Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Daily highlight #21: the burger phase - part I - Restaurant: The Earl

I go through phases with food. When a particularly strong craving gets a hold of me, it lingers on for weeks until I finally tire of the object of my temporary affection. Some weeks ago, the burger bug bite me. Ever since, I've gone all over town in search of a juicy and full-flavored American classic.

Let's start with the Earl burger, what Wall Street Journal named one of three best burgers in the country. I have no basis to call Wall Street Journal the authority on burgers, but some credits are surely due for writing that "the best burgers in America are . . . in Atlanta." :)

The Earl is as alternative in looks as its east Atlanta neighborhood. Perfectly mismatched and sufficiently greasy, I had high hopes for the burger upon stepping inside the door. The service was by no means speedy, so I had plenty of time to contemplate the stickiness of the table and the very old floor, details easily missed by its mostly late night music and libation driven patrons (my observations were made in the midday sunlight).

The burger came with a sizable mound of skinny fries. Well-charred, the patty looked as if it could use a minute to rest, so I let it and munched on the fries. The fries were solid, not special, but very enjoyable. They never got limp even at the end of my meal.

So here is a look at the inside of my burger ordered medium rare. It's a bit on the side of medium if you ask me. The taste, however, didn't appeared to have suffered. My first bite from the outside was very juicy and pleasantly salty. The patty held together nicely and did not crumble even until the end. After the first half, I was full. I let the other half sit on the plate while I caught up with my table mates. Before it got completely room temperature, I took another bite, not a good move. The cooling process had somehow taken all the moisture out of it and rendered the patty rather tough. So the moral here is not to be gluttonous (unless you are fast) because even a very good thing turns bad when you overdo it. :)

The Earl
488 Flat Shoals Ave. SE
Atlanta, GA 30316

1 comment:

Anonymous said...


The Earl probably did you a favor and kept the cooking temperature at medium. I wouldn't recommend you order a burger anywhere less than medium unless they guarantee/state that they grind the patties daily in-house. Most establishments have these patties sitting around for a while which increases the chances of getting sick.