Bay's Travel Blog

I don't travel much any more. Resist!

Friday, May 16, 2008

5 Guys V. Gridiron

I was all psyched up for another walk around the Philadelphia park to see the hawks, but rain prevented me. This is my very own peony in the front yard, so full of rain that it cannot help but droop pathetically.

Instead of walking, I picked up our new microwave-oven/hood, and I performed a few chores in West Knoxville, land of the evil strip malls and massive Walmarts and Targets. Ooooooo. I am no doubt headed straight to hell for giving business to such evil entities. Yet I had a fabulous dining experience nonetheless.

Last night, Wesley and I stopped at Gridiron Burgers for dinner. Wesley and Woodrow love Gridiron Burgers. So does my beloved father-in-law Bob and our darling UT-student nephew Christopher (who used to be Kicker when he was a toddler, but I'm supposed to forget about when he was adorable).

Wesley and I had just spent our economic stimulus package money on some electrical things we needed. And being in the evil West Knoxville area, we were going to dine somewhere nearby. Downtown Knoxville wasn't handy, even though it is clearly more virtuous than West Knoxville.

(Seriously, I love downtown Knoxville and especially Market Square, but it has been rendered impossible to reach by the I-40 closures.)

Wesley and I got into a lengthy debate about the best burger place in West Knoxville. Wesley told his British co-worker to try both Gridiron and Five Guys, and said co-worker now intones in a dense accent, "Five Guys has the best focking burger I've ever had!"

Wesley, however, and my dear son Woodrow, both prefer Gridiron Burgers. Wesley says that the atmosphere is better at Gridiron, and he always positions himself in a place to watch whatever sporting event is on the TV. On Wednesday night, that was a Lady Vols softball game.

I contented myself with gnawing through a dry hamburger and pretending like I was shopping for shoes with a fabulous gay boy, which would have been a much more pleasant experience, anyway.

This afternoon, after picking up a microwave oven/hood, and after finding lots of bird food at PetsMart, Woodrow and I went to Five Guys Burgers & Fries.

And I have to reiterate that I prefer Five Guys over Gridiron.

Gridiron pretends to be fancier and more ... highbrow. The atmosphere is pretty, but it pretty much sucks with the sports TVs all over the room. And I don't like their dry rub or the flavors they add to their gourmet burgers.

Five Guys, on the other hand, has a kind of cafeteria/subway-kiosk vibe in their atmosphere, which is easily as irritating and unpleasant as sports TV. But the burgers are totally sublime and juicy, the fries are MASSIVE (don't try to eat a small order of fries by yourself; it can't be done), and the prices are better.

Five Guys wins extra points for carrying Coke Zero. Gridiron has only ordinary Diet Coke. Those of us who are late converts to the world of diet drinks are very much aware of the differences, and we're always going to choose the more diverse restaurants over the ones that limit our sugar-free choices.

I'm just sayin'. Is all.

If you're on the fence, or you're a chick in search of a nice burger on that one day a week when you think it's safe to venture from your diet, pass Gridiron and head over to Five Guys. You can always pretend you're ordering for someone else and enjoy the decadence in the privacy of your own Prius!


At 19/5/08 5:18 AM, Blogger Amelia said...

My mom and I ate there for lunch last week and it was impossible for us to even finish half of the fries we shared. Agreed, their burgers are delicious, but I've never tried Gridiron.

At 19/4/09 12:41 AM, Blogger Bay in TN said...

A note, almost a year later: Gridiron Burgers closed its Turkey Creek location. Sniffle? Nah. I still prefer 5 Guys!

At 4/6/09 3:16 PM, Blogger Tammy said...

Hi!I ran across your blog and thought I would let you know that my husband and I are opening Rocky Top Burger Shoppe where Gridiron Burgers used to be in Turkey Creek. We are offering an expanded menu and a bigger, better burger in the same great location (our setting will be a bit more calm). We have already hired most of the same old friendly staff that you were used to at Gridiron and hope to be open and running the week of June 23rd. I hope to see you there when we open!


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