I have loved Grill ‘Em All since I first peeped them on the Food Network‘s first season of The Great Food Truck Race. Upon hearing that there was a food truck out there that 1) were heavy metal fans, and 2) made gourmet burgers, I was definitely a fan. I watched that program and rooted for them every week, and went absolutely bonkers when they WON! Now that these two good-looking metal guys had won, it was time for AO and I to track down the truck. We did, and we conquered.
Fast forward to September of 2013. I desperately wanted to go to Grill ‘Em All for my birthday this year, but circumstances just did not allow. I vowed to myself that the next time I was in Los Angeles, I would make it a point to go. AO and I had tickets to see Nine Inch Nails this past weekend, so this was the perfect opportunity!
I didn’t know what to expect – the imagination goes wild! What will the experience be like? It turns out that Grill ‘Em All Alhambra is in a plaza next to a movie theater with colorful mosaic seating and fountains out front. It felt a little out of place amongst the Jamba Juice corporate mainstays and colorful mosaic seating outside, but WHO CARES! This is the brick and mortar restaurant realized at long last, by Ryan Harkins and Matt Chernus, that sprung out of a gourmet burger-serving food truck. Hallelujah, Valhalla is here!
You’re greeted by a “daily specials” board before you even get close to the door, which features their burger of the month. Ever since their opening on January 19, 2013, they create a special burger to grace the menu every month. They also have a sectioned-off patio with a good amount of outside seating, so you can sit with your beer and crush said burg in the beautiful Los Angeles sun.
Inside, you’re greeted with two huge chalkboards with the burger and fry specials. Oh! And beer! Can’t forget about the beer! It’s an open kitchen, which I absolutely love
The decor consists of all kinds of bad assery! Posters from early Mötley Crüe shows, paintings of Lemmy Kilmister, and Kerry King. This place is GREAT!
Now, it was time to get down to business. Before we drove the 80 miles down to LA, we decided that we definitely needed to bring a cooler, because we knew it was going to be a lot of food. We were not led astray – the burgers and the fries could feed you for three meals over!
I ordered the Aus Gratin, which was the burger of the month. A tower of au gratin potatoes with ham and Gruyère is piled onto a half pound burger patty, with a charred Brussels sprouts and avocado salad on the bottom. All this is topped with cranberry gastrique. This burger is Thanksgiving in burger form, and it was absolutely delicious.
The fries are just as monstrous. The ones you see here, they call the Primate fries which contain cheddar, their house 1K dressing, and grilled onions. I could not stop eating these, they were SO GOOD. The fries were cooked perfectly, the dressing was spot on, and the cheddar, fantastic. They serve these burgers and fries on sheet pans – and now I know why! They’re super-duper place mats that catch every dribble (or slab of au gratin potatoes in my case). Total genius.
I managed to snap a shot of AO’s burger (he gets fussy when I take too long with the camera – hence the blur). The Napalm Death!!! Pepperjack, pickled jalapeño, cream cheese, jalapeño poppers, and habañero aioli. What!? Gimme some of that! It was amazing. I mean they put jalapeño poppers on a burger. That says Superbowl to me right there.
Next up – No More Mr. Nice Fries. Their delicious fries are topped off with house made Coney chili, cheddar and onions. While we grubbed at the diner-themed bar top, we enjoyed the burger-making art of the open kitchen. We got to see the creation of a Napalm Death burg from start to finish. It nearly brought a tear to my eye! Grilled onion prep-work activity also caught my eye. I have never seen so many chopped onions on a flat top before. Wow. Impressive!
Six beer taps grace the diner-style bar top, and they do not disappoint! Local, craft beers sit along side American lager mainstays like PBR so everyone is happy! We made it just in time for happy hour which runs from 3-6pm Monday – Friday, which means $1 of cans. All cans. Even the likes of Craft Brewery Golden Road. Score!
While we were taking burgs to the FACE, you hear tunes by the likes of Megadeth, Mötley Crüe, Metallica, and all the good metal oldies (and newbies too). This is my heaven. If I die, this is where I want to end up.
When we first walked in, I admit, I was a bit star-struck seeing Ryan Harkins, walking around, making sure that everything was in order. We had a long conversation about beers, bars, and booze. He gave us some suggestions of great bars in the area, and said that we definitely needed to check out Eagle Rock Brewery. We did, and it was an all around great experience.
Oh, and Nine Inch Nails was pretty good too.
So, go and check Grill ‘Em All out! Their burgs melt faces (in a good way)!
Grill ‘Em All
19 E. Main St.
Alhambra, CA 91801
Heavy Metal Burger Lovin’,