Oh, Atlanta, I have loved you my whole life. You were the setting for my first professional sporting event (Braves during the bad years) and my first concert (Willie Nelson rocked this little punk rocker). The Z-Force (dismantled due to safety concerns) at Six Flags Over Georgia gave my sister, Kellie, and me lifelong memories of two fearless little girls. In 1998, I insisted on riding every roller coaster next to my then crush, now husband, secretly holding his hand through every twist, turn, and flip. I witnessed one of my best friends nearly lose her mind when a cab driver in 2003 couldn’t find his way from Centennial Park to Buckhead. “Stop f-ing clicking!” was Steph’s reaction forty-five minutes into the fare when the driver pulled over to ask his brother in Swahili for directions. The clicking was more than Steph could take. I still laugh at the idea of our “clicking cabbie” who couldn’t find his way between two of Atlanta’s most visited destinations.
But through all of my visits to Atlanta, I had never explored the Virginia Highlands area of Atlanta. I honestly never knew it existed until a recent girls’ weekend in Atlanta, which is a little embarrassing because I consider myself to be an Atlanta expert. After a little arm twisting and agreeing to “shop till we drop then crawl” at Lenox Square, my skeptical companions agreed to give a couple of new-to-us restaurants a try. Yeah Burger in the Highlands was selected for dinner Friday night. Yes, I know, with all the choices in the Highlands, from international cuisines to fine dining to chic, foodie-type cafes, why choose a burger joint? Because burgers are delightful. And a great burger is a thing of culinary beauty.
Now, I must admit, Friday night at Yeah Burger with its fantastic gluten-free choices was an easy sell. My friend Candace has serious gluten intolerance and, as a result, has not had onion rings in probably five years. Candace also has the taste buds of an adolescent boy, and, therefore, would prefer to eat nothing but cheeseburgers, pizza, nachos, and onion rings. So, the idea of actually being able to have a cheeseburger and a side of onion rings delighted her for the weeks leading up to our trip. I, on the other hand, spent the weeks before our trip praying that the gluten-free buns would not compare to cardboard and that the onion rings would be extra crispy, what Candace has missed for the last five years. (My friend Candace is hilarious and wonderful and beautiful and scares me a little.) Much to my delight and sincere relief, yummy noises were made through the entire meal.
Just for kicks, I ordered gluten-free that evening: gluten-free burger with pickles, grilled onions, cheddar, mayo, and mustard and a side of gluten-free rings. The bun was soft and squishy, but dense enough to withstand all my toppings. The grass-fed burger was juicy and delicious. The rings were crispy, and the cook even made Candace’s extra, extra crispy. I washed down the meal with a crisp mojito. Yes, this is a burger joint with a full bar!
My three recommendations for anyone visiting Yeah Burger in the Highlands:
1. Allow an extra ten minutes to find a place to park and/or be willing to walk a few blocks.
2. Have a friend hold your place in the order line while you go to the bar. Why stand in the long line empty-handed when you could sip something tasty while waiting? The booze will make the wait more entertaining and make it easier to convince yourself that because the burger is grass fed and the toppings are organic, eating a cheeseburger must be good for you.
3. Weather permitting, dine on the patio. This is a popular restaurant with a diverse demographic and great acoustics. So, unless the shrieking laughter of 18-year-old girls being amplified by high ceilings delights you, take your order number flag outside, sip your drink, and wait to indulge in a truly wonderful burger!
Wait for it…Two Urban Licks review coming soon!