(Yes, you read it correctly)
During the height of the real estate boom years ago, I represented a group of bankers from the north Georgia mountains, who, whenever they came to Atlanta for our luncheon meetings, insisted that their restaurant of choice was the Cheetah. On our first outing there, we sat at the bar, each of us ordering hamburgers.
When the affable bartender (Paul) inquired if they were cooked to order (medium rare), we showed him the interior of the burgers at their well-done stage. “They are on the house, gentlemen, since the kitchen didn’t get it right.” Fast forward a month or so to our second meeting there and the same thing occurred.
Upon seeing us for our third visit, he inquired if we had come for our free burgers. By that time, however, the kitchen had figured it out and we happily paid for one of the better burgers in town.
To lead into my next foray there, one of my nephews founded the up and coming company that produces and distributes Whynatte, a coffee based energy drink better known for mixing with Jagermeister to mitigate many of the liquor’s more offensive properties. I have suggested re-tooling the formula to get rid of all of the qualities, but to no avail.
I on the other hand use it as a base for coffee ice cream, and when he informed me that the Cheetah was making Whynatte ice cream and it was a best seller, I decided it was time to take Mrs. Curmudgeon and have a taste off as well as to re-test their burgers.
Arriving at the bar only to have Paul recognize me as a previous frequent flyer was not the better part of discretion in the presence of Mrs. C, but he made up for it once again by atoning for the kitchen’s sins. My burger was overcooked and complimentary, while that of Mrs. C was perfect. She agreed with me that it was one of the better burgers she has had.
We then told Paul the real reason for our visit, the ice cream wars taste off. He said we were a little late for the ice cream. I told him it was only 1:00 and with a sparse luncheon crowd how could they sell out so early? He then told us were three weeks too late – the chef had quit and taken the recipe with him.
I have volunteered to work with the new chef to develop a workable recipe, but in vain. If you are in the mood for a really good burger with scenery as a lagniappe, you could do a lot worse, but be warned, there is a cover charge, even at lunch, and if your wife is as adventurous as Mrs. C, they now charge a cover for women as well, which many of the clubs do not.
The burger is $15.00, but it is a 10 oz. monster and comes with one side, and they usually have a few fresh vegetable to choose from. On average, if you are dining alone you will probably have invested $30.00 by the time you are through with the cover charge, the meal, a drink and the valet parking which is obligatory (and that’s excluding anything you may give the entertainers).