A Tale of Two Burgers: Gahanna Grill and Thurman Cafe
Posted by cmh gourmand on March 25, 2007
Filmmaker George Motz is working on a book about hamburgers which brought him to Columbus. He was gracious enough to let me join him on his eating tour.
George did a documentary on eight great hamburger joints in the USA. It was really well done. It snagged the interest of a publisher who asked him to write a book on the best (100 or so) places.
We met at The Gahanna Grill. I also met his wife Casey – although she is a 5 month pregnant vegetarian, she enjoys tagging along with George watching him eat burgers, take photos, and experiencing the Midwest. George and Casey are great so I hope we cross paths again.
The Gahanna Grill
82 Granville St
George and I each had a Beanie Burger.
(Named for Beanie Vessner who has grilled these for 30 plus years)
1/2 pound patty
Homemade Cole slaw
Served with a side of fries
The Gahanna Grill has changed hands a couple times since the 1990’s but Beanie has remained and so have the fiercely loyal regular customers. The new owner used to have a pizzeria in NYC and was private chef to Rudy Giuliani (really). He retained all of the character of the place while upgrading the facilities. In fact, Gahanna Grill has not changed much since I last wrote about it.
The thing to do at the Gahanna Grill is to have a Double Beanie Burger. If you can eat all of it – you get a T-Shirt with an image of Beanie on the back as well as your photo on the Wall of Fame (I am on there twice from previous forays to the Grill).
Our next destination was The Thurman Cafe in German Village.
183 Thurman Ave
George and I each had the Thurman Burger.
At least 1/2 lb of beef
What seems like one pound of ham
a heap of pickles
(Served with Chips and a pickle spear)
The Thurman-ator – twice the meat – we opted not to get that. Casey ordered some of the fabulous Thurman’s Steak Fries. Thurman’s has been around since 1937 and has always been a family operated place. It is oozing with character – wooden booths, the bar is plastered with all types of old photos, beer themed novelty items, signed dollar bills and more. There are many great spots to eat in German Village but Thurman’s is a true Columbus culinary destination.
The Thurman Burger is big – tall and wide.
This is my technique for the successful eating of the burger (works on a Double Beanie Burger as well).
1 – Place hand on Top Bun press down hard.
2 – Flip the burger over so that the bottom (very soggy by this point) bun is on top
3 – Cut the Hamburger in two equal pieces
4 – Grip firmly and don’t let go of the burger down until you finish your flipped half hamburger
George Motz at work on a Thurman Burger
Buy George’s Book when it comes out in 2008!
FYI (Food of Your Interest) – More about Hamburgers
The National Hamburger Festival is July 21 and 22, 2007 in Akron. It will feature a Hamburger Eating Championship, the Burger Queen Pageant, and restaurants will compete to be the best hamburger in the nation.
Ohio Magazine did a nice overview of Ohio hamburger history. Check out the article below.