"From ghetto to ghetto,
to backyard to yard
I sell it whip on whip,
it's off the hard
I'm the...neighborhood pusha"
Grindhouse kinda is in the ghet'. They took an item commonly found in the backyard and put it on the scene. And lastly, they're becoming a neighborhood favorite in the burger game.
I rather like Grindhouse's logo.
So here's the deal - They're located in the Sweet Auburn Market on Edgewood and Jesse Hill, right down the street from Rolling Bones. I'd never been to the market before and wasn't all that impressed. It has its history, but it just pales in comparison to Dekalb Farmers Markets selection and quality. I will say they have some impressive looking bacon here that I'm going to have to try one day soon. I believe the vendors rent their space, but it looks like most are regulars and have been there for a number of years. And then there's a food-court!? Grindhouse opened about a month ago and I tried it immediately.
Grindhouse is well... interesting. They are essentially set up like a bar but you order your food from a register and then pull up a stool. There is a white tile wall on which they project horror, kung fu, and grindhouse types of movies. This is pretty cool but there's no sound and it's pretty bright in the market. When they first opened they were empty but slow as molasses. It took at least ten minutes to get my order. I opted for the double patty burger cooked Cowboy style - thick cut bacon, crispy vidalia onions, cheddar cheese, and BBQ sauce. While the patties were pretty much well done, they still were very juicy and seasoned perfectly. The thick cut bacon was a nice touch as was the cheese. Both the onions and the BBQ sauce were pretty much undetectable. The buns here are tasty, soft potato buns. As you can tell from the picture, the burger was unnecessarily too greasy.
I also got an order of the vidalia onion rings. These were weak. First of all, the bag of rings looked like this:
Not even 1/3 of the way filled.Secondly, they had no crunch or flavor to them. These weren't onion rings, they were onion strings and I did not appreciate getting charged $2.50 for them. At least fill the bag three fourths of the way up.
This past Saturday I went back for a follow-up evaluation. Again, the service was slow. I ordered in advance on the phone this time. When I got there my order took as long to get as the people who ordered in person. The lady at the counter assured me that the guys liked to make the burgers fresh. Look, if I order in advance, and I'm not there in five minutes, then the cold food is on me, not you. Additionally they had already made my shake, so it just sat there melting away while I waited another ten minutes. This makes NO sense.
That is not a cafeteria chicken patty. That is an onion ring nearly twice the size of the turkey patty.
I went for a turkey burger cooked cowboy style this go-round. I was a bit confused when I unwrapped my t-burger as it looked like a fried patty. Turns out it was an enormous onion ring covering the actual patty, which was so much better than the onion strings on the original Cowboy I got. Makes me wonder if they changed their side onion rings too? The turkey is moist and flavorful and a great beef alternative. Kins went for a single beef patty Grindhouse (real original name) style - lettuce, grilled onions, pickles, American cheese, and Grindhouse sauce-their take on Big-Mac sauce. Both of our burgers again, were too greasy.
I ordered a peanut butter/chocolate shake. I didn't do my research (they make them with soft serve) and the shake was just horrid. Not only did they have that timing problem, where it melted for 10+ minutes, but I think there may have been Reeses Peanut Butter Cups in it which all clumped at the bottom and made it difficult to drink with a straw. There are still so few places that make shakes in Atlanta the right way (hard-scooped ice cream people!)
The location/parking are slightly inconvenient, but the burgers are darned tasty. I think it's a bit pricey for what you get, but then again, so is Five Guys. There have been an insane amount of burger joints opening in Atlanta and there's no way all of them will make it. Given all the choices, I don't think I'll often return to Grindhouse. If they can improve on the sides, time management, and grease factor, I'd be back in a decelerated, cholesterol-induced heartbeat.