Our beef is a blend of four week dry aged ribeye, Midwestern sustainable wagyu, and hand cut hanger steak, all grass fed, but finished on un-subsidized grain, seared quickly on a plancha using ghee, for exactly 90 seconds per side, which we then rest and brush with a bone marrow infused butter. Served on homemade brioche (Running Stream Meadow Farm co-op eggs) with heirloom tomato, sliced ethical foie torchon, house made Dijon mustard, and Georgia comté”.
It seems that we sometimes forget a burger should be a simple pleasure. Ground beef and cheese on a bun, with a few toppings. George’s (above) in Virginia-Highlands does a fine job. It’s the quintessential char-grilled bar burger and is proportionally excellent. Fries are pretty good too.
The burger at US Cafe in Buckhead should satiate any burger craving as well. The bun’s too big but who cares? The thin griddled patty has a nice sear, is oozing with American cheese, and has loads of crunchy toppings.
To me a thin burger isn’t so much about the beef flavor as it is the crust. The best way to get this crust is by using the smash technique on a griddle or cast iron pan. Burgers on the grill are for the vain.
Steak & Shake employs the smash technique, but the most famous is the aptly named Smashburger, which opens in the old Fat Burger location next week in Buckhead.
In addition to the link above, here is an interview about the smash technique with George Motz, one of the foremost burger experts in the country, author of Hamburger America, and cohort of Jeff Moore of Atlanta based Green Olive Media (whom George recognizes as a burger expert in his book).
I like this cooking video from Josh Ozersky too; while it’s different than most burgers, he talks about the smash a bit.
One of the best bar smash style burgers I’ve ever had was last year in Venice Beach, California at Hinano Café. The place is a total dive, a dark and beer smelled respite from the bright, outdoor freak show on the beach. One thing that stands out is that when they cooked the bacon on the flat top, the pieces were overlapped and stuck together, creating a large sheet of crispy bacon rather than individual pieces that tend to move around too much. So good.
People get sick of burgers, and say there are too many places. I say there’s always room for more burgers. As long as they’re good.