Rooting for the Falcons? Open a Bottle of Merlot

Fresh homemade burger on wooden serving board with onion rings and glass of red wineI am a life-long Green Bay Packers fan. My Dad was born in Eau Claire, Wisconsin. But even though they obliterated the Packers in the NFC Championship Game, I will be rooting for the Atlanta Falcons in this Sunday’s Super Bowl.

I have my reasons…

  • Not every sports fan agrees with this, but when my team is knocked out of the playoffs — be it in football, baseball or basketball — I want the team that beat “us” to go all the way. That way, we can always say that we lost to the best team that season.
  • The Falcons have been around for 51 years and have never won a Super Bowl. Tom Brady, the quarterback of the New England Patriots, has been around 38 years and has won four Super Bowl games. I like to root for the underdog.
  • Ann’s Snack Bar. This is the REAL reason I want the Falcons to win — as a tribute to Miss Ann Price, who passed away in 2015 after running her eight-stool snack bar in the Kirkwood neighborhood of Atlanta for close to four decades.

Ann’s Snack Bar was (and is — it’s now operated by her sister and three brothers) known for the Ghetto Burger, a double cheeseburger that includes chili, bacon, grilled onions, ketchup, mustard and mayonnaise. You can see what it looks like, and hear from Miss Price herself, in the YouTube video below.

Miss Price ran Ann’s Snack Bar her way, complete with posted rules such as, “No cursing in the snack bar,” and, “No sitting or standing babies on the counter.” If you were willing to follow the rules, and wait outside until a stool became available inside, you could eat one of Miss Price’s burgers, cooked to order on a very small grill.

There are other places in Atlanta for good burgers — Holeman & Finch’s, Bones restaurant, One Eared Stag — but there’s nothing so sloppily wonderful as the Ghetto Burger from Ann’s Snack Bar. It has been at Atlanta institution for almost as long as the Falcons — and with a much better record.

This Sunday, if you’re a Falcons fan, you may want to try making your own version of the Ghetto Burger. If you do, and as long as the chili you use is not too spicy, I’d suggest opening a nice bottle of Merlot to accompany it.

My choice: the 2015 Bilgola “Estate” Merlot from South Eastern Australia. It’s medium-bodied, food-friendly, and the perfect companion to a flavorful burger.

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Posted in Food and Wine Pairings/Recipes, Wine in the Glass

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