Let’s get one thing straight: I’m not interested in the burger “craze”. I’m interested in burgers.
Honestly, every time that I write the word “burger”, I can feel the snark boiling up inside myself. Like many of you, I’ll be glad to see the craze die down so that this dish can lose the sense of cliché that it has developed as of late and return to what it has been for the last 100 years: Just plain awesome.
They’ve been popular for a long time – yes, even before there was a Shake Shack in New York – and once the bandwagon hopping fervor has calmed, they will remain one of our favorite dishes.
Some of you may remember that John Kessler began a burger search earlier this year that evolved into his “Burger of the week” segment. Thanks to over 200 comments from our readers, John was armed with more potential burgers to try than one man could hope to get through. However, duty called and John moved back to the head of the reviewing table, and now this charge should pass on to little ole’ me.
I won’t be resurrecting the “Burger of the week” segment exactly, nor will I be doing a “Burger of the month”. That could get exhausting for the both of us. But I still think that it is my duty to report on the best burgers in Atlanta as I happen upon them.
I spotted one repeated suggestion among the many you provided that needed immediate attention. That would be the burger from Muss & Turner’s in Smynings, which happens to be my current “new favorite.”
A single thick patty of Riverview Farms grass-fed beef, cooked to order, draped in melted cheddar and cilantro mayo, and topped with red onion and roasted poblano peppers. All wrapped in a fluffy challah bun. Juice seeps from deep within the patty as I cut the burger into halves.
Be still my beating heart.
Though the cilantro mayo and roasted poblanos add some very nice flavor, nothing overwhelms the pure grass-fed taste of the meat. It is obvious that the team behind this burger respects their beef.
If you are a lover of a great medium rare burger, Muss & Turner’s should be stop number one for you. As a restaurateur, it shows a great vote of confidence in your product – not a lack of concern for your customer’s safety – to not only willingly tread into medium rare territory, but to specifically recommend it.
If you aren’t a fan of medium rare because of the texture, I can respect that. To each his own, I guess. However, if it is fear that prevents you from experiencing the eye-rolling delight one derives from a perfectly juicy medium rare burger, you are missing out. Put it on your bucket list. Make it your New Year’s resolution. However you do it, don’t meet your grave without KNOWING if it is for you. Some of you will surely thank me.
At $10.93, this is not a cheap hamburger, but it doesn’t taste like one. It is worth every single penny. I’ve spent more than that on other burgers in town and they have not come close to this. If you cringe at the thought of paying anything over $5 for a burger, regardless of quality, we will just have to agree to disagree. But, if you don’t mind paying extra for a burger you will remember, make it a priority to get to M&T as soon as possible.
Oh, and like pretty much anything that I put in my mouth, I highly recommend that you spend the extra $2 and add bacon. Totally worth it.
- by Jon Watson, Food & More blog
- Jon Watson writes about Popular Eats for the AJC Dining Team. He also publishes his own blog, Live To Feast