the spot: Holeman and Finch 2277 Peachtree Road Northwest, Atlanta, GA 30309
the eats: The H and F burger
the bucks: $14
the full nelson: they make 24 of these burgers a night. and it tastes as special as that sounds.
These days I find myself enjoying burgers priced in the mid teens more and more. Could it be that Cheap Eats has changed my palate? Or is it my wallet? Heck, it’s both. While I believe that the all mighty burger(and many foods) should remain an affordable experience, I can’t deny the power of fresh baked buns, quality farm sourced ingredients and the audacity to present a chef’s vision between two buns. And those factors carry with it a price tag.
Which brings me to Atlanta, GA and a burger that was put on my radar thanks to a Cheap Eats fan I ran into at the airport. Upon entry you know that Holeman and Finch does more than burgers and in some ways I felt kinda weak sauce going to a restaurant of this caliber and focusing only on the burger. I mean, I love veal sweetbreads and cheese boards as much as the next guy, but a mission is a mission. Also they only make 24 of these each night and that in itself is a special thing. My now home base of Austin TX is a Mecca for barbecue, and of course when friends visit, I take them to the best spots. And the one common thread amongst all the BBQ joints is that they run out of meat before the close. It’s a sign people, you want to wait for your food, not the other way around. So if a place is precious about their burgers enough to make a set number each night, I’m coming for that burger.
A restaurant that does duck confit may cast an illusion that their burger will be decked out with fancy toppings like truffles or maybe one of the 14 cheeses they serve but not at Holeman and Finch. This burger zeroes in on a classic cheeseburger experience: American cheese, pickles, onion and two griddled patties. I can’t deny the power of Kraft but you’re also reading the words of a man that will accept a $35 burger topped with nothing but some caramelized onions as long as the beef hits a medium rare like a steak from Ruth’s Chris. Still I stepped off the bar stool a satisfied man, burger fix sated. Oh and did I mention that the beef was pretty much cooked through?
Not medium rare but far from dry, the cross section of the burger at Holeman and Finch shows off not only cooked through burger that remains juicy(just check out that bottom bun!) but also a coarse ground patty. I’m not saying that one can’t find a coarse ground patty for under $10 but at the $10+ range, it becomes far more common. Clearly since they are doing only 24 burgers a night, this is a bespoke burger grind. One might say you can get the classic cheeseburger experience at In-N-Out or 5 Guys for 1/3 the price but the beef patties won’t resonate with this kind of texture.
Now you know this burger is worth your bucks and your time, so you are now planning on a trip to the ATL right? And you might start using a thing called the internet and discover that there is another Holeman and Finch that just does burgers(yes burgers plural meaning different renditions) and you don’t have to worry about them running out. One word of caution: I went there and though I had the burger “to go”(sacrilege I know) it just wasn’t the same. Do yourself a favor and go to the restaurant run the risk of them running out(or call ahead to see if they have any) and do it right. Worst case scenario you sup on some Carbonara or a plate of veal sweetbreads. Best case scenario: you have all three. You might break your budget but I promise you Holeman Finch will deliver some Bang for your Burger Buck.