Sunday, February 28, 2010

Gabby’s Burgers and Fries

Nashville Restaurants and Food
Gabby’s Burgers and Fries
493 Humphreys St.

Who could find a restaurant, hidden away in an industrial area, and surrounded by a construction maze? The burger army, that’s who. Gabby’s pulls the faithful in, despite all the literal roadblocks. You gotta figure the food is pretty darn good if folks are willing to put up with a major detour. And the answer is yes, the food is decadent and atmosphere convivial at Gabby’s Burgers and Fries.

The burger army tends to fall into the middle-aged guy mold, although there are plenty of younger people and women seeking out this patty palace in South Nashville. Owner Doug Havron gives a boisterous welcome to just about everyone as they come in the door, and if he’s busy someone else on the staff will throw out a hello. They recognize regulars, shout out orders and show real camaraderie behind the counter. Havron has a wealth of experience in the Nashville restaurant scene and it shows: the place runs like a top. It all makes the modest little dining room one of the most entertaining lunch spots in town, although those seeking a quiet repast might want to get that burger to go.

At 11 a.m. on a Wednesday there is already a line. The Gabby’s staff keeps the food moving fast. Luckily that doesn’t take away from the consideration they put into each of those burgers. On one visit the Gabby Burger topped the agenda. Two large patties are cooked to an exacting medium rare. With cheese and the works it’s almost tough to get your mouth around it. It’s a messy delight. Pair that with thick, hand-cut sweet potato fries and you have heaven. Even the condiments get respect at Gabby’s. The kickin’ ketchup and wasabi mayo may not be rocket science, but they do hit the spot. Zippy chili comes in a generous bowl for a side dish.

Doug keeps the pace going, so even if you hit a line you can expect fast service. Four guys pick up their burgers with abandon, while a business woman carefully cuts her burger in two with a fork. The B-B-Q burger with a fried egg on top seems like a quick trip to heart attack city. Enjoy the ride while the egg oozes over the meat and the grilled onions provide a little bite. Let’s face it: burgers should be sloppy, juicy and occasionally calorically outrageous.

The menu is short and to the point: six burger options, a couple of chicken sandwiches, a veggie burger, a hot dog, and various permutations of all. What they don’t cover in range, they make up for in quality.

When the bridge construction project is done it will actually be fairly easy to find Gabby’s. They are located right next to Greer stadium, where the Nashville Sounds play. They are directly behind the big guitar scoreboard. Right now they have weekday lunch hours, (which is why it has taken so long to do this review) although recently they have been staying open until 7:30 p.m. on Fridays.

The burger army will probably keep growing in size (numbers I mean, although perhaps in pounds as well). Gabby’s is just that good. Do yourself a favor and enlist now.

The burgers and sandwiches are in the $5-$6 range and come with your choice of side. I paid $10 with tax and tip for a burger, fries and a drink on both of two visits.
Gabby's Burgers & Fries on Urbanspoon


Jacklyn said...

Did you know today that the Groupon would be Gabbys? haha. Nice timing. I haven't been there but read your post and then saw the Groupon in my inbox so I'm going to give it a try! Thanks!

Eric and Katie said...

Jacklyn...that's pretty funny. Saving money and eating at Gabby's seems like a good thing to me. We just started to buy groupons as well. For the most part it's not stuff that I care about, but when it is something we would enjoy the bargain is too good to pass up.

mIKES said...

I'm betting 2000 Groupons. The Local Taco got like 2500+ the other day.

Eric and Katie said...

mIKES: Yes, we did the local taco one...really good deal

Jill said...

Gabby's is my favorite lunch spot...but I am getting nervous after this, Groupon, etc. that the lines will get even longer!

I'm guessing Katie didn't come along, because she would have to comment on the veggie burger. I'm a vegetarian, too, and Gabby's veggie burger is hands down the best one I have ever had. EVER--not just in Nashville. One of those and some sweet potato fries is the perfect indulgent meal.

Eric and Katie said...

Jill: Katie has an even harder time getting out of the office for lunch than me. I'm kinda hoping Doug will do some Saturday hours soon so she can go. And after your endorsement of the veggie burger I may just do it myself...sounds great.

CoolSprings said...

I saw Gabby's on Half Off Depot or Groupon the other day but had never heard of it. Thanks for the great review, I'll have to try it out!

JasonHowes said...

Fantastic and locally owned. Great, simple burger. Fries tend to be limpy though. I think they don't fry hot enough.

Shannon said...

JasonHowes: I agree. I ordered the sweet potato fries & they were thick & limp. I couldn't finish them. I wish they were thinner & crispier. They do make a great burger, so the fries aren't a deal breaker. I wish they had a patty melt on the menu. I bet they could whip one up for me if I ask nicely.

yazzwho said...

I, for one, have never ever had a sweet potato fry that was crisp - or enjoyable - no matter the cut.
I have done some sleuthing on these here inter-tubes and there is speculation that there is a much higher moisture content in sweet potatoes versus whites (Irish). I am also certain that the chemistry of the two types of tubers is very different.

Here is a link to the Texas A&M agriculture web sites describing the history, cultivation, and chemistry of the sweet potato:

Eric and Katie said...

I liked the thick sweet potato fries at Gabby's...a bit meaty, a little different. I guess I've had a few versions of both types. McNamara's has a thin cut and crispy sweet potato fry. Yazzwho, that is officially the most educational link that we have ever had on the blog.

Victorian inn bed and breakfast said...

The hamburgers/cheeseburgers are simply fantastic. 5oz of ground beef (but you can also get a double) on a fresh, soft bun. The fries were good, but not unusually so. The chili dog looked amazing...a definite get on the next visit.