Ann’s Snack Bar: Memorial Drive

posted on September 3, 2007 at 9:56 am
Ann's Snack Bar: Memorial Drive


I am ashamed to admit I had never eaten at Ann’s Snack Bar until the other day. I always get there at the worst possible time when the waits are looking at 2+ hoursespecially since the Wall Street Journal proclaimed it the “best burger in the country.” By some stroke of luck, I ended up there on Friday around 11:30 and scored one of the first ‘seatings.’ I made the mistake of walking in when there were no seats and I was promptly told to get it outsomething that everyone seemed to make the mistake of doing and a source of entertainment for those of sitting at the bar. I waited outside until a seat opened up and quietly took my spot at the bar. Miss Ann is stoic and the kind of woman that demands your respect the minute you get around hershe reminded me of a school teacher.

You don’t speak until she speaks to you and you better have a quick answer ready when asked for your order. You must be thinking the vibe in the restaurant is unfriendly, but it is anything but. I think the thing that keeps people coming back—aside from the crave-worthy burgers—is the people. That counter is a community and it only takes one meal to be initiated. I brought my typical solo-diner magazine, but I did not need it. I was cutting up with this young kid, his grandfather, and uncle throughout my meal—they even posed (well, their hands did) for the photos—don’t worry, I asked Miss Ann first.

Ann's Snack Bar: Memorial Drive

Break the rules and you are out of luck.

Ann's Snack Bar: Memorial Drive

The menu

Miss Ann is a smart cook. She seats the counter in ‘seatings’ and then cooks everyone’s order at once. She forms the patties at the griddle, seasons it, and deftly cuts the onions while she holds them in her hand—hardcore.

Ann's Snack Bar: Memorial Drive

Forming the patties

Ann's Snack Bar: Memorial Drive

Filling the griddle with everyone’s order

Ann's Snack Bar: Memorial Drive

Giving it a shake of her special seasoning

I ordered a bacon cheeseburger and fries. The ghetto burger (two massive patties, chili, cheese, onions, lettuce, and tomato) was just too big for me—the young football player next to me could hardly handle the double patties on his double cheeseburger (he gave it a good shot though). I managed to snap a few shots before the guysfamished from their early morning game of golfdug in.

Ann's Snack Bar: Memorial Drive

My neighbors going to town on their burgers and fries

Ann's Snack Bar: Memorial Drive

My neighbor’s double cheeseburger

Ann's Snack Bar: Memorial Drive

Fries covered in Ann’s special seasoning mix

My order arrived shortly after theirs. The fries and a shaker of her spice mix are the first thing Miss Ann gives you. They fries are the frozen crinkle cut variety, but not bad—I think the spice mix really punches them up. I could have lived without them, but the killed they hunger pains until my burger got there. The burgers are so big, you really don’t even need them.

Ann's Snack Bar: Memorial Drive

My cheeseburger with bacon 

This burger is the burger I have been craving for years and never founda greasy spoon burger that doesn’t try to be fancy. This was a perfectly seasoned, messy, juicy, cheesy, and mouth-watering hunk of burger. I don’t care that the buns look like they came out of a supermarketthe burger is worth the hype. I don’t know what she puts in her seasoning, but that stuff is addictive (someone once told me there is msg in it, but I don’t know if that is true). I also got a slice of her pineapple pie made by a friend of hers and that was also amazingly good. I think there was condensed milk mixed with the pineapple chunks in between the slices of moist cake—loved it.

I got my check, paid, and tipped Miss Ann. I also told her how much I liked the burger and complimented her on her impressive old-school knife skills. To my surprise, she actually made eye contact with me for the first time in an hour, smirked, and winked. I will definitely be back.


Address: 1615 Memorial Dr
Phone: 404) 687-9207
Hours: Monday through Saturday from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m.
Payment types: Cash only
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  • Re: Ann’s Snack Bar: Memorial Drive
    posted by: jperlow · September 2, 2007  7:59 PM

    I’m so pissed I missed this one.

  • Re: Ann’s Snack Bar: Memorial Drive
    posted by: Joel · September 6, 2007  10:15 AM

    Miss Ann told me once that her seasoning was “just Sawyer Salt”. I’ve googled that and looked around and never found any reference to that, though.

  • Re: Ann’s Snack Bar: Memorial Drive
    posted by: Koy · September 9, 2007  12:33 PM

    Maybe she meant Sauer Salt

  • Re: Ann’s Snack Bar: Memorial Drive
    posted by: honeywest · June 30, 2008  2:18 PM

    I was there today, it was just great. Just wanted to let you know that she now does not open until 11:30am.

  • Re: Ann’s Snack Bar: Memorial Drive
    posted by: Anonymous · October 11, 2008  9:30 AM

    I went to the ghetto burger after living in DC and finally living in Atlanta. My brother told me about it, and I guess I was expecting some commercialized rendition of what someone would think a ghetto burger would be. I smiled when I saw what Mrs. Ann went through to make a MASTERPIECE! I loved it. Luckily a machine a my job was down and I got 2 calls saying come in an hour later. I was one of the first there, and It was a good 1 o clock when I left. But it was soooooo worth it!

  • Re: Ann’s Snack Bar: Memorial Drive
    posted by: AET · November 14, 2008  7:12 AM

    Went last night for the 3rd time since moving to Atlanta a year ago. Once again Jennifer nails it. She really captures the spirit of Ann’s… it’s an American institution. More than an amazing culinary process, it’s a testimony to Entrepreneurship and REALLY HARD WORK… something that’s been lost in our spoiled generations (mine included). Ann’s is a phenomenal experience and if you haven’t been, RUN, don’t walk! I know there are big restaurateurs waiting to pay her a handsome fee for the brand and recipe and I have to imagine that after 37 years, she’s getting closer to taking a few months off. It will surely lose it’s magic without Miss Ann behind that counter. Go to Ann’s, wait in line, follow the rules and prepare yourself for the most amazing burger you’ve ever had.

  • Re: Ann’s Snack Bar: Memorial Drive
    posted by: Anonymous · December 30, 2008  3:18 PM

    I went today. I have to admit, I don’t see what the draw is. The burger was a burger. Mothing special. I’m pretty sure she uses “Lowery’s” as her “special seasoning”

    “The Burger Show” however, should not be missed. She’s a pistol, and you’d better follow her rules, or get a good dressing down. I was totally entertained by her.

    The food, though, was passable at best. Nothign SPECTACULAR like everyone keeps saying.

    Honestly, I’ve made better burgers at home with half the effort.

    My final grade is: It’s just ok. If you got the time to wait, and talk to some strangers and make some new friends, go for it. You’ll have the time of your life. BUT….If you’re looking for the finest burger in town, this is NOT the place.

  • Re: Ann’s Snack Bar: Memorial Drive
    posted by: Anonymous · January 9, 2009  9:48 AM

    Went to ann’s snack bar Thursday 1/8/09 to get getto burgers for myself and co workers. Stood outside in cold for 40 minutes waiting for her to open up. Was the 2nd person in line, really craving a burger. When I got inside and she started taking evryone elses order that was behind me in line I sat patiently. When she got to me and asked for my order I told her I needed 12 ghetto burgers. I was immediatly told that she could not make them. I was stunned. I said “excuse me?”. She told me that I could not order that many because no one else would get their food. Keep in mind I had just drove from Hapeville and stood in the cold for 40 minutes to be told that I would not be served. I guess this is what customers service means when you own your own business and only care about yourself. Who would think that in todays economy a resturant owner would turn down $100.00 for 12 hamburgers.

  • Re: Ann’s Snack Bar: Memorial Drive
    posted by: Anonymous · January 9, 2009  12:32 PM

    Dear Anon,

    If you had done your homework, you would’ve realized that Miss Ann makes every burger singularly, by hand. She makes them on the spot and the people at the counter take precedent. Knowing such a situation, do you think that it’s at all likely or fair for someone to ask for 12 ghetto burgers right then and there?

    She’s right. If she had made them 1) you would’ve been there for another hour and 2) everyone else who showed would’ve been denied their lunch as well.

    You, dear reader, are arrogant and narcissistic to believe any different.

  • Re: Ann’s Snack Bar: Memorial Drive
    posted by: Anonymous · January 13, 2009  6:26 AM

    and why didn’t you call ahead? of course she turned you down….Miss Ann was being considerate. I believe you’re unaware of food service etiquette – Anytime you have a large party need(over 4 people), you should call ahead, especially with small operations such as Ann’s.

    So did you at least try one…we don’t care about your mistake, please let us know how the burger was? Thanks.

  • Re: Ann’s Snack Bar: Memorial Drive
    posted by: Anonymous · February 8, 2009  12:30 PM

    I went to Anns last week and it was awesome!!!! Also, to the person that waltzed into Anns ordering 12 ghetto burgers….get over yourself. As someone else said you should have done your research on the restaurant before doing that. If she had taken your order it would have been about 2 hours before anyone else got served so she was right in denying your order. Dont be so arrogant and pompous. The world doesnt revolve around you. When you’re at Anns the world revolved around Ann and if you dont like it…LEAVE. I promise you….she wont miss you.

  • Re: Ann’s Snack Bar: Memorial Drive
    posted by: Gideon · April 30, 2009  6:45 PM

    Had these the other day. Amazing!

  • Re: Ann’s Snack Bar: Memorial Drive
    posted by: Anonymous · May 2, 2009  10:22 AM

    i got there today around 11:45. the counter of 8 was already full and there were at least 15 more people waiting on the patio just to get inside! after around 30 minutes of waiting, Miss Ann came into the patio and announced that she would take the next 10 orders. while doing this, more people filed in. it was then that she announced that it would be at least 3 more hours before they would be served. she also invited everyone to go to the Checkers nearby because they needed the business. definitely worth a chuckle. alas, i couldnt donate the 3 hours i would need to invest to get the Ghetto Burger, but I will be back. I couldnt help but think about the Seinfeld Soup Nazi the whole time.

  • Re: Ann’s Snack Bar: Memorial Drive
    posted by: flourpwr · May 26, 2009  4:48 PM

    Went today because Miss Ann may not be making burgers here much longer. AJC buzzed the other day that she is putting the place up for sale at the end of May. I had been before but didn’t order the Ghetto Burger so wanted to add that to my life list. Not the greatest burger in my opinion but pretty darn good and it’s the whole scene and the personality that counts for a lot here. She said those who said she is leaving as soon as she put out the for sale sign are lyin’. You heard it here.
    But if you want to go I wouldn’t wait too long. Bliss has the best ASB photos on the net. You get the ambience. I would like to have one of those burger-art signs – will be worth something some day.

  • Re: Ann’s Snack Bar: Memorial Drive
    posted by: Jacob · June 25, 2009  11:42 AM

    So it sounds like we have a little more time. Got to take advantage of this atlanta icon. Anyone got anymore info on her closing/sale?

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