Brad’s Grill – Home of the Messy Burger

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Gainesville, GA is off the beaten path for me.  A coworker visited there a while back, and when leaving an appointment, his contact suggested he stop and have a taste of iconic Gainesville.  He did, and IMG_2376being directed towards “The Messy Burger,” ordered same, to go.

A couple miles down the road, he pulled over, the size and “messy” proving too difficult to multitask without ruining his clothes.  I’ve since heard from a couple of others that The Messy Burger is a deserving stopping point, if not a destination.

The opportunity, finally, arose.

It doesn’t look like much from the outside, but burger joints don’t have to.  Entered from the side of a small strip center type building, I actually missed it as I was driving from the other direction.  But it’s there, if you look for it.


The inside?  Decent, faux-building inside a building defining the decor.  The geography almost demands a UGA Bulldogs motif, which was present.  Sadly.  A queue line has a wall sized menu of a wide variety of offerings which I didn’t bother to consider.  After all, I was here for the Messy Burger.  The counter service was warm and efficient, and the wait was not too long.


Ah, yes, the burger itself.  This includes:

Two beef patties – ground chuck - you get your half pound of meat.
Lettuce – fresh and crispy.
Tomato – pretty sure it was in there somewhere.
Ketchup – it makes everything better.
Mustard – just a bit for flavor, not an overpowering dose, thankfully.
Cheese (optional) – I opted not.
Bacon – cooked short of being crispy but thoroughly enough to minimize the fat.
Pickles – well, yeah.
Onions – eh, no. Not on one of my burgers, unless fried.
Cole slaw – it’s what distinguishes “messy” from “big.”


The best thing about this burger was that it tasted like a fine burger.  The flavor of the meat carries through the experience, proving more than just a substrate for layered additives.  Really, really good.

Other good things about the burger?  It was not nearly as messy as I might have expected.  The meat patties did not drip grease, and the bun did well to hold the assemblage in place until the final bite.  That’s not small feat.

Fries?  Darned good.  Sure, they’re frozen, but what makes good fries is the proper amount of time in the fryer, but also the type of and regular change out of the cooking oil.

For someone who only occasionally goes to Gainesville, there’s no reason to eat anywhere else.

Stars 5 of 5

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