February 2, 2011 § 10 Comments
In case it wasn’t already obvious, I am a girl who loves a good hamburger.
And wouldn’t you know, I happen to have a lot of friends who enjoy the very same thing. So it was with a small entourage that I went to The Globe one night for dinner, all of my friends hungry for burgers and eager to embark upon my journey with me.
Prior to my actual creation of this blog, I had heard of The Globe’s burgers. “They’re so good,” people said. “You’re either going to find the best burger there or at Five Guys.” So it was with high expectations that I stepped into The Globe for the first time.
The Globe is fashioned in the style of an old English pub yet has elements of a relaxed southern style, with bare wooden tables, brick walls and art placed above the old fireplace and full bar in the back of the restaurant. It gives off a very unpretentious vibe: this is a neighborhood place where people from all over Athens come to hang out and relax after a long day.
The menu covers a range of classic American dishes and and familiar southern favorites, with a few unusual flavors thrown in: Croque Monsieur, French Dip Au Jus, and a Tandoori Chicken Sandwich. Most exciting to me, however, was the presence of six different types of burgers on their dinner menu.
“Do you know what you’d like to order?” my waiter asked me. “Well, what would you say is your signature burger?” He appeared confused at my (rather simple, I thought) question and named several of the different options, clearly unsure as to which of the burgers really was the restaurant’s signature. I explained, “I’m writing this blog about the best burger in Athens and so I was wondering which of your burgers is the most representative of your restaurant…” and on and so forth.
My explanation didn’t really appear to help him very much; in fact, he appeared a little more confused after I finished talking. Rather than rely on my waiter, I decided to order the “Globe Burger,” which seemed to be the most promising option, as it is, after all, named after the very restaurant in which it is served in.
The “Globe Burger” promised to be a juicy six-ounce burger with lettuce, tomato and red onion on a toasted onion roll. Cheese was an extra $0.50, but hey, you gotta live a little sometimes, right?
My burger appeared not 10 minutes after ordering, and my friends and I all made quite the scene snapping some photos of our food before we began eating. Not one to fall short of perfection, my roommate Ashley made sure that we captured as many pictures as we needed to ensure supreme photo quality.
Even though I don’t mind onions on my burger, I just knocked the little chunks off, as they already seemed to present me with the difficult challenge of keeping them inside my burger while eating. I added a little ketchup and spicy brown mustard and took a bite of my burger, the symbolic first step in a 15-week long journey.
Now, you know within the first, I’d say…two bites whether or not you’re eating a truly amazing hamburger. And although my first two bites were good, they just weren’t great. The lettuce and tomato were fresh enough, although tomatoes grown out of season are always going to lack that sweet, delicious flavor of summer tomatoes. Alas, The Globe cannot help that it’s January and the only places currently growing tomatoes are in South America.
I think my main problem with this burger was that it was overcooked. I had ordered it medium, as had another person at my table, and we were both served well-done burgers. Now, I understand the health repercussions that come from not cooking beef fully. But oh, the lack of flavor that accompanies fully cooked beef is simply not worth the slight risk of contracting some remote strain of bacteria!
At least that’s my philosophy, and I’m sticking to it.
Other than the actual meat itself, the hamburger bun was fresh and flavorful, and the french fries were truly very tasty. So aside from the overcooked beef, the rest of the burger was just fine. Had the burger been cooked slightly less and had a touch more seasoning, the “Globe Burger” really could have reached its “wordly” potential (…get it?).
To make my quest as quantifiable as possible, and also for ease of calculating scores at the end of my journey, I have devised a ranking system that will accompany each burger. Each burger will be given a score from one to ten in five different categories, with a one being “Hmmm…that was kind of terrible,” a five being an “Ehh…I’d eat it again if I had to, but if I didn’t have to, that’d be okay too,” and a ten being “Let me call everyone I know and write about this burger immediately, because it is AH-MA-ZING.”
So, here we go:
Quality of meat: 6
Had it just been cooked a little bit less and seasoned a little bit more…
Freshness of ingredients: 8
The onion chunks were a little untidy, but what can you really do with onion chunks, you know?
For being the restaurant’s namesake burger, I think they could have done something a little more exciting, but I will give them credit for having multiple burger options. Variety is the spice of life, as they say.
Overall rating: 6
*Now, let me just go ahead and state that I certainly don’t have the most sophisticated of palates. I don’t claim to have the experience with food that Anthony Bourdain does, or the knowledge of ingredients that any of the New York Times food critics do. But, I do know when things are cooked properly, and when ingredients are fresh, and when things generally taste good. So, please take my comments with a grain of salt if you disagree with them. I’m just stating my opinions, and if you think that The Globe has the BEST DAMN BURGER you’ve ever had, then by all means, continue to think so.
If you’d like to visit The Globe and try out the “Globe Burger” for yourself, or any of their other tasty-looking burger options, you can contact them with the information below: