Here's the deal - the cheeseburger is the quintessential American food. A couple of years back, after reading a review in the Wall Street Journal about the best burgers in the country, only to find that three of the top five were in my own back yard, I decided that I needed to see for myself. With the help of George Motz's "Hamburger America", several lists, recommendations from friends and asking everyone about burgers from "their" town, this is the result...

If you're curious about my thoughts on foods other than burgers, check out my other blog Eat to Live? Or Live to Eat?

Saturday, March 31, 2012

The Red Eyed Mule, Marietta, GA (March 31, 2012)

While running some errands one Saturday and looking for food, I remembered that there had been a couple of places with Marietta addresses in this month's "Cheap Eats" article in Atlanta Magazine.  A quick Google search from the USPS parking lot and the choice was made - the Red Eyed Mule.  I knew we were arriving right at the cusp of breakfast v. lunch and figured we could both get something there.  It was then that I saw that Alton Brown had named their Sloppy Slaw Burger on the "Messy" episode of the Best Thing I Ever Ate, and I knew that I would be having lunch. 

Their burger promise was simple: "We specialize in Black Angus Ground Chuck burgers. Our beef is fresh, never frozen as we hand pat our burgers everyday.  All of our burgers are 6 ounces of black angus ground chuck served on buttered and grilled Texas Toast.  All burgers are cooked to order and custom built with the toppings you want."  Sounds like a good plan to me.

Located just off US41, on the Church Street Extension, as we pulled up I saw Come-N-Get It next door. I had been told by a couple of guys in my Journey group about Come-N-Get It, but no one had mentioned the Mule.  From the street, it is a simple brick building with an open sign in the window and a Christmas wreath still on the door. 

We walked in, counter and grill to our left, a couple of tables and fountain machine to our right and more tables straight ahead.  We grabbed menus and walked up to the Order Here sign and placed ours.  Jo, at the last minute, switched from breakfast (which they were just finishing up serving) to Alton's recommendation, the Sloppy Slaw Burger.  I went with the 'Lil Jake (basically a Sloppy Slaw sans slaw).  Order placed, we filled our drinks and went to one of the tables in the seating area.   

About twenty minutes passed and the whole time a couple, who appeared to be the owners, were walking around table-to-table, asking questions and chatting.   Then my name was called and the burgers arrived.

My burger was served on buttered, grilled Texas toast, covered in a very thin layer of Sloppy Jim sauce (a lot more like chili than the Manwich sauce with which I grew up), covered with cheese and mayo.   The fries were good, but not great.  The burger, on the other hand was very good. 
Jo's slaw burger looked tasty from across the table, but I couldn't get my mind around the idea of slaw on a burger (as slaw is real close to the top of the things-I-don't-think-I'll-ever-like list), but when she decided she was done, with a quarter of a burger left on the plate, I gave it a try. 
It turned out to be amazingly tasty.  Kind of sweet.  And crunchy.  I'd definitely have another burger, but likely avoid either "sloppy" version.
Open Monday - Friday from 6 to 2 and Saturday 7 to 2, it's not a dinner place.   But I'll be going back for lunch.  And probably for breakfast, too.

The Red Eyed Mule on Urbanspoon

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