Photo by Bart Sasso
About three months ago, Gunshow’s Spencer Gomez took over as chef de cuisine at Holeman & Finch Public House. Almost immediately, he began creating new menu items like shrimp toast with Creole gravy on ciabatta; sweetbreads with poblano pepper, tart onion, and cilantro; and country pate.
“I’ve done meat focused fine dining in the past, so I thought it was a really good fit with my culinary history,” Gomez says. “We work with local farmers more than anywhere I’ve ever worked, so we’re almost forced to change the menu constantly because we’re working with what the farmers have.”
Two to three menu items change daily with almost the entire menu changing weekly. “We’re doing more red meats like bavette steak and short rib. It gives people a substantial red meat option,” he says.
Then, on September 10, Gomez, along with owners Linton and Gina Hopkins, made another big change. They decided to limit the availability of the acclaimed cheeseburger, which had been previously available in unlimited quantity, to 24 for lunch, 24 for brunch, and 24 for dinner. Diners can order the burger immediately—no waiting until 10 p.m., unlike the burger’s original incarnation.
“It has a lot to do with how small our kitchen is,” Gomez explains. “When you start looking at how many burgers we were selling; it was almost impossible to do with the space we had. With Ponce City Market and [Turner Field] open now, it allows us to have a place for people to go. We want everyone to know there is a home for it.”
Linton Hopkins created the doublestack in 2008 as something fun to feature late at night. The burger was famously limited to 24 per night, which diners could begin ordering at 10 p.m. The burger developed a massive following, with diners waiting hours just to have a chance to sample it. In response to its sudden popularity, Hopkins opened H&F Burger locations at Turner Field and Ponce City Market. H&F Burger will also open at SunTrust Park in 2017.
Gomez says it’s the burger’s simplicity that makes it so irresistible. The double patty is a combination of house-ground chuck and brisket from Southeast Family Farms. It’s topped with melted American cheese that crisps around the edges and house-made pickles and red onion. It’s served on an H&F bun.