Search This Blog

Friday, June 21, 2013

Atlanta's Best Hamburger: Round 1 FINAL with Sopranos Tribute

Warning:  The following may not be appropriate for children under the age of 13 and those who don't recognize the brilliance of James Gandolfini

At the end of the last blog, I wrote the following:

The Writers Guild of America came out with the best 50 written TV shows of all time and it's a great list. "The Sopranos" were #1 and it's hard to argue with any TV show that brought "Big Pussy" into the mainstream vernacular.

It was prophetic for the WGA to recognize this piece of work before the centerpiece of this modern classic passed.

The Sopranos was as transcendent and groundbreaking of a television show as there has ever been.  I was a loyal viewer of the show  every Sunday night when it was on (there were some historically long hiatus').  I will never forget when it first came on and my roommate Jeff Berkman and I were hooked.  The show somehow made us love the unloveable.  Think Archie Bunker on steroids.  Admittedly, I was disappointed in certain seasons and certain episodes I felt meandered a bit much.  And that was before Steve Perry told us to "Don't Stop Believin'."  But as time passed, I really appreciated the finale (and not just because my aunt Michou was in it).

I will tell you this, without Tony Soprano we may not have ever known Walter White (as Bryan Cranston tweeted earlier), Jack Bauer, Vic Mackey, Avon Barksdale and no Stringer Bell and of course no Don Draper (Matthew Weiner was co-executive producer).  I would have missed out on 6 of my 7 favorite adulthood shows (Lost being the 6th).  The show also transformed HBO, and to a large extent cable, into a home for daring shows willing to go against the broadcast standard.

David Chase was basically the Bill Walsh of modern television.  He didn't invent it, but he planted the seeds that define what Mark Cuban now calls the "Golden Age of Television."  No other medium can push the social commentary like television and it's not even close.
Holsten's (the diner from the finale) and Satin Dolls (which was the Bada Bing in the show) paid there respects with the above tributes
Personally (NERD ALERT), I have been the commissioner of MLB, NFL and NBA Fantasy Leagues for 13 years.  The name of each of those leagues?  The Bada Bing. Where men can come together and leave reality at the door.  We have never even considered changing the name.

So we are going to do the rest of the blog as a tribute to the Sopranos.  With all due respect of course.

David Hasselhoff/ Botox Division:

Grindhouse "houses" Flip Burger.

Flip Burger is like "Adriana La Cerva," Christopher Moltisanti's fiancee.  Looks great on the outside, but not enough meat on the inside and they try to look to pretty.  Sorry Richard Blais.  I want my burger to be full size, not some pint size wannabe.  I like your variations on the burger, but bulk it up.  Look at Adriana, she ended up ratting the family out to the FBI until Silvio took her on a ride to the woods.  She tried to be everything for everybody.  That is often the undoing of both Mobster wives and burger joints.
Just like Flip Burger Adriana, you tried to hard
So Grindhouse will have to be Silvio Dante, right?  He's the Consigliere, runs the legitimate business, he killed Adriana and oh yea, is the rhythm guitarist in one of the greatest bands of all time.
“Everything dies, baby, that’s a fact. But maybe everything that dies someday comes back”- The Boss, Atlantic City
Grindhouse's Double Yankee with Bleu Cheese, Thick Cut Bacon and Grilled Onions are to die for.  Take a  look at the picture, dying after eating this may not be that far off base.
Just in case the burger doesn't get me, I'll order the chili cheese fries.  Hello Lipitor
Atlanta fixture The Vortex takes care of Yeah Burger.  Yeah Burger is good, but I'm not sure it's anything special as some people do.  They came into the scene and made a splash, but I'm not convinced they will stay.  Much like Ralph Cifaretto, who played by the enigmatic "Joey Pants."  One of the greatest lines ever  was when Ralph beat his stripper girlfriend to death outside of the club, Tony see's it and proceeds to beat Ralphy to a pulp and tells him "You disrespected The Bing."  Lesson learned?  Not really since he has to kill Ralph later on for burning down their horse stables for insurance money.
You never disrespect The Bing
The Vortex has been in Atlanta 21 years.  And has the coolest front door in town.  Oh yea, and they serve an array of delicious burgers.
Enter at your own risk
Contributor Carl P says "The Vortex has been a "destination" burger for us for years."  Matt G states, "The Vortex is an Atlanta Institution, Yeah Burger just can't compete."

My two favorite offerings they serve are the Four Horsemen and the Black Shroom.  Just like Corrado "Junior" Soprano, they are the wily veterans that when you think they might be out of the game, they still have some moves left.

The Hippie Cow Division:

Boccado takes apart Farm Burger.  FB is a decent burger, but like Yeah Burger, I do not know what sets it apart.  It's not aesthetics either.  They make a good product, but don't push the needle too hard towards excellence.  Kind of like Robert "Bobby Bacala" Baccalieri, Jr.  We all had a soft spot for him as he fumbled his way through Juniors supposed alzheimers and his stumbling up the family's ladder.  He just never garnered the overall respect.
President Bacala?
Boccado is just a double patty full of taste that is taking names and also inspired (or ripped off depending on your opinion) by General Muir.  But it stands on it's own is a tough SOB just like my boy like Paulie Walnuts.
The most underrated character on the show
Miller Union has the Johnny "Sack" of burgers.  Lots of substance.  The meat is perfect on their "daily grind" burger.  It's juicy, a good size and it truly melts in your mouth.  So it obviously beats the "General Muir's" offering.  Though I can't wait to try their Pastrami offering.

Unlike the double patty that can be overcooked the quality and width of their burger are what makes the "daily grind" stand apart.
Johnny "Sack" Sacramoni was one of the consistent characters, mirroring the consistence of Miller Unions quality
As the General Muir is more of a Christopher Moltisanti, whom wanted to be Tony, but didn't have the chops as General Muir's burger kind of wants to be Bocado's burger.
Maybe one day kid
Here is your updated bracket:

So now we are down to Atlanta's 8 Best Burgers.  It's time to go to the mattresses.
Fade to Black


  1. Sorry for the loss... seems like you had a real connection, pasta?

  2. Definitely the pasta

  3. ever movie in my life...
    Tony S ,nice (bad/god) gay and Johny Sack ...great husband...
    LOVE The Sopranos