For years we’ve been hearing that Ann’s Snack Shop in Atlanta has the best burger. Not just the best burger in Atlanta, mind you, but the best burger period. Yesterday, Ed and I finally decided to put that claim to the test.
Ann’s Snack Shop is on Memorial Drive near the East Lake and East Atlanta neighborhoods. The ramshackle building has room for just seven diners, who belly up to a counter lined with ultra-chic duct tape. Behind the counter, the fridge sits at a slant thanks to the sagging floor, and giant stainless steel pots bubble away atop the kind of stove intended for a home kitchen.
Ann is a one-woman operation who’s been in business for decades. She’s a no-nonsense kind of lady, and if you want to eat at her restaurant, you’d better play by her rules. If the counter stools are all taken and another customer comes in the door, she’ll give them a stern look and a command: “You’ll have to wait outside.”
Those left waiting might be standing outside for a while because Ann works at her own pace. Ed and I arrived half an hour before the place opened for the day, so we were the first through the door. Five minutes after she let us in, every stool was occupied. From the time we sat to the time we paid and left was a full hour – for nothing more than a burger and fries.
But what a burger! Ann’s signature is the Ghetto Burger: two giant patties with double cheese, plus chili, bacon, onions, lettuce, ketchup and plenty of mayo. All of this is stacked between two halves of a toasted bun and takes up almost an entire plate.
The wait went quickly: watching Ann cook was entertainment enough. And the wait was worth it, too: the Ghetto Burger really is the best burger I’ve ever eaten.