A glass case of hand-cut steaks greeting you at the door, a tableside bucket of peanuts in the shell, the occasional yee-haw rising up from a far corner of the restaurant: what's not to love about Texas Roadhouse? Well, as it turns out, the burgers.
'Marietta' on Serious Eats
You may not consider Waffle House a burger place, but I submit that theirs is actually better and a much better bargain than what the clown, the king, and the pigtailed girl are handing out. Hot, steamy, melty, with real grease dripping off of it—this is fast food without everything that makes fast-food cringeworthy.
East Cobb has seen an explosion of growth recently. Now there's a legit neighborhood burger joint to go along with it...with exceptional beef burgers, and even a turkey burger worth ordering.
After a recent test-drive of three-fifths of their burger offerings, I can't classify O'Charley's burgers as living up to the first part of their "Good Food, Good Times" slogan.
It's that go-to spot my wife and I frequent when either nothing else sounds particularly good or no-fuss Italian sounds really good, that mom-and-pop kind of place Billy Joel sang about... even though it pains me to say that the pizza is less than platinum.
A trip to Dairy Queen primarily means ice cream. And if there's a need to squeeze a meal in prior, then we can generally find a menu option that's basically a means to a soft-serve end.
If a truly exceptional restaurant puts a burger on its menu, they should be able to execute it exceptionally. You may not venture into East Cobb specifically for the burger at Seed Kitchen & Bar, but it's a damn great option once you're here.
If by "authentic New York pizza" you mean "a sloppy, greasy slice that satisfies a craving but has no real character and leaves you with pangs of regret later," then Rosa's is spot-on.
Jake's L'il Daddy features a layer of "Sloppy Jimmy," a hearty and slightly spicy mix of Angus chuck and chorizo that makes for a more-than-worthy add-on.
Hearty red spuds are sliced thin and arranged across an olive oil and garlic base. Also joining the party are applewood-smoked bacon, caramelized onions, cheddar and mozzarella, chives, and spicy ranch dressing. Finally, it's all "drizzled" with sour cream.
Cheeseburger Bobby's single and double burgers are quite tasty and worth the short wait, but the real stars of this lineup are the ridiculously fresh DIY toppings: two pickle types, two pepper varieties, sliced red or diced white onions, tomatoes, relish, and six kinds of sauces and condiments.
The 17-state chain strives to be everything to everyone, meaning the food can be wildly inconsistent and often guilty of the trying-too-hard approach. It's possible, though, to navigate this menu for a burger (despite the goofy names and overdone toppings) that's better than what you'll get at a nondescript T.G.I.Chilibee's.
Perhaps no restaurant chain is more closely associated with the Great American Road Trip than Cracker Barrel. Their ubiquitous billboards, telling you how many "miles ahead" the next location is, push big fluffy biscuits, down-home veggies, and warm peach cobbler. But I've never seen one spotlighting their burger. Now I know why.
At Suburban Tap, the jalapeño-topped Diablo Burger brings the heat, but the dominant taste is of the vinegary pickling juice the jalapeño slices are jarred in.
I enjoyed strolling through the Marietta Square Farmer's Market in Marietta, Georgia, over the weekend. This market is heavy on artisan products—they had everything from Old World-style baguettes (snagged one), goat cheese (that too), meat pot pies, decorated cupcakes and cakes, and several vendors with jams. Check out the photos and my many original recipes for peach salsa, peach scones, chilled peach soup, chipotle peach jam (can you ever have too many peach recipes?) and fried green tomatoes.