Back in 2018, Emma and Sean Schacke bought a vintage building next to the police station in Kirkwood. They decided to live in the top of it and make wonderful food in the bottom of it. They called their market Evergreen Butcher + Baker, and they opened it in September 2019. Even though it’s only a medium-long walk from my house, I didn’t become truly enamored of the place until Covid hit. Now, I’m there once or twice a week.
In February 2020, Emma (the baker) and Sean (the butcher) made 50 cheeseburgers, announcing on Instagram, “If you like ’em, we might make Cheeseburger Sunday a thing.” The Schackes’ followers did, indeed, like them. So, they made 75 the following Sunday. By September, they started offering 100 and often sold out by the time they closed at 3 p.m.
Here’s how it works: People start lining up around 12:30 p.m., which is really the only way to be sure you’ll get one. Evergreen starts selling the burgers at 1 p.m. You can buy as many as you want, but I think we can all agree you’re a monster if you buy more than a couple. One time, there were exactly two burgers left that Emma and Sean ate after closing, which is completely adorable. Another time, they sold 100 burgers in 55 minutes.
It’s a classic double cheeseburger, albeit with excellent ingredients. Emma long-ferments the sesame bun, Sean breaks down the entire cow they use for the burger, and they make the pickles and aioli in-house. It’s not the kind of thing you can eat with one hand. But it’s simultaneously structurally sound and utterly succulent. It’s very good, is what I’m saying.
In the name of journalism, I attempted to eat five Evergreen Sunday cheeseburgers. I tweeted about each experience. This is a look back at those burgers and tweets.
I play it cool and show up around 2 p.m. I scarf the burger greedily outside my parked car alongside Hosea L. Williams Drive, and I tweet four photos of the burger like a real sicko. Someone responds by calling the burger “the bulwark Atlanta needs against the scourge of veganism,” which is easily one of the stupidest things I’ve ever read.
I honestly don’t remember much about this burger, because, even though I told you that I did this whole five-burger thing “in the name of journalism,” that was a lie. I was assigned this piece shortly after burger four. I tweet that I’m “livin’ that life right now tbpfh.” Someone replies, “I live within walking distance and knew nothing of this burger.” You’re welcome, internet buddy.
I show up around 2 p.m. again. The line’s not bad. I get to the front, order a pound of smoked turkey, a loaf of sandwich bread, a cookie for my wife, and, of course, a cheeseburger. No big deal. But then, after the cashier hands me the bag, she walks around the front of her table and tells the line they’re out of cheeseburgers. I’m not sure exactly how to describe my concurrent sweet relief and deep guilt, but I bet the Germans have a word for it. That’s it. That’s the tweet. Someone replies and says they were standing three people behind me when I got the cheeseburger. They include a middle-finger emoji.
Classic visit. Showed up around 2 p.m., bought a cheeseburger, sent a stupid tweet, ate the burger too quickly, got the hiccups.
This time, the line is longer—20 people stand between me and the burger. More than 20 minutes pass, and it’s hard not to wonder how many burgers are in each large bag that walks by. As people line up behind me, I feel better, but also worse. There are still five folks in front of me when the last burger is sold, so I pivot to buying a pound of roast beef and a loaf of the sandwich bread, drowning my sorrows in Duke’s mayonnaise when I get home. With the sold-out announcement, loud moans emanate from the people behind me. But then, from that same group, a cheerful resignation: “Okay! We’ll see you in a week!”
Three Other Great Takeout Burgers
This griddled double-stack with American cheese, pickles, and “sassy sauce,” served out of a Dunwoody Chevron station, evokes a (better) Big Mac.
One Night Stand
Available in Westview, Jonesboro, and Old Fourth Ward, this burger is big, messy, and cheesy—but, unlike most burgers with that description, it’s vegan!
Buy a burger, save a music venue. This East Atlanta Village monster is topped with American cheese, thick pickles, and Coca-Cola–grilled onions.
This article appears in our February 2021 issue.