Without Yelp, I probably never would have found Gabby’s Burgers & Fries, a popular no frills burger spot located in an industrial area of Nashville just across the street from Herschel Greer Stadium.
Gabby’s, named after the owner’s daughter, has become extremely popular with locals for their small selection of grass fed beef burgers including the popular Seamus burger, named after the owner’s son. The diner has even been on the radar of Guy Fieri and his television show “Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives”.
For such an out-of-the-way location, I was surprised to see a line out the door when I pulled up. If people have the patience to wait in line for food, then odds are it must be good. Luckily, the line moved fast and I quickly worked my way inside.
The first thing I noticed when I finally made my way inside of Gabby’s Burgers & Fries was how small the place really was. There sure was a lot of people packed inside one place.
The interior reminded me of a diner on the corner of Anywhere, U.S.A.. The walls were adorned with signed photos of celebrities, gear of local Tennessee sports teams, and no kidding, a whole wall devoted to Mr. Potato Head.
Just across the main door you had your bar with a few bar stools. Behind the bar was a small and open kitchen busy with chefs yelling out orders, grilling burgers, and throwing food into the fryers. The amazing smells of food sizzling away on the flat top grills permeated throughout the entire restaurant. It made standing in line hungry that much more difficult.
While you are waiting in line, it’s a good idea to figure out what you want to order. There was a basic menu on the wall above the cashier listing the most popular items. Still don’t know what you want? Just grab one of the menus off the counter near the cashier.
When you finally reach the front, be ready. Make your order, take your number, and wait for your order to be called out.
If you can’t find a seat, just wait a few minutes or check the outside picnic tables. Most people appeared to eat quickly and move on.
When you are done eating, remember to clean up after yourself so the next guest waiting to eat can enjoy their food right away.
Gabby’s Burgers & Fries Menu
For a burger place, the selection of burgers was pretty limited. The menu had five burgers: Seamus (pronounced SHAY-mus), Gabby Burger (double cheeseburger), Chili Burger, BBQ Burger, and the Bacon Swiss Burger.
I really appreciated how only grass fed beef was used for burgers. No hormones or antibiotics were added to the beef, making it healthier than corn fed beef.
Another thing to note was that all burgers were cooked medium well with slight pink in the middle. If you want it cooked differently, just ask.
All burgers came with a choice of one side item which included fresh cut fries, sweet potato fries, pasta salad, chips, or a cup of chili (add $1.25).
Other than burgers, the menu had a few chicken burgers, hot dogs, grilled cheese sandwiches, and a vegan burger option.
Those who love hot sauce will be thrilled with the large variety of hot sauces. There was also a good selection of sauces and condiments including ranch, honey mustard, wasabi mayonnaise, mustard, mayonnaise, and spicy ketchup.
I decided to go with the popular Seamus Burger ($8.24) with sweet potato fries and a fried egg ($0.75) and jalapeños ($0.35) on top.
If you have never tried an egg on a burger, then you are missing out. The first bite of the burger was amazing. The perfectly cooked over easy egg exploded with luscious yellow yolk throughout the entire burger and on to some of the fries below.
Hidden under the fried egg, pickles, diced onion, and lettuce was a single 5 ounce grass fed beef patty. As mentioned before, all burgers were suppose to be cooked medium well with some pink in the middle. I assumed that my burger would be cooked with some pink in the middle, but unfortunately, my burger was cooked well done. There was no pink in the middle.
I am a believer that grass fed beef should always be cooked medium or medium rare since it has less fat than corn fed beef. Overcooking grass fed beef makes it dry. Next time I will ask for the burger to be cooked medium rare.
The sear on the burger was perfect, but the patty had a slight steamed taste and texture to it as all the burgers were cooked on a flat top grill.
I was disappointed in the seasoning of the burger which was slightly bland. Just a little more salt and peeper would have made a world of difference.
While eating my burger, I noticed that the jalapeños were missing. Not a problem though as one of the workers behind the counter quickly handed me a generous portion of spicy pickled jalapeños.
Another thing I have to mention is the bun. While I had no issues with the taste of the soft and lightly toasted bun, I just felt the meat to bun ratio was way off. There was just way too much bread for the size of the meat. I ended up eating only about half of the bun.
Even with a few issues, I still enjoyed the burger. The fresh vegetables, spicy jalapeños, and yolk from the perfectly cooked fried egg elevated the burger. With a few tweaks, this burger could have been magical.
I love sweet potato fries, so it’s not a surprise that I chose them over the frehs cut fries.
I was surprised how large the sweet potato fries were. They weren’t your average sweet potato fries but more of big chunks of sweet potato. The potato chips were caramelized, crispy, and slightly burnt on the outside while remaining soft in the middle. You could definitely tell these were fresh cut and handmade.
The taste was a perfect balance of slightly sweet and salty. A quick dunk in the spicy ketchup and I was in heaven. Sweet, salty, spicy. It doesn’t get any better.
My only complaint with the sweet potato fries was they were a little too oily for my liking and some were under cooked. Next time, I would definitely ask for the fries to be cooked extra crispy.
Since I made my order at the bar, interaction with any workers was limited.
The lady at the bar taking orders was quick and efficient. This was why the lined moved quickly.
When I noticed that my burger was missing jalapeños, one of the chefs quickly apologized and handed me a side of sliced jalapeños.
No issues at all with service for me.
The locals love Gabby’s Burgers & Fries. I wanted to love it also.
On paper, the burgers looked amazing and the Yelp reviews were stellar. I left feeling a little disappointed. The burger wasn’t bad but I guess my expectations were set too high.
Even with that said, I still enjoyed the burger, the fries, and the diner atmosphere of this small restaurant.
I will definitely return in the future to give them another try.
- Grass fed beef
- Burger was seared perfectly
- Police offers, military, and firefighters get 20% off
- Good selection of hot sauces
- Burger was cooked slightly more well done than I would have liked
- No beer
- Line to order