It's Day 5 of Burger Week, and some of Atlanta's top chefs and barkeepers have told us what goes into a great burger, whether a double-stack or single patty is better, and what to drink with burgers. Now it's time for the ultimate question. The only caveat is that participants can't pick a burger at their own place of business. So ...
Who serves your favorite burger in Atlanta?
Todd Ginsberg; chef/partner; The General Muir, Fred's Meat & Bread, Yalla
Little's Food Store. Because it's served on a squishy potato bun and is just a good ol' burger in my hood, cooked in front of me, in a really charming country store.
Shanna Mayo, beverage director, Victory Sandwich Bar
My favorite burger in the city right now is Brick Store Pub's new and improved Brick Burger. It is insanely good. Created by Rian Tittle and Wes Kayyali, the burger patty is ground in-house from brisket and chuck, then cooked on a flat top. The toppings are American cheese, house bread-and-butter pickles, iceberg lettuce, and their top secret burger sauce, served on a sesame kaiser roll. If you haven't had it, I strongly suggest giving it a go.
Jeffrey Gardner, executive chef, Common Quarter
My favorite burger in town is the Jake's Sloppy Slaw Burger from Red Eyed Mule in Marietta. I really love the Texas toast and the way the cool, creamy slaw and the Sloppy Jimmy sauce interact with the burger patty. The restaurant is also a little hole-in-the-wall, which I think adds to the entire presentation.
Chris Gianaras, beverage manager, 4th & Swift
In spite of all the "artisanal" burger joints that are opening up these days, I'm still a sucker for the "Blue 'Shroom" at The Vortex.
Lance Gummer, owner, Bantam + Biddy
One Eared Stag has a beautiful, sexy beast of a burger. It's a double-stack, of course, of ground ribeye and bacon. Yes, bacon. Bacon that has been ground into the beef. Fatty, melty, drippy, bacon cooked into the burger. Wait, I'm not done: American cheese, ridiculously thin shaved onions, and toasted brioche. I'm in love with this burger. Oh, and check this: When it's served, it has a large-handled steak knife jammed through the middle. Like a fresh kill. Eating this burger is probably the most manly thing I've ever done in my life.
Vajra Stratigos, director of food and beverage standards, Fifth Group Restaurants
I think the burger at Fred's Meat & Bread at the Krog Street Market is really slammin'.
Doug Turbush, chef/owner, Seed Kitchen & Bar
Steinbeck's Ale House in Oakhurst — a lot of love happening with that burger, Million Island sauce is mind blowing, and the built in bonus that I know I'm gonna get a great beer with it.
Krista and Jerry Slater, owners, H Harper Station
We honestly don't eat a lot of burgers, so we can't claim to be experts. But, a few weeks ago we went to The Pinewood for lunch, and their burger is the best one I've had in Atlanta, outside of my father's backyard.
Rick Tasman, CEO, FLIP Burger
Century House Tavern in Woodstock. It is close to home and they do it the way it should be done.
Julian Goglia, owner/bartender, The Pinewood Tippling Room
I'm all about the burgers at H Harper Station or Bocado.
Eli Kirshtein, chef/owner, The Luminary
I am a Little's fan myself. I am totally a homer of it being on my side of town, but I really think Brad [Cunard] kills it. He has all the things I like, Martin's Potato Buns, freshly ground-in-house beef, and caramelized onions. It's so much my go-to burger that on special occasions like Valentine's Day, I'll buy them for my whole staff for family meal.
Taylor Martin; beverage manager/GM; West Egg Cafe, Oddbird
My favorite burger in the city, not at my restaurant, is the Quinoa Burger at The Pullman in Kirkwood.
Clarke Anderson, beverage manager, no. 246
My favorite burger is at Fred's Meat and Bread. The General Muir's chef Ginsberg has a burger that has also gotten my attention.
Jarrett Stieber, chef/owner, Eat Me Speak Me
My favorite is The General Muir burger, with Bocado as a close second. They're fatty enough, crispy enough, juicy enough, simple enough with toppings — focused and delicious.
Eduardo Guzman; beverage manager; The Optimist, JCT. Kitchen & Bar
Miller Union's burger is always on point. It's all about consistency and simplicity of the burger that I enjoy so much.
Joey Stallings, executive chef/GM, Sweet Auburn BBQ
The chorizo burger at Poncey-Highland FLIP Burger. Justin Studdard has helped turn that place around, and it's now my favorite place to get my favorite burger: chorizo, fried egg, hash browns, manchego cheese and spices. ‘Nough said.
Michael Magnole, manager, Bourbon Bar
I am a purist when it comes to burgers and really enjoy a well-seasoned burger with American cheese and just a few condiments. You know, like the burgers you had as a kid. Since I've been in Atlanta. I have found myself going back to Grindhouse on Piedmont again and again because their burgers are always fresh and delicious. The double Grindhouse Style is my go-to every time.
Ted Lahey; executive chef; Table & Main, Osteria Mattone
Caleb Hopkins, manager/director of wine, Atlas
I live in Kirkwood, and [Ann's Snack Bar's] Ghetto Burger is the ultimate guilty pleasure.
Chris Edwards, chef de cuisine, Holeman & Finch Public House
My wife and I recently moved from Chicago back to Atlanta, my hometown, and have really enjoyed Farm Burger's options. They execute very well with various preparations and locally sourced ingredients. As a chef in Atlanta, I'm very grateful for the burger movement that is happening here. It brings guests out to ea.! It offers chefs an opportunity to expose guests to other great dishes they are serving. Come in for a burger, and then see what else we offer.
Tiffanie Barriere, master mixologist, One Flew South
I love a burger and a pint, and Young Augustine's on Memorial pleases me every time. Their beer selection is legit and the flow of the place is true neighborhood-ish. I also enjoy the burgers at Bocado, Grindhouse, Fred's and at West Egg too. However, on a partied-enough night, you may catch me with incognito at the first Cook-Out in Atlanta on Moreland Avenue grabbing a single with bacon and cheese.
Gerry Klaskala, chef/owner, Aria
I am a well known fan of the Holeman & Finch burger. Linton Hopkins is not only a great chef, he is the burger king.
Alex Brounstein; owner; Grindhouse Killer Burgers, Hi-Five Diner
I think the diner burger at The Albert is pretty fantastic. I crave that sometimes. It's super thin patties that have tons of flavor. And The Earl has a pretty damn good thicker, half-pound burger. Those are my go-to spots.
Joey Ward, executive chef, Gunshow
H Harper Station has an awesome burger. It's very similar to the burger that I developed while the executive chef there.
Zeb Stevenson, executive chef, Watershed on Peachtree
I gotta give it to my man Terry Koval at Wrecking Bar. I don't always eat burgers but that one just does it for me.