from nyc to the atl, i jetted down the east coast for a long anticipated reunion with the dirty south. three sheets to the wind the previous night, we started the evening by gorging at antico, the hottest pizza napoletana in the city, after which point we headed for buckhead’s highly-acclaimed holeman & finch public house. recorded in the annals of culinary acclaim by the likes of esquire, food & wine, and epicurous, h&f has received such honours as #33 best new restaurant, #10 best cocktail bar, and #1 best late night burger. but let’s cut to the chase, i came to settle a score. i’d been hearing about this legendary burger for months…with a bullhorn sounding at 10pm, at which point only two dozen of these tasty treats are served per night. now anyone that knows me knows that i’m all about fancy 3-star michelin joints, but my patty piety has always been with the speed, simplicity, and scrumptiousness that is in-n-out‘s two layers of 100% pure beef, american cheese, grilled onions, and ‘animal sauce’ (the angel’s brew of thousand island). however, while in nyc, i had the shake shack shackburger and within minutes, ten years of in-n-out devotion was blown right out of the water. it was at the shake shack that my atl-ien friend threw down a comestible challenge: go to h&f and compare their burger to this one. so there i was, at the bar of holeman & finch, having a fernet and coke (note to self: lime ice cubes are fabulous EXCEPT in fernet and coke) and chowing down on a plate of charcuterie and their oh-so-dreamy bone marrow gratin, sitting pretty with an insider-track in the burger-ordering department. as the clock approached the stroke of ten, i started realizing the errors i’d made up to this moment: the hangover, the pizza, the pre-burger nosh….it was too late to refactor and shortly before BURGER TIME!, we canceled the order. some may scoff and say that i should have just gotten the burger anyway, but to them i rebut the following arguments: a) i am not an asshole; if i’m not hungry enough to enjoy this burger, then someone else deserves it and b) i owe it to burger history to conduct a controlled study. the conclusion? i’ll be back…in the name of science.