti” at Serpas True Food ($13) in the Old Fourth Ward is not so much a hamburger as it is a small building.

Though it was too dark on the patio for me to get a good picture of the actual burger eaten, this publicity shot is essentially what we had — minus the green frills and the upside-down top bun. The middle slice of bread on ours had compressed into something that looked like one of those novelty dry sponges that spring into form when you put them in water.

And I mean this in a good way: it was nicely absorptive.

The curious spelling must surely be a reference to the first line of Patti Smith’s “Gloria” — i.e., “Jesus died for somebody’s sins, but not mine” — because this burger is the very picture of gluttony. Maybe chef Scott Serpas can enlighten me.

Serpas Double Beef Patty 2Despite its verging-on-preposterous height, this burger is neither too drippy nor too plumped with slide-about ingredients. So if you are able to open wide and not risk lockjaw, it is possible to eat with your hands. It’s also very tasty.

Let’s break it down:

  • The Burger: Nothing braggable about the meat used — just flavorful, loosely packed cow bits. The restaurant’s publicist confirmed the meat is custom-ground outside the restaurant to Serpas’ specifications.
  • The Bun: A triple decker challah bun. It was resilient in all the right places and soft in all the right places. That crisp squish of the center layer kind of charmed me (I know, it doesn’t take much).
  • The Accompaniments: Smoked cheddar cheese, crisp bacon and that red wine dressing. It all works together beautifully. This is one of the best tasting burgers I’ve had.
  • The Fries: A disappointment. They look and taste fresh, but turn quickly limp and greasy. If I had to guess, I’d say they were fried once rather than twice. The best fries are cooked through in 325 degree oil, left to cool and dry, then crisped in 375 degree oil.

Still, Ms. Double Patti is one tasty burger. If she’s too much for you, get a single.

Serpas gets 4 out of 5 “Horses” CD’s.

27 comments Add your comment

Young Fourth Warder

April 22nd, 2010
10:50 am

“Loosely packed cow bits” – I don’t care who you are – that’s funny!

Fry Guy

April 22nd, 2010
10:53 am

Double-Fried Fries???

AJ

April 22nd, 2010
11:25 am

Fry Guy – If you’re truly a “Fry Guy”, yes you’d know that double frying is the best way to get that crisp.

Puerquito

April 22nd, 2010
11:33 am

@AJ: Not entirely true. There are certain fry sizes that only require a single-fry approach. Shoe string fries come to mind…

[...] This post was mentioned on Twitter by John Kessler. John Kessler said: Burger of the Week: Serpas True Food http://bit.ly/cpoZXM [...]

Steve

April 22nd, 2010
11:59 am

the double fry is a pretty standard approach these days. It gives the fry the best crisp plus it cuts down on prep time.

East Lake Ira

April 22nd, 2010
12:09 pm

fries schmies… review some tots dangit!!

Single-FryGuy

April 22nd, 2010
12:10 pm

These double-fried fries are apparently cooked at two different temperatures, but are they cooked in the same type of oil each time (i.e. peanut vs. vegetable, vegetable vs. sunflower) etc?

PM

April 22nd, 2010
12:14 pm

Not that I’ll go out of my way for this burger if I did end up there with my wife we would most likely order one and cut it in half. We do that all the time. We usually order a salad or some other side dish to split with it. We have lost 60 pounds between the two of us in the last year or two and saved lots of $$$!

Cekker

April 22nd, 2010
12:26 pm

Doesn’t look too different from the KFC monster you dissed last week.

Eraserhead

April 22nd, 2010
12:29 pm

Now that was a funny review! I found the loosely packed cow bits funny as well.

Jim Warren

April 22nd, 2010
1:11 pm

Looks good.

But honestly, all these stacked burgers…even without cheese, bacon and the other crap…folks we don’t need to eat SO MUCH. What is wrong with a regular single burger? We have all been brainwashed by TV ads to think that MORE is better. It’s not. They just charge more while we have clogged arteries. I mean, some of the burger ads on TV (Checkers,etc.) make me almost sick and I just see it for a few seconds. Gluttony, anyone? Anyone?

shaggy

April 22nd, 2010
1:55 pm

Hey “Jim Warren”,
If you don’t want one, don’t get one. It is as simple as that. Quit whining like a little girl, who is scared of the dark or preaching your high food expectations. If I want to go an buy a whole cow, grind it into a burger, and eat it all, I will do just that. If I want to farm an acre of carrots and throw them a dimwits like you, sadly I can’t. This is still a free country, and my cow eating is MY business, as long as I don’t bean your crying pie-hole with my carrots…at least for now anyway.

Tyler Pike

April 22nd, 2010
2:22 pm

That ain’t no burger. Where’s the pork???

JEB

April 22nd, 2010
2:31 pm

We ordered the Double Beef Patti recently. Not very happy with the taste, the meat was quite bland and the fries were over cooked. The oysters are great. Overall, Serpas is a great restaurant. Very good service.

Adam Savage

April 22nd, 2010
2:33 pm

Jim, gluttony can be a career.

Had a Burger Last Night

April 22nd, 2010
3:48 pm

I’m a Burger fanatic. My wife brought me a burger from this new joint called Boardwalk (Sandy Springs) last night. It had all the trimmings. Its sorta along the lines of Five Guys…I’d choose this one over Five Guys, not b/c of taste but b/c its waaay closer to home for me. Also, I was pleasently surprised at the size of the burger Whole Foods prepared for me…and its organic!

Where is this Serpas place anyway???

John Kessler

April 22nd, 2010
4:01 pm

Actually, my wife and I did split this one. I didn’t find the meat bland, just a little undercooked. But it was my fault. I didn’t specify I like medium. Medium rare burgers don’t do it for me.

Steve

April 22nd, 2010
4:10 pm

Serpas is in that Inman Park area…around the corner from Rathbuns. I’ve been meaning to try it, but I don’t think I’m gonna go the burger route here. This place was recently named one of the 10 best new restaurants in the country by GQ.

joelle

April 22nd, 2010
6:33 pm

sir sass, i find Scott and his wife to be extemely nice- have done business with them for several years. His looks can be intimidating, but he is a sweet bear!

Single-Fry Guy

April 23rd, 2010
9:37 am

Mr. Kessler -

Have you reviewed BOARDWALK in Sandy Springs the poster at 3:48 pm on April 22nd mentioned?

If so, how would you rate it to SERPAS?

Thanks.

spx foodie

April 23rd, 2010
11:29 am

I eat at Serpas frequently since I reside in the complex where it is located. It’s one thing to review food, and quite another to personally attach the owners. I’ve had absolutely flawless food every time I’ve eaten at Serpas (which is a few times a month), and am personally very impressed with both the Chef and his wife, who always greets me by name both when I dine there and when I see her as I walk by on a daily basis.

I just had the beef patti last night. It is also available as a single patti, which is always what i order, and it is the best burger I’ve ever had in my life! It’s nice to enjoy an inexpensive burger at a fine dining establishment like Serpas while enjoying the ambience that comes with it.

Msquared

April 23rd, 2010
10:10 pm

John, you occasionally amaze me. Working Jesus died for your sins, but not mine into a burger review was unexpected and awesome. I have used Patti’s line a time or 2.

Sir recently fired Sass, I suggest you use your infinite wisdom to find investors for your restaurant. I am sure that you will be able to thrive without criticism.

TheDuchess

April 25th, 2010
7:23 pm

Although…I must admit…that is a beautiful piece of art. I too wonder aloud “isn’t that just TOO MUCH to eat?”. I’m just sayin’ :) (Guess I need to take a friend and SHARE)

marty kinsey

April 25th, 2010
8:19 pm

Thank you SirSass for offering more information about this establishment. Has a former server at some of the city’s better restaurants, what you have written sounds true to me. (I’ve twice waited on Mr. Kessler’s and came away with good reviews and my job in tact each time)

Atlanta has an informal community of restaurant workers and it’s no secret which places are the most desirable places to work and which places are to be avoided if possible. As a former server, I know the best way to find out about a restaurant is to ask people who work there, or who have worked there recently. In my experience, whether or not a person was fired is not as relevant as if they are truthful about the circumstances surrounding their departure.

So I do consider Mr. Kessler’s assessment, but I also check sites that feature employee comments.

marty kinsey

April 25th, 2010
8:20 pm

I meant, “as a former server…”

She-Roq

April 28th, 2010
2:56 pm

My husband and I have eaten at Serpas a few times, and we’ve never been disappointed. The Oysters are what got me there – even though I don’t eat much seafood like that. They were great and we order them every time. The salmon is great to – when it’s on the menu. Now to that burger – YUMMO!!! It is an awesome thing and my husband and I split it(sometimes). I’ve even taken some home and have had it the next day for lunch, and it was still good. You should go and try it!