It’s a shame if you never got the full experience at Ann’s Snack Bar in Atlanta. Ms. Ann passed away a few years back but her memory lives on. Back when she was still around, it was a pretty safe bet that if you acted up at Ann’s Snack Bar (1615 Memorial Drive), you would either be told to settle down or to leave.
Ann has some strict rules for the uninformed that if you don’t follow will get you tossed out of her place. No cursing is a big one, and no cell phone usage is another. Due to my fear of possibly offending her and getting kicked out without eating, all my original pictures at Ann’s Snack Bar were taken on the sly.
The guy sitting a few seats down from me was told to stop using his phone twice before he thought better of it and used it outside, which still pissed Ann off. The lady who was in line right in front of us told us how she had seen Ann once shout at a disruptive customer,
If you don’t like my rules, you can go to Checkers!
We had arrived 15 minutes before their opening at 11 AM, hoping to be the first in line to eat at Ann’s. There were already 3 people in line. Ann did not open up until 11:20 AM, totally oblivious to the fact that we had been waiting outside (I found this rather amusing). Eating here is an experience in itself; it really is as if you are in someone’s kitchen while your lunch is being prepared. She does it all.
I ate some of the best chili cheese fries I had ever had and some of the best chili I’ve ever had the pleasure of eating.
The cheeseburger was a glorious piece of crumbly meat on a sesame seed bun. It was also a beauty.
Back at Ann’s Snack Bar
March 13th, 2014 – Shortly after my visit, Ann Price had put up her Ann’s Snack Bar for sale with a $1.5 million price tag on it. I’m not even sure you could churn out $1 million worth of Burgers out of an eight stool Burger Joint.
George Motz (Hamburger America) famously wrote about getting kicked out of Ann’s Snack Bar on his first visit for wanting to interview her. It seemed as she had loosened up on the rules this time around. Ms. Ann had two folks helping her out. She seemed, dare I say, almost friendly.
The most significant difference I noticed was the chili; it wasn’t the same. All you need to do is look at and compare the chili dog with the NEW chili dog. This incarnation of the chili had an almost Hormel like quality to it, something I’m not a fan of.
On my original visit, I ate a regular cheeseburger. My mind was made up long ago for this visit, Ghetto Burger or bust. The Ghetto Burger is a double cheeseburger with bacon, grilled onions, ketchup, mustard, and some chili on the bottom toasted bun. Both buns are toasted in case you might think I was saying this was a one bun toasting kinda place; it’s not. Lettuce & tomato can be part of the equation, but I chose not to taint my burger with filler.
The Ghetto Burger also comes cut in half, which I’m generally against, but this is one case where manageability is limited if you try to lug around that mastodon during consumption. After I finished my Ghetto Burger, I sat and tried to regain my bearings. This burger did a number on me, and I wouldn’t have had it any other way.
Ms. Ann passed away shortly after my second visit.
Ann’s Snack Bar won’t be around forever, so you need to make it out here and help keep Ms. Ann’s memory alive.
Story of the Ghetto Burger
Ms. Ann Price Has Passed Away
April 20th, 2015 – Ms. Ann passed away last Saturday at the age of 72. She will be remembered not only for her food but for the experience that was “eating at Ann’s Snack Bar.” Her best-known creation was the Ghetto Burger (Double cheeseburger w/bacon, grilled onions, ketchup, mustard & chili).
During one of my first conversations with George Motz, I remember him telling me how Ms. Ann had kicked him out of Ann’s Snack Bar, and it wasn’t until his second visit that he finally got to try her famous Burgers.
Rest in peace, Ms. Ann.
Ann’s Snack Bar In The NY Times
November 29th, 2010 – While I’m not easy to intimidate, Ann, she’s a different story. I first read about Ann’s Snack Bar in the Hamburger America book. Since I didn’t want to get kicked out (at least not until I got to try her food), I was a good boy that day and enjoyed the grub. She has rules, and you must follow them. Now, you wanna talk U.S. Food Landmarks; this is definitely one (38 years and still going).
Ann’s Snack Bar is up for sale and the New York Times recently did a great story about her, Burger Selling Fast, but the Restaurant Is Not. Read the story. You must eat here before she retires. It’s an unforgettable experience.