Farm Burger: Local Cow Makes Good… LunchBy Todd • May 15th, 2010 • Category: Burger Blog
For someone who eats cheeseburgers on a semi-professional basis, I’m admittedly terrible about hitting new places. I finally made it to Grindhouse Killer Burgers months after they opened. It took me over a year to get to Flip Burger Boutique. And I spent an embarrassing 15 years in Atlanta before I found Ann’s Snack Bar, home of perhaps the best thing I’ve ever eaten. Chalk it up to my overly-secluded, routine-heavy minivan/white picket fence/homeowners’ association life in Suburbia, my natural aversion to hype, or a fear of falling in love with the flavor of the month only to have it vanish next month… but by the time I make it to the latest new hotspot, it’s usually not new anymore.
So I was overly excited last week when a friend invited me to lunch at the home of Atlanta’s latest burgermeisters, a hip-sounding little place called Farm Burger. Having rung up their first sale in late April, I was due to dine there on just their 16th day of business.
Farm Burger’s hook is their eco-friendly approach to burgerdom, being equal parts locavore and carnivore. Here’s some verbiage from their website:
Farm Burger is defined by its mission, its farms, its team, and its community. We depend on local farmers, ranchers and land stewards to make your burger as good as it is. From our beef to our tomatoes to our compostable containers to our owners, Farm Burger is sustainable, local, humane, and helping to reroute our food system to function more like an ecosystem than a corporation… Our food makes ethical eating easy.
All of that is fine. Talk my ears off about how humanely your treat your locally-raised 100% grassfed cows. Go on at length about how hormone-free beef is better for both my health and the planet. But if it doesn’t make a great burger, it’s pointless.
Well, it just so happens to make an exceptional burger. The menu features a build-your-own option, where you begin with a six-dollar burg and then improvise. Free fixins include house-made pickles, roasted garlic, smoked paprika mayo, and grainy mustard. For a buck, you can add things like arugula, sauteed mushrooms, or Maytag blue cheese. Two-dollar options include brisket chili, aged smoked Gouda, or Gruyere. Roasted bone marrow is even a choice, which will cost you 3, well, bones.
Or go with one of the half-dozen “blackboard burgers,” pre-imagined creations from the kitchen staff that are ordered by number. I decided to work up a Number Six on ‘em. (I’ll wait while my fellow “Blazing Saddles” fans finish the quote.)
The Number Six features house-cured bacon, pepper jack cheese, salsa verde, and a sunny-side-up egg. It was absolutely gorgeous as it was presented to me in a simple wire basket with an accompanying pail of spicy garlic/parmesan/herb fries.
My Farm Burger did not disappoint. The beef was exceptional. Some early reviewers have referenced a slightly gamy taste from the grassfed beef and bitched about “medium” being the only doneness option, but I detected nothing short of beefy, juicy perfection. The egg ruptured early, but the yolk was soaked up nicely by one of the best burger buns I’ve ever come across. Soft in all the right places, a little griddle action on the flat sides, no disintegration at all. Amazing bacon; ’nuff said. And I’d bathe in that salsa verde if I could. Totally chunky, no liquid whatsoever, the ideal amount of crunch and tang.
So go to Farm Burger to feel good about your lunch’s carbon footprint if that’s your thing. Or, like me… just go for a kick-ass burger.