The tale of the Holeman & Finch cheeseburger – one of the best in the US
This burger used to be all but impossible to get your hands on – let me tell you the story. And dare I say it, it's the best burger I've ever had...
Somehow it has become a tradition that my wife, Stacey, and I go out and eat cheeseburgers on my birthday. I love it, and Stacey and I both take special care in seeking out a really good cheeseburger experience for my birthday. One of the earliest birthday-burgers we went out for was at an Atlanta gastropub called Holeman & Finch. Below is my post from Facebook from that evening! Keep in mind, this is well before I ever dreamed of writing a food blog. The burger was just so good I was compelled to tell the world about it. Stacey called it "John's Cheeseburger Manifesto".
I WANT MORE OF THIS!
January 4, 2016
"So tonight Stacey took me to Holeman and Finch because she knew I was interested in their cheeseburger. For those not in the know, their burger has often been featured on TV and the internet as one of the best in the United States.
I was actually hesitant to go there for dinner when Stacey suggested it to me. I was a little worried that the burger wasn't going to be that great, or I was only going to like it because I was supposed to.
My God, what a great burger! It was so damn simple in its flavor and execution! The patties (two of them) were covered in a creamy cheese that had such a nice richness and flavor to it. The patties themselves had the perfect sear to them that brought out the saltiness in the seasoning. What a great crust on those patties! In between the two patties there were some slivers of red onion; not too much to linger in your mouth, but enough to add a touch of flavor and a hint of sweetness. There were a few slices of bread and butter pickles that again added a touch of sweetness and a little tanginess. I topped mine with just a hint of their homemade mustard. The way all of the flavors and textures all worked together was just ridiculous. I made Stacey promise that we'd go back so that I wouldn't order another one tonight!
The dessert was wonderful too, and Stacey is still talking about it. The service was also great; attentive without being overbearing and distracting. The place has a simple-ness to it that makes it feel complex. Does that make sense? The rest of the menu looks interesting, and I really wouldn't mind trying other items, but that burger!!!
DAMN GOOD CHEESEBURGER!"
A more perfect burger quite simply doesn't exist!
What makes the Holeman & Finch cheeseburger so special?
Okay, we're back to 2021. Since that first awesome taste of the Holeman & Finch cheeseburger, Stacey and I have been back on a few special occasions to have one. It has never disappointed.
The Holeman & Finch burger gained notoriety because of when it was served. You see, Holeman & Finch's burger wasn't really readily available at their restaurant. In fact, it wasn't even an item listed on their menu.
Only 24 cheeseburgers would be served a night, and only starting at 10 PM until they ran out. People started lining up for these things, showing up as early as 5 or 6 PM at the restaurant to guarantee they'd be able to order one. The restaurant was getting clogged up with customers and it sounds like it was getting pretty ridiculous.
But it's not just the rarity of the cheeseburger that made it a thing to try. The cheeseburger was genuinely GOOD! It was well made, with farm-to-table ingredients, and dare I say it, with love!
The cheeseburger featured two patties, each 8 oz. and consisting of a 50/50 mix of ground brisket and lean chuck. The only seasoning? A little salt.
The buns? Made in house!
The ketchup? Made in house!
The Mustard? Made in house!
The pickles? MADE IN HOUSE!
Are you getting the picture here?
It is a simple burger. Two patties, American cheese, onion (farm-to-table!), pickle slices, served on a house-made roll and served with fries. Oh, the cheese? Kraft American cheese! Why? Because after trying all kinds of fancy cheeses, nothing melted and tasted as perfect as regular old American cheese does on a cheeseburger!
And the flavors are just so damn amazing! That first night that I tried the Holeman & Finch burger, it took me about 30 minutes to eat it. Each bite commanded that you take your time and enjoy it. Stacey was just amazed, as she had never seen me eat anything that slowly.
Holeman & Finch eventually added their ridiculously good cheeseburger to their menu as a regular item. After that, Holeman & Finch grew access to the burger by opening up stand-alone locations called H&F Burger; you can now order the famous Holeman & Finch burger at six locations that I know of (seven location if you count their online store where you can order all the required ingredients to craft it at home):
•Holeman & Finch Gastropub (Atlanta, GA)
•H&F Burger (Atlanta, GA)
•H&F Burger (Ashville, NC)
•H&F Burger Truist Park (Atlanta, GA)
•H&F Burger Mercedes Benz Stadium (Atlanta, GA)
•C. Ellet's Steak House (Atlanta, GA)
If you ever find yourself in the Atlanta area, you need to seek this burger out. It's simple. It's perfect!