Classic burger joint brings heat, grease
Believe the hype, people. Though I’m not a fan of Guy Fieri, his “Diners, Drive-Ins, and Dives” stop at Midtown’s Lankford Grocery was for good reason.
The Midtown burger joint is not a place for vegetarians or health-conscious consumers. As stated on the website, “We have nothing small, nothing healthy, and nothing fast.”
I’d been there once before, but for a quick lunch. I ordered a regular bacon cheeseburger in an effort to get in and get out. I was wrong for that.
The converted garage was packed and my group barely secured a table before the waiting line began.
I went straight to the burgers and realized what I had missed out on when ordering just a regular burger. Lankford has about ten specialty burgers on its menu, though the online menu lists only half.
I had heard that the Firehouse Burger was something to try if spicy is your thing, and spicy is definitely my thing. It’s a cheeseburger that has sliced jalapenos, cayenne butter and a habanero sauce.
My boyfriend is all about Greek food, so he went straight to the Greek Burger, which the menu stated was topped with feta, spinach and olives. But then he saw the Grim Burger, a bacon cheeseburger topped with a fried egg, jalapeno and, of all things, homemade macaroni and cheese. He decided to change things up a bit.
A friend of ours went the route I took my first time there and ordered a bacon cheeseburger except he took it to the next level and added an extra patty.
Again, the website states, “If you do not have 30 minutes to spend, you should try us another day. We have great food, but its not fast food.”
Our order came out and though I recalled them being big burgers, memory had not served me well. The burgers were massive, messy and looked delicious.
My friend’s double bacon cheeseburger was ridiculously huge. He went for his knife, but I said he should at least try to take a bite of it beforehand. It was pointless.
The burgers at Lankford Grocery are amazing — thick and juicy and sprinkled with the right amount of seasoning. I’m not much for fancy seasoning, just salt and black pepper usually does it for me. That seems to be the case with the cooks at Lankford.
My Firehouse Burger was definitely towards the top of the spicy category.
I have a habit of gutting the veggies from a burger halfway through — just breaking it down to bread, meat, cheese and condiments for the last few bites. As usual, I did this with my Firehouse, but truth be told, I was ready to let go of some of the heat, and the sliced jalapenos would have come out even if that wasn’t a habit.
I was able to get a taste of the Grim and must say that whoever asked for that combination was either crazy or a genius. Macaroni and cheese on an already cheesy cheeseburger? This person was a crazy genius — and could obviously afford some calories and cholesterol.
My friend paused midway through his double bacon cheeseburger, too full to continue, but I told him to think of it as a “Man v. Food” challenge. Man won.
Anyone who makes it to Lankford Grocery wins — maybe not in terms of health, but definitely for a sunny Saturday afternoon lunch that features a tasty, homemade burger that will not break your bank.
If it’s your first time, go for the burger. There are a lot of good-looking options like the salads, but you should definitely taste the hype.
A few things to note if you plan to visit: Take cash — no credit cards are accepted; Arrive early — the joint is only open until 3 p.m. Monday through Saturday.
Also, make sure to swing by the register before you order. There are always burger specials of the day.
I forgot to do this and was disappointed to see — after I had already eaten — that the day’s special was a Frito Pie Burger. Next time, Lankford.
Lankford Grocery is located at 88 Dennis St. For more information, visit lankfordgrocery.com.