Mattie’S Diner – Revisit

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Restaurants are always changing. A review that we do is a snapshot in time, but sometimes we think it is instructive to go back and revisit a restaurant to see what has changed.

Location: 915 Hamilton St. 28206

Why did you return to Mattie’S?

Like most places we review, Mattie’s has a lot more burgers than the two we tried. I mean I would love to eat five burgers at every place I visit, but where would that lead me? 1 So we had to come back to try the burgers that were left unspoken about in our earlier review.

We came by and talked to Mattie for an interview (which you can in two parts, find here and here), during which he clued us in on a secret menu that he and his regulars have been developing. We knew we had to try a burger off of that.

Honestly, Mattie will pretty much make whatever you want, if he’s got the stuff, and we totally wanted to exploit that.

What has changed?

Very little has changed since the two years that Mattie’s Diner has been open 2. The few things that we did notice were small. They have a new jukebox system that plays out of the speakers of the old existing players at each of the booths (you can adjust your own volume level). They started putting up memorabilia from visiting bands and shows and decorations that they have accumulated from fans of Mattie’s itself. And last but not least, they offer bottled beer now!

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What burgers did you get?

This revisit wasn’t your typical ordering experience. We came by to get another picture of Mattie for his interview when he told us there was some secret menu burgers he wanted us to try. He has been tooling around with these for awhile and wanted to get our expert opinion 3. We sat down while he and his other chef Chris started to layout the ground working for the two burgers: The Sleeper and The Po’Boy.

What’s on the Sleeper?

8 oz burger patty, tater tots, mac and cheese, jalapenos, American cheese, home-made barbecue sauce (which starts with Cheerwine!), and bacon. Wonderful, wonderful thick floppy bacon.

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How was it?

I know what you are probably thinking, because I was thinking the same thing. There is no way that can all work together. But think about it. Each one of those comfort food toppings works well by itself, so they should work perfectly when squeezed together under a bun. Right? YES. YES IT DOES.

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Mattie starts off the process by cooking each topping or item first on the same grill. He then constructs the burger on the patty as they are still cooking. So all the juices and flavor from everything is melding together as it cooks, and not just thrown together as an afterthought. It tasted amazing! You had a nice crunch from the tater tots, a little heat from the jalapenos, the mac and cheese provided extra cheesy goodness to the already thick slice of American cheese and the Cheerwine barbeque sauce and thick slices of bacon were just cherries on the already awesome burger sundae it was.

What’s on the Po’ Boy?

8 oz elongated burger patty (to fit a long burger bun), five (5) strips of bacon 4, American cheese, lettuce, tomato, grilled onions, grilled mushrooms, and mayo.

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How was it?

This burger idea came out of Mattie seeing a bunch of different styles of burgers being done down on the bayou and he wanted to try his take on it. As with The Sleeper, Mattie cooks each ingredient separately on the grill and then constructs it while it is still cooking. The exception to this is that the mushrooms and the onions are grilled together ALONG SIDE the five strips of bacon. He then cooks the burger patty ON TOP of the mushrooms, onions, and bacon 5.He does this so there is even more juice that gets trapped inside each item! He warned us, but when we first bit into it juice got everywhere (it was bubbling out of the patty…I know, right?).

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The flavors worked so well together. Since grilled onions and (especially) grilled mushrooms take on the flavor of whatever meat is cooked with, it was like having grilled mini burgers in the shape of onions and mushrooms on top of my already amazing burger.

This is a burger that takes a long time to cook (because of the elongated shape and the way he cooks it all together), so if you order it be prepared to get it after the rest of your table. In fact, let them know that you’re prepared for that. Otherwise they feel bad about it.

How in the world did you eat all that?

Well, we actually didn’t. We ate about half of each burger and took the rest home with us (it is equally as good the next day, as I finished the job that I had started).

Did you guys have anything else (not that you need to)?

I casually mentioned that he should do a breakfast burger. Mattie looked me straight in the eyes and said, “Let’s do this.” 6 On the fly we came up with a burger that had an 8 oz burger patty, two french toast slices as buns, a sausage patty, over medium egg, and maple syrup. Yes. It is as awesomely good as it sounds. This should be on the menu permanently!

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What’s the name of that breakfast burger?

We actually couldn’t come up with a name that fit it. “The Breakfast Burger” is too generic and we wanted it to be something that had pop, pizazz, and feeling 7 to the name. So if you can come up with a name for it we would love to hear it! You can send it to our Contact page or post it on Facebook or Twitter!

Signed,

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Mattie's Diner on Urbanspoon

Notes:

  1. Probably to a heart attack and an early grave.
  2. Well, changed since the MAJOR change of location and MAJOR renovation they did to get it to where it is now
  3. By “expert opinion” we mean the ramblings of two guys who probably eat too many burgers in the first place.
  4. WHAT THE WHAT!
  5. See above footnote.
  6. It’s almost the same look that you receive when you are told you are about to rob a bank, or murder someone. Hypothetically speaking of course. Ahem. Cough.
  7. Basically every keyword I receive from clients trying to express how they want their website to look