I’m tempted to contact Motz, the inspiration for my burger tour, and have him remove the Beanie Burger from his list of America’s Best after my excruciatingly underwhelming visit to the Gahanna Grill. Make no mistake, this institution in the idyllic burg of Columbus proudly lets the world know they are on that list (being in that location since 1939), but what occurred inside is nothing to be proud of. I’d almost say they should be ashamed to advertise as such. The Gahanna Grill is not as rustic as Johnny’s, historic as Thurman’s, or classically dive as O’Reilly’s – the small town pub vibe was only accented by a couple of afternoon drunks and one too many shamrocks dotting the walls. The service and atmosphere was completely passable, but the food was hard to choke down.
I’d come for the “famed” Beanie Burger and ordered without hesitation, to which I was prompted “medium well,” and I was agreeable with this standard. I came to find out that “medium well” meant that these burgers weren’t made to order. The tasteless atrocity that arrived was brought to me less than three minutes from sitting down at the bar. The Beanie is the usual pub style burger – now replicated to better effect by chains like 5 Guys and Graffiti – piled with bacon, cheap American cheese, grilled onions, and the average dressing of lettuce and tomato. It looked intimidating, but as soon as I lifted the bun I could see the grayish hue of the burger and was somewhat scared to dive in. The kicker with the Beanie is the addition of a “house made” slaw. I was intrigued – and tried a bite of the side of slaw that comes with each burger. I’ve had better slaw at Captain D’s, it does nothing to help the Beanie. As sated previously, the Beanie was impossible to choke down and I couldn’t finish it. Should it have tasted better, I would have certainly been able to tackle this monstrosity, but as it was, I couldn’t bear any more after a few bites. It was that bad. Top that off with cold, downright awful side of fries, and I was embarrassed to even think about complaining, kindly paid my bill, and left promptly. Perhaps I caught them at a bad time? Perhaps the best days of Gahanna Grille are long gone? All I can relay is that this IS NOT a worthy burger. And even if it’s in spitting distance of Columbusites who might read here – you’re better off going to Rally’s – for serious. UGH.