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3. The Optimist

There’s more to Ford Fry’s nautical seafood temple than fresh Georgia shrimp. Available only at lunch, the squat six-ounce burger is two thin patties made out of skirt steak trimmings ground with frozen butter (for real).

The burger as fetish

Growing up, I was terrified of my best friend’s grandmother, tiny but fierce with her shellacked black hair, penciled eyebrows, and penchant for telling us girls to “stand up straight.” When I confessed I had never eaten a burger at the Varsity, she declared my situation “un-American, un-Southern, and un-Christian.”

10. Shake Shack

Danny Meyer’s international burger empire arrived in Buckhead Atlanta last fall.

16. Wrecking Bar Brewpub

Wrecking Bar puts as much effort and thought into its food as its beer list.

11. Pinewood Tippling Room

Decatur turned out to be a disappointing zone for burgers—save for this cozy cocktail bar.

13. The General Muir

Pastrami is the new bacon, at least according to Todd Ginsberg, who showers chunks of it on top of fries soaked in gravy, stuffs it between soft bread, and crowns his burger with it.

Drive bye: Saying farewell to the Ponce de Leon Zesto

September 20, 2014, marked the last day of service for Zesto on Ponce de Leon Avenue, the iconic chrome diner that served only ice cream when it first opened in 1954.

15. Muss & Turner’s

The people of Smyrna show allegiance to one burger—one so cheesy and juicy, you might need a bib.

9. One Eared Stag

Robert Phalen probably wishes that people would stop talking about his burger, but it’s his own fault for concocting something this addictive—and giving it such a provocative name.

12. The Shed at Glenwood

Todd Richards has a reputation for sliders, so it’s not unexpected that his burger—deceptively average in appearance—is so fine-tuned.

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