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Burger chain Shake Shack scouting for Nashville location video by Michael Schwab/Tennessean

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5 to Try: Hot burgers in a cold world

May is National Burger Month. It’s also National Salad Month, but I’m going to wait a minute on that to pay homage to the food that I love so much even cartoon versions of it make me hungry. Seriously, when I was little and watched Wimpy eating hamburgers on Popeye cartoons, I always wanted one so badly. It should go without saying that “Bob’s Burgers” is one of my favorite shows. Burgers rock, and although there are many amazing OG burger spots in this town, this week I’m highlighting some of the new guys, in the hopes that they, too, may someday be OG Nashville burgers joints. Show them some love, people.

More: It’s official: Shake Shack is coming to Nashville

 

Hopdoddy Burger Bar

1805 21st Ave. S.
www.hopdoddy.com; 615-823-2337

Some days are pre-made Kroger patties on the grill with a slice of American cheese, ketchup and mustard, and a bun that disintegrates into the bottom of the burger before you’ve gotten halfway through it. And there is a certain beauty in that, to be sure. But some days are American grass-fed Kobe beef patties topped with melty brie, arugula, caramelized onions, truffle aioli and house-made steak sauce on a freshly baked brioche bun. I can’t tell you whether you’re having a pre-made home-grilled burger day or a Primetime Burger day. Only you can know that. I can only tell you that a good burger is a good burger, and it can cure what ails you.

More: More craft burgers? Hopdoddy stands out from the competition

More: Hopdoddy chef Matt Schweitzer talks fine art of craft burgers

Brothers Burger Joint

2821 Bransford Ave.
the-brothers-burger-joint.business.site; 615-380-7069

Jump back, Jack. That’s what you will be tempted to say when you bite into the Jumpback Jack burger, because CANDIED BACON, Y’ALL. Also caramelized onions, fresh jalapenos, cumin aioli and pepper jack cheese. This kind of explosively sweet-and-spicy isn’t found so often in nature, though you do occasionally run across it, like when you watch Adam Rippon talking about his competition on “Dancing with the Stars.” They do locally sourced beef, locally sourced bacon and locally sourced awesome. And their joint is usually jumpin’, too, so get on in there and see what the fuss is about.

Gertie’s Bar at 404 Kitchen

507 12th Ave. S.
the404nashville.com/gerties-bar; 615-712-8572

I’m a giant cheese fiend (Just ask Paris. They ran out this spring because of me.), but I do love American cheese. It makes me think of the happy parts of my childhood. So, of course, I’m all in for Gertie’s double-patty smash-burger, cooked over diced onions and topped with American cheese, grilled romaine and truffled mushrooms, served on a Nashville Potato Muffin with Duke's mayo. The patties are a custom blend of chuck, short rib and brisket from Bear Creek Farm, and that NPM is hybrid between an English muffin and a potato bun. Only served after 9 p.m., because you can’t even handle this kind of burger any earlier than that.

Hugh-Baby’s

4816 Charlotte Ave.
hughbabys.com; 615-610-3340

I had to throw in at least one veggie burger. First of all, I have a lot of vegetarian friends, and a few vegan friends.  Plus, I enjoy a good veggie burger. I’m always amazed at how much they can taste like the real thing once you dress it up like you would a standard burger. Here, you’ll get a patty made of black beans, onions, smoked mushrooms and cashews. I encourage you to enjoy it with their also vegetable-based fries and a shake. Although if you want to order a meat shake, hey, that’s on you.

Emmy Squared

404 12th Ave. S.
emmysquared.com; 615-248-2662

Well, this Brooklyn-based, Detroit-inspired pizza place makes butt-kicking burgers. Who knew? Their Gulch outpost is using Bear Creek Farm beef, so they’re officially Nashville-based now, too. Or heaven-based, if you prefer, because any place that serves deep-dish AND burgers has definitely been touched by God. Try Le Big Matt, named after Chef Matt Hyland, and featuring two all-beef patties, special house sauce with a samba base, greens, American cheese and pickles on a Tom Cat Bakery pretzel bun. You won’t even miss the onions and sesame seeds (see what I did there?).

More: $10 lunch: Gabby's Burgers and Fries

 

 

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