The Shil-Shul Diaries

The story begins in a cramped booth at the "faux" New York deli 'Noshville' in Nashville TN on a blustry day after thanksgiving November Friday day in 2008. In between my wife, Rachel, and my brother, Michael, I sat across from my "cooler than me" cousins Mark and Sarah, and Sarah's just as cool husband, Danny. Mark, who lives the awesome life being a lawyer living in San Francisco working for Facebook, with his only downfall being his SEVERE lactardation..which has never been medically or scientifically proven to exist in Mark.. Sarah and Danny are foodies from NYC who have tried every dive "chicken finger" hut and "curry on a stick" in the big city. Danny and Sarah had discussed that they were trying to go to as many places from Bobby Flay's 'Throwdown' show as they could, and that there was one in Nashville we had to try.....a place that I had never heard of in my 13 years of living there..I will get to that adventure later.

I got an idea from my cool cousins idea. An idea became a hobby. And the hobby became an obsession. And thus produced the list.....a world-famous spreadsheet...of every restaurant that has ever been featured on Food Network and Travel Channel....every restaurant from the famous shows like "Throwdown", "Man V. Food", "Man v. Food Nation", "Food Feuds", "Food Wars", "Best Thing I Ever Ate", and "Diners Drive-Ins and Dives" to the obscure "Best Food Ever", "Meat and Potatoes", and "101 Best Places to Chowdown", plus my additions of the restaurants of famous chefs and local places of legend. Names, cities, food they are famous for, and addresses. It was and still is an obsession. As of 9:24am on January 7th, 2015, THE LIST HAS 3,116 RESTAURANTS ON IT...WITH A FEW OVERLAPS HERE AND THERE. And then over Pastrami Eggs Benedict at Nate N' Al's Deli in Beverly Hills, Hannah and Andrew, our good friends, gave me the idea of the blog. Document every place I went. And thus, "The Shil-Shul Diaries" was born. I will log the places, the shows they are from, and what I had. So far, every place I have been has been amazing, except two, one being mediocre, and another being down right awful.

If there is a city you have been to, or are going to, or are from and want to know what from my list is in the city, send me a email at shilshuldiaries@gmail.com

Monday, February 9, 2015

Holeman & Finch Public House




From Best Thing I Ever Ate, Best Food Ever, Best Burger in America, and every single travel and food magazine to ever exist on the face of the planet.



2277 Peachtree Road Northeast Atlanta, GA 30309
The Burger.

"We all need to make time for a burger once in a while."- Erica Durance

That's all it reads on the menu is 'The Burger'.

"I always want to find the best burger in town."- Dennis Quaid

No substitutions. No exclusions. No add ons. 



"You can find your way across this country using burger joints the way a navigator uses stars."-Charles Kuralt


The one burger I have been waiting, basically my whole life, to try.

"I enjoy the burger joint the same way I enjoy fancy meals."- Aby Rosen

The very top of my culinary bucket list.

The Holman-Finch Burger. The most elusive culinary item in the world.  The urban legends drape this masterpiece in a shroud of mystery.  They only make 24.  They don't tell you when its available.  People get there at open and wait until they close to try and get one.  They are the most desired food in Atlanta.  Truly both a myth and a legend. An endeavour, an experience, an adventure, an expedition, a culinary masterpiece.

My beloved friend Evan Remer will tell you that I use the words "epic", "best", "game changer", "incredible", "fantastic", "favorite", "amazing", "fabulous" are often and freely as words like "the", "and", "it", and "food".  I am a overly optimistic food blogger.  I don't feel the need to crap on places like people on Yelp or food critics who get paid to do so.  I support local business and culinary genius.  I want to share the great culinary experiences with you.  I want you to be able to enjoy what I have enjoyed.  Food is meant to be loved and shared by all and thus I feel the need to only express the loves I have had in the culinary world.

And I love the great burgers of the culinary world. I love to share my stories of the great burgers of the culinary world and love to have them shared with me. And there have been a lot of them….

I called the Billy Goat Tavern in Chicago "a landmark…incredible..a institution, an experience, a land mark, and a cannot miss culinary and cultural experience"

I called Fat Mo's in Nashville  "a extraordinary culinary extravaganza"

I called Pie N' Burger in Pasadena "as good as it gets without being too much.  It is simple, American, incredible comfort food."

I called Burger Up in Nashville "fantastic"

I called Rotiers in Nashville "phenomenal"

I called the White Spot in Charlottesville "perfect"

I called Apple Pan in LA "delicious"

I called Rockit in Chicago "phenomenal"

I called AJ Bomber's in Milwaukee "outstanding"

I called Sobelman's in Milwaukee "great"

I called "Terry's Turf" in Cincinnati "most unique burger experience I have ever had in my life.  This place is outrageous and outstanding"

I called Cherry Cricket in Denver "really great"

I called Kuma's Corner in Chicago a "top 3 burger of my life"

I called Hodad's in San Diego "wonderful"

I called Bobby's Burger Palace in Vegas "amazing"

I called Umami in LA "AMAZING AND A MUST GO FOR ANY BURGER FANATIC OR FOODIE! THE BURGERS ARE INVENTIVE AND PERFECTION"
I called Father's Office in LA "awesome"

I called the Grill 'Em All in LA "delicious"

I called Matt's Bar in Minneapolis "incredible"

I called the Vortex in Atlanta "amazingly awesome"

I called Thurman's in Columbus "THE BEST BURGER I HAVE EVER HAD IN MY LIFE....TO THIS DAY...NOTHING COMES CLOSE OR EVEN COMPARES...I HAVE HAD THOUSANDS OF BURGERS...ASK MY CHOLESTEROL LEVELS...BUT NOTHING COMES CLOSE TO HOW AMAZING THIS PLACE IS..IT HAUNTS ME HOW INCREDIBLE THIS PLACE IS!!!

EVERYTHING ABOVE WAS, IS, AND WILL FOREVER BE 100% TRUE AND ACCURATE AND I WOULD TESTIFY TO THE LEGITIMACY OF ALL THESE STATEMENTS UNDER OATH IN THE SUPREME COURT!!!

HOWEVER, ON THIS DAY, FEBRUARY 9TH, 2015.  I HAVE COME TO ONE CONCLUSION. THE SEARCH FOR THE BEST BURGER IN AMERICA IS OVER BY A LANDSLIDE…

THE HOLEMAN FINCH BURGER IS LEGITIMATELY CULINARY PERFECTION.  

THE HOLEMAN FINCH BURGER IS THE BEST IN AMERICA AND THE BEST I HAVE EVER HAD. HANDS DOWN, NO QUESTIONS ASKED, NO DEBATE ABOUT IT.  THE BEST.  EVER!

ALL THE STORIES ARE TRUE. ALL THE RUMORS ARE TRUE. ALL THE LEGENDS ARE TRUE

THIS IS THE MOST PERFECT BURGER. PERFECT MEAT. PERFECTLY COOKED MEAT (THEY DONT ASK HOW YOU WANT IT COOKED). PERFECT CHEESE, PERFECTLY MELTED CHEESE. PERFECT COOKED ONIONS. PERFECT SAUCES.

EVERYTHING IS MADE OR GROWN IN HOUSE FROM THE GROUND BEEF TO THE BUNS TO THE PICKLES AND SAUCES.

A DOUBLE STACK BURGER. 

BUN, BURGER, GRILLED ONION, BURGER, CHEESE PICKLE.

MY HOLEMAN FINCH BURGER EXPERIENCE CAN BE SIMPLY EXPLAINED BY ONE OF MY FAVORITE TV CHARACTERS OF ALL TIME, MARSHALL ERIKSEN, IN ONE OF MY FAVORITE EPISODES OF ALL TIME, BEST BURGER IN NYC, OF ONE OF MY FAVORITE TV SHOWS OF ALL TIME, HOW I MET YOUR MOTHER"

"Just a Burger? Just a burger. It’s so much more than "just a burger." I mean…that first bite—oh, what heaven that first bite is. The bun, like a butter freckled breast of an angel, resting gently on the perfectly melted cheese and sauteed onions, flavors mingling in a seductive pas de deux. And then…a pickle! The most playful little pickle! A patty of ground beef so exquisite, swirling in your mouth, breaking apart, and combining again in a fugue of sweets and savor so delightful. This is no mere sandwich of grilled meat and toasted bread.  This is God, speaking to us in food."

I DOCUMENTED MY FIRST BITE, AND MY REACTION SPEAKS MORE THAN ANY WORDS I CAN SAY.  A PICTURE IS WORTH A THOUSAND WORDS, BUT A VIDEO IS WORTH A INFINITY.

video


THE ONLY WORDS THAT NEED TO BE SAID IS THAT THIS IS THE BEST BURGER I HAVE EVER HAD AND COULD EVER DREAM OF, AND THEREFOR IT IS THE BEST IN THE ENTIRE WORLD.

NEVER AGAIN WILL I OR CAN I SAY "BEST BUGER EVER" BECAUSE THERE IS NO WAY I CAN IMAGINE ANYTHING TOPPING THIS…BUT I AM OPEN TO THE CHALLENGE

PS-THE HOLEMAN FINCH BURGER IS NOW ON THE MENU PERMANENTLY.

PPS- WE ALSO HAD THE MOST OUTSTANDING APPETIZERS AND DESSERT. PIMENTO CHEESE, DEVILED EGGS, BACON CARMEL CORN, AND PRETZEL BITES. OUTSTANDING. WE ALSO HAD HOMEMADE ICE CREAM SANDWICHES FOR DESSERT! UM, YES PLEASE AND THANK YOU!










PPPS- THANKS TO PHIL FOR MAKING THIS DREAM COME TRUE (I HEARD RASCAL FLATTS 'MY WISH' PLAYING IN MY HEAD AS I TOOK EACH BITE)

PPPPS-THANKS FOR JORDAN AND ADAM FOR BEING ALONG FOR THE CULINARY ADVENTURE.





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