I like to think of myself as a burger connoisseur. That's why I had to try Ann's Snack Bar once I heard about it. The Wall Street Journal calls Ann's ghetto burger the best burger in America. Mind you, this writer actually toured all over the country sampling burgers, and he picked this one. That's no small thing. So the boyfriend and I headed over prepared for a long wait, a unique experience and a helluva burger.
Ann's has been around forever, and it shows. It's tucked away on a dingy stretch of Memorial and it looks like not much has changed over the years. There are only a few counter stools and some outdoor seating. I'd heard a lot about how Ann has a lot of rules, a la Soup Nazi, but the rules were actually obscured by photos of local Atlanta politicos who like to dine there. All I could see was no swearing, so I kept my potty mouth in check and assumed that otherwise I should just stay on good behavior if I wanted my burger.
We got a seat right away, which was a pleasant surprise, but alas, we still waited forever and a day for a burger. The surly guy behind the counter made everyone in the whole restaurant's burgers at the same time, meaning we had to wait for something like 40 burgers to be made before we got ours. Ann's is clearly in no hurry, and we saw some people turning away after being told they'd have to wait an hour for a burger.
Ann's apparently known for her hot dogs, too, but we simply had to try the famed ghetto burger. These burgers are huge huge huge and famous for good reason. After the interminable wait, we were rewarded with 2 giant dripping patties, covered in chili, bacon, lettuce, tomato, mayo and a heavy dose of seasoning. I can't see how it would have been possible to take a bite of such a monster, so I removed one patty from the get-go, and even then I made a big, sloppy mess.
I wouldn't go so far as to say this was the best burger I've ever had. That honor goes to Father's Office in Santa Monica. But comparing that expensive, fancy-pants burger to the ghetto burger is unfair. Ann's burger is deliciously satisfying, and the experience of sitting at the counter listening to her banter with customers is a lot of fun and worth the trip. The fries were nothing special, but if you want the full experience, you can't pass up a side of fries.
The boyfriend and I had so much leftover that we brought it home, and it turns out that ghetto burger is delish when scarfed straight out of the fridge at the end of the night, and even better when scrambled with eggs.
Pros: one-of-a-kind dining experience, nationally renowned burger, inexpensive
Cons: sometimes surly service, long lines
Ann's Snack Bar
1615 Memorial Dr
Atlanta, GA 30317